Catching Up With Sahil Vaid Of Humpty Sharma
Posted by Navleen on July 22, 2014 | No Comments
Be it his acting, dialogues or facial expressions, there is every chance of relating him to that one friend of yours whose craziness always leaves you in fits. Recently released Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, which though features Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt in lead but there is something about him, his character and screen presence that will make you guffaw with mirth. The name of his character garners all the more attention so do his ones liners. In fact in one his dialogues, when Angad (Sidharth Shukla) tells his two yaars Humpty (Varun Dhawan) and Shonty (Gaurav Pandey) that their names are quite interesting, he takes the limelight by telling that even his name—Poplu— is far more appealing. That indeed is!
Meet actor Sahil Vaid, who before getting this ideal break has done theatre for 12 years and worked as voice over artists for channels and production houses such as National Geographic Channel, HBO India, Sony Entertainment Television, Insync Music, MTV India and Warner Bros Entertainment.
Give us a brief about your background?
I was born in Tamil Nadu, raised in Delhi and hail from an army background. My father is an engineer and for obvious reasons even I had to take up engineering. After attending the college for two days I realized that this isn’t for me. Though I had been doing theatre since childhood but I didn’t have the guts to tell my parents as theatre actors are not considered financially stable. I also had no idea how to become an actor. I did two degrees simultaneously — Advertising and Journalism and Mass Communication—thinking that they will be my ladder to become an actor. Since campus placements are a myth at Journalism institutes, my family wanted to me to join army. I cleared my CDS and SSB and was about to join army that I got to know I had also been selected at Whistling Woods. My family didn’t know that I had applied there alongside. So my father calmly said that it’s an expensive course as it’s fees was R12 Lakh for two years. Thanks to Nasserudin Shah Sir who was the Head of department of Whistling Woods at that time that he convinced my dad. He spoke to him for two hours saying that I had the spark and only need polishing.
What all projects have you done in your initial years?
In second semester of the college, I got a film called Happi by Bhavna Talwar. Since my father had taken loan for my studies I even wanted to help him with the finances. But Whistling Woods have a policy that one can’t act before the course gets finished. Therefore I shot for this film during night for 32 days along with attending the college daily in the morning. When I passed out I got a serial called Fauji 2 which was sequel of Shah Rukh Khan’s debut serial. After shooting some episodes at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun this serial got called off. Naseer sir then casted me in his play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial for which I did 30 shows. I even did many episodes of Life Ok’s Savdhaan India. Some other plays that I did were Arms and the Men and Salim Arif’s Manto Mantra. This helped me getting recognition and that’s how Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya’s director Shashank Khaitan who also happens to be my senior from Whistling Woods noticed me.
What enamored you to become voice over artist?
I used to dub for some corporate films which was another way to earn money. That’s how I started getting work for different channels such as National Geographic etc. Whatever projects I had done were either getting dumped or not offering me something great. Then either it was Bitto Boss that jinxed at box office or Kaanchi where I had no dialogue; it was getting depressing for me. Also somehow casting director didn’t oblige me and I wasn’t getting auditions at all. That’s the problem with Mumbai. At numerous auditions that take place daily, most of the people are sent back without even letting them give the audition.
So how did Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania happen?
I was in Delhi and dubbing for Emergency Room when Shashank Khaitan called me up asking that would I mind doing a small role in a big banner film. And I agreed. But when he got to know that I’m quit fit, the only thing he told me was to start gaining weight. Few days later Shashank told me to get in touch with casting director Jogi. After calling him I was called to Aram Nagar, Versova where most of the auditions take place and it was also the place I dreaded going to. When I gave my audition Shashank gave me an address of Khar to come and meet him there. Without even knowing where I’m heading to went and only after reaching there I found it to be Dharma Production’s office. Initially I thought Shashank must be assisting the film but when I saw him sitting in cabin my only reaction was, “Saley! Tu direct kar raha hai!”
Your character has received lot of appreciation for being natural. What effort does it takes to be effortless?
Shashank helped me a lot in it. Since he was my senior, I even once asked him that if he wants me to be a fool in the flick and I’ll be one. But he simply told me just to be a kid and do masti. I’m 29 and was the eldest, so my homework was to get close to Varun and Gaurav. Moreover Poplu is me in the school. In fact we all are Poplus during are school time.
On working with star kids—- Alia and Varun?
I had inhibitions when I met them initially. Eventually everything got warm within us. WWE is what got us connected as three of us are huge fan of wrestling. I would imitate John Cena, Khali or Rock for them and they would burst out laughing. That’s how if there was any wall between us it got invisible. And these imitations become an everyday affair. Contrary to whatever stories we have heard so far, being star kids Alia and Varun were just the opposite. I can call Varun at an odd hour and he would ask, “Han Bhai! Kya hua?”
Since life hasn’t shown them those days and experiences that we have seen, they have to work harder on their acting. We come from earth and they have always been in luxury. For someone like us, it’s all about fetching our emotional memory but for them it’s difficult.
How has life changed after HSKD?
It has changed quite a lot. People are going crazy for my character. When they hear my lines in the movie, they just enjoy it. Shashank was anti improvisation but I have done improvisation around the dialogues. On the other hand, it was the only opportunity I had with me. I was the hungriest out of all. Honestly I didn’t expect my character to come out so well. I have been getting positive calls and almost all the reviews have mentioned about me. Few days back casting director Shanoo spoke to me on someone’s phone. She was elated and told me if I realize that what has happened to me. It was an amazing moment for me.
I have signed a film Sali Mohabbat where I’m playing a baddy. It is a three track film and the story I’m part of is directed by Sumit Ozmont Shaw. Actors generally say that they are reading scripts. But honestly I have no other project so far.
Navleen Kaur Lakhi