Anupam Kher, the veteran Indian actor and former chairman of film and television institute of India, has been National School of Drama Alumni. He has also been chairperson with the Central Board of Film Certification and National School of Drama.

Bollywood veteran Anupam Kher and his Theatre roots

As a famous film personality, he has bagged various national awards and Filmfare awards for his remarkable performances in plays and films. He has acted in various languages based films. the actor won his first Filmfare award for best actor in his movie Saaransh which was released in 1984 and thereafter he kept winning awards and made a record of winning the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian 5 times for Hindi movies like Ram Lakhan, Lamhe, Kale and Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge.

Beside his Hindi films, he has also appeared in international projects like Bend It Like Beckham, Lust, Caution and Silver Linings Playbook.

He has also won BAFTA nomination for the best supporting role in the British television sitcom The Boy with the Topknot.

For his contribution towards India cinema and arts, he has been honoured by the Government of India with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards.

Besides movies, he has been a very active participant at the plays performed at Himachal Pradesh University. He has taught drama in Raj Bisaria’s Bhartendu Natya Academy in Lucknow.

Anupam Kher has also written and starred in a play which is his biography named ‘Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta hai’ which was directed by Feroz Abbas Khan. This play is featured at the Delhi Theatre Festival and traces the actor’s journey from Shimla to Delhi and his struggle in Mumbai as a film actor.

Anupam Kher has friend and co-student in Satish Kaushik, at NSD where they started a film production company named Karol bagh Productions. Tere Sang which was directed by Satish was the first film of this production house.

This veteran actor is back on theatre after 35 years with co-actress Neena Gupta in Rakesh Bedi’s much-acclaimed play Mera vo Matlab Nahin Tha.

This is the first time when both the actors are staging together. They both have been a year apart students at NSD in the 1970s. Refreshing his theatre skills, Kher says that approaching the character involves studying and creating a timeline of a person’s life in the theatre. He generally gets into the skin of character by working on his personality speaking skills, gestures, mannerism and much more during rehearsals.

Actors who have been deep roots in NSD recalls that his first application was rejected at NSD when he was at Punjab University in Chandigarh. There he worked with renowned directors like Balwant Gargi and Amal Allana and emerged as a gold medalist. Driven by this acting passion, he tried NSD again and finally, he landed with the place at NSD to pursue acting seriously.

Kher points out that theatre caters to the actor’s talent as they have to reach to the audience whereas cinema captures an actor quietly. There are rules involved in theatre while performing in front of live audiences and the energy of the actor varies according to the venue and the audience response. an actor can never be bored with theatre as each show is unique and audiences are different. Offering no retakes, theatre is quite affected by the actor’s mind, mood and phases at different points.

Kher has also played some memorable roles in Hayavadana, Khamosh: Adalat Jaari Hai and other plays at NSD.

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