It's indeed hilarious how actress Saiyami Kher comes to spotlight every leap year. In 2016, when she made her debut in Bollywood in Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra's Mirzya opposite Harshvardhan Kapoor and now in 2020 at a time when most actors, directors, producers are worried sick about the future of theatres and film industry overall, Saiyami Kher has softly and strongly made her presence felt in Hotstar's Special Ops, Netflix's Choked, and now on Amazon Prime Video's Breathe: Into The Shadows.
How did it all begin for you in the cinema industry?
I've grown up in Bombay and Nasik I was into sports. The art acting was never really a part of my life, I never thought I would act. Then I joined St Xaviers College in Mumbai and then I joined the theatre. The acting bug hit me in college. Then I didn't look back since then. I was in Delhi training with Adil Hussain and Dilip Shankar. Since then I never looked back because I really enjoyed the whole process of acting. There are a lot of characterisation things that go behind the making, there are lots of methods which are very helpful, the back story we work on that really helps when we are working. The backstory we work on that really helped me. When we are doing a character, then we seriously go in the backstory this is the method that we use.
Are you aware that some people think that you are related to Farhan Akhtar?
It's a very very far off relation. It's not blood-related. My father's sister is Tanvi Azmi, Tanvi Azmi's sister-in-law is Shabana Azmi and Farhan Akhtar is Javed Akhtar's son. So there's no blood relation, we have grown up in the same household and that is how we made the connection.
Post-Mirzya what kind of scripts have you been choosing?
Post Mirzya I didn't get many offers so I waited for a year hoping to get the interesting thing, nothing really exciting came. Ritesh Deshmukh offered me Mauli, a Marathi film I was getting to play something very different. When that happened I got my role in Breathe, and Breathe was again something which was very different, then Special Ops, Choked happened. So I'm always trying to look for different characters because that is what is exciting for an actor. Even if the role is small or big as long as your character is different, that is what is exciting.
What did you like about Choked and Breathe that made you sign the scripts?
Oh, I feel it's a very good time to be in a digital phase, unfortunately, we are all in a space where we cannot go out of our houses. So people are consuming a lot of content so I feel the audiences are really big in the digital world in the digital space. I had signed Breathe before Choked or Special Ops but this is releasing after them. I just feel that the audiences are reaching out to a lot of people that is what an actor wants.
I mean every script has a different story, with Choked it was Sarita's character it was Anurag Kashyap and I front lining the project. With Breathe, umm I think there were again multiple factors. I really enjoyed the first season of Amazon Prime Video's Breathe, I watched it all night. When I got an offer for the second season the script was really gripping, my character here again is very different from what I have played. These were multiple factors.
In the middle of the lockdown, what kind of future do you see for yourself and the film industry?
I think this is a very unfortunate time and right now we need to concentrate on our health, people's health. Things will settle down and get back to normalcy. With regards to films and theatres, all my projects have released in the digital world in a big way, there's more content which people are making. I don't feel threatened at all because theatres will open again. Regarding shoot, we will start when things will get back to normalcy. It is all about being safe right now.