Amit Sial

Guts & Glory

Words by: Tanishka Juneja
Photographer: Denzil Christian

We are thankful to the OTT platforms that have introduced actors who otherwise weren’t blessing the big screen enough. One such talented actor is    Amit Sial, whose journey is nothing less than a rollercoaster ride. 

After appearing in various films like ‘Love Sex and Dhokha’, ‘Peter Gaya Kaam Se’, and ‘Phas Gaya Re Obama’, Sial finally tasted success on the web platform with successful shows like ‘Inside Edge’, ‘Hostages’ and ‘Mirzapur’ among others. 

Sial hopes to be approached for lighter genres such as comedy and romance because he doesn’t want to limit himself by just playing intense characters. Well, who wouldn’t want to see Sial romancing on screen, right? 

Gearing up for his upcoming projects, Sial talked about family’s support, ‘character’ actors, reuniting with Randeep Hooda, and more. 

You come from a humble background and had no connection whatsoever with the entertainment industry. In such cases, how important do you think is one’s family’s support to take that leap of faith? 

I’ve always been fortunate enough to find support from my family in whatever I do. Having said that, they were definitely wary of me taking up acting as a full-time profession. Their suspicion was mostly based on the concern and my welfare rather than being an obstacle to my decision of pursuing acting. But as I had already decided that nothing else could make me more happy and content than this, they submitted to my will.

You used to wash dishes at restaurants and drive taxis when you were studying in Melbourne. Now that you’ve successfully fulfilled your dream of becoming an actor, do you look back at those days with a different set of emotions? 

Earlier, I used to think that if I had not made so many attempts at different professions, I would’ve saved so much time and effort to establish myself as an actor. But now, in hindsight, I’ve realized that nothing that one does or experiences ever goes to waste. In fact, a person is nothing but an accumulation of all his/her experiences. And experiences are gold to an actor. More the merrier!

You’ve played characters with different backgrounds, whether it’s Devender Mishra from Inside Edge or IPS Maurya from Mirzapur. How do you manage to work on the diction (and accent) of the character so that it looks authentic and not forced?

I operate in a make-believe world. And my profession is all about lying and lying well. I cannot and should not break the illusion that is being created for the audiences by getting caught with my lies. So, a lot of meticulous preparation and honesty towards the act that is being put up is the only way to get to the character. All serious actors do the same. So do I.

Suit: NM Design Studio | Shoes: Tresmode | Watch: Emporio Armani | Belt: Burberry

You’ve proved time and again that you are OTT’s Bad Guy-in-Chief by essaying some remarkable dark characters but we know for a fact that it’s not the only thing you’re best at. So, what’s your personal favorite genre or an ideal role you really wish to portray on screen? 

Firstly, I’ve never approached any of the characters as black or white, good guy or bad guy. We are all a product of our circumstances. Sometimes in control and other times out of it. So, mostly I don’t judge the characters that I play. It’s not fair to them nor me. Secondly, recently it started to become strenuous and monotonous playing intense roles as it takes out a lot from you. So, I’m definitely looking for other genres like light-hearted comedies or romance. Now that I really want it, I’m sure someone somewhere is planning it for me (smiles).

According to you, what should an actor focus more on – being a star (or hero) or being a true artist? 

I’m not into preaching so I’ll just say about myself, that I’ll always want to be an honest actor. Artist, on the other hand, is too big a commitment. It’s another level of state of mind. I’ll leave that to destiny. 

As an actor, how do you differentiate between ‘telling’ something and ‘showing’ something on the screen?

Telling is of much higher value than showing. But both have their own place concerning what is being displayed for the audience. The big responsibility actually lies mostly with the director, especially in the film format. I, on the other hand, stick to being honest in front of the camera knowing very well that I’m lying for the convenience of the camera. But that’s the beauty of acting.

Over these years, people have had this mentality of looking down upon supporting roles and only considering lead roles as acting or important actors. According to you, how has the situation and thinking changed in the industry as well as amongst the audience?

I really don’t think that people in the past looked down upon character actors. It was just that in the past our films were extremely hero-centric and there was a lot of stereotypical casting. But despite all this, character actors were hugely celebrated by the audiences. In fact, a lot of them were a huge draw to the cinemas. I think what has changed now is that the line between ‘character’ actor and actor has changed a lot. Now it is a leading actor or a supporting actor. But both fit inside the definition of an actor. I feel that the popularity of OTT platforms with its variety of content has changed the past perception to a huge extent.

Outfit: Jubinav Chadha | Shoes: Tresmode | Watch: Pierre Cardin

You’re a part of Jio Studios’ ‘Inspector Avinash’ that also stars your close friend Randeep Hooda. You both will be sharing screen space after a long time and everyone’s excited about it. Tell us more about how this friendship stands out from all the other relations you’ve maintained and how easy or difficult is it to have real friends in the industry?

More than people getting excited about Randeep and me sharing the screen, I am most excited about it (smiles). Randeep and I go back thousands of years and he is the primary reason for me to be in Mumbai and fulfill my aspiration to become a professional actor. We both have worked together before and I am sure this time is going to be as pleasurable as always. Maintaining a friendship is as difficult and complex as any other relationship but when you have been in each other’s life for more than two decades then there’s no pretension. And when there’s no pretension, any relationship keeps getting healthier and stronger. That’s exactly how we both are with each other.

Outfit: Jubinav Chadha | Shoes: RedTape | Socks: H&M Man

You have an interesting line up of projects such as ‘Aafat-E-Ishq’ and ‘Inspector Avinash’ that are quite different from each other. In your opinion, how important is it for actors to experiment with the kind of characters/scripts they choose?

I have a couple more releases than the ones you mentioned but I’m not sure whether I have the liberty to mention those right now. But yes, this year will see a lot of interesting work involving me. And I’m extremely fortunate and pleased that people trust me for the kind of spectrum that I’m getting to work in. Again, I’ll say only for myself that it’s extremely important for me to keep changing and challenging myself as an actor and evolving as a person through my work. It makes life worth its while. 

What would you call one of your defining moments? 

I live a full life. There’s not one moment or many that define it. I’m constantly evolving!

Rapid Fire:

Describe your clothing style in 1 word?

Comfort. 

A director you wish to work with

Many. Can’t name one.

What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?

CANdYMAG shoot *winks*

What is something you can’t do?

Several things and more.

If you could raid one man’s closet, who would it be? 

Couldn’t be bothered for the life of me.

Top 2 things on your bucket list right now…

Learning to play drums and carpentry…

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time? 

Doing Absolutely nothing!

If you could go back in time, what is that one thing you would like to change or something you wish you would have done differently?

I don’t believe in would’ve been, should’ve been, could’ve been. 

Well, this was definitely one of the most honest interviews I’ve ever taken. Sial doesn’t shy away from embracing his true self which is one of his many likable qualities.

Here’s wishing the actor all the luck for his ‘mysterious’ future projects and let’s hope that we get to see more of him on screen.

Suit: NM Design Studio | Shoes: H&S | Watch: Pierre Cardin | Belt: Levi’s

Photographer: Denzil Christian 

Creative Director: Farrah Kader

Fashion Stylist: Pyu Mishra

Makeup Artist: Ambika Upadhyay

Hair Artist: Arbaz Shaikh

Assistant Stylist: Harshita Vatsa 

Media Consultant: Jelly Bean Entertainment 

Location: True Tramm Trunk