Bending it like Sid Mallya

By Smita Sarkar
From The London Indian Film Festival

Smita Sarkar

Smita Sarkar

Sid is about to finish his acting course from the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Unlike his classmates though, he has already bagged a role in the Netflix release Brahman Naman; in a genre most find rather difficult to handle – comedy.

The film will be screened in the upcoming 7th London Indian Film Festival, in London and Birmingham between the 14th to 21st July, 2016.

Having done Festival circles in the US, Europe, India; Sid has impressed Hollywood stalwart Steve Barron with his hard work, discipline and by nailing his role as the bully Ronnie- the quintessential jock. Here are some excerpts from Sid’s interview with bollywoodjournalist.com.


BJ: Congratulations on your acting debut in Brahman Naman. Did you face any challenges while acting as Ronnie?

SM: Thank you! It was an amazing experience, and I was so lucky to have Steve Barron and Q to guide me, as it was my first role.

BJ: Your director Q and writer Naman Ramachandran are extremely happy about your performance. I am told you brought depth into the film by making your own back- story. Tell us about it?

SM: I always go very deep into any character that I am playing, and fully immerse myself in the role. This for me starts with the back-story, so you really get to know who this person you are playing is. For Ronnie, it was about coming up with ‘why’ he was such an idiot to Naman.
I figured that it was all down to his own insecurities, which stemmed from being, bullied himself at a younger age. Even though none of this is in the script, I always feel that it is important to know more about your character than is given in the story.

BJ: Do you think your acting debut has changed people’s perception of you?

SM: Probably not. People are always going to have an opinion and perception of me, regardless of what I do, and for the majority of people, it is easier to be negative than to see the positivity in someone.

BJ: You were very comfortable with comedy in Brahman Naman. What genre interests you most, as an actor?

Sid Mallya1SM: I’m really open to anything. It is funny though because my manager in LA told me, that the general perception is that if you can do comedy, you can definitely do drama. But not the other way round.

BJ: How did acting come about in your life?

SM: I always loved to perform. I think that probably comes down to being an only child, and always wanting to be the centre of attention. I did however feel like I had a responsibility to give the business a go, which I did.

BJ: Who are your inspirations in acting?

SM: I’m a big Benedict Cumberbatch fan. I really like the range he has, and the body of work that he has created thus far

BJ: What would your dream role be?

SM: I think to play something like the role Tom Cruise had in The Firm. Although I wouldn’t say no to 007 either (giggles)

BJ: Would you consider acting in Bollywood?

SM: No. Well definitely not mainstream, commercial Bollywood anyways. Having been brought up in the UK, I don’t think I would have the sensibilities for Bollywood.

BJ: Do you see yourself as an actor only, or would you want to explore the other aspects of filmmaking like direction, producing and scriptwriting?

SM: Right now, I am hundred per cent focused on acting, because I do not want to bite off more than I can chew. Let us see what happens in the future though, once I have established myself.

BJ: What are your passions in life; words of ‘wisdom’ for the readers?

SM: Just be yourself in life, and don’t worry what anyone else has to say. As they say, ‘let barking dogs bark’


About LIFF:

The London Indian Film Festival, described as Europe’s largest Asian film event, is branching out to Birmingham this year. Cinemas and venues across the city will be hosting film premieres alongside screenings of specially-selected work from a number of acclaimed directors and producers from South Asia.

The Midlands Arts Centre and Cineworld Broad Street will host screenings as part of the growing film festival. Organisers say they included Birmingham in their line-up because of the city’s cultural vibrance. The festival will run here from the 20th to the 26th July.

Highlights include the Berlin Film Festival winner “Dhanak” (meaning Rainbow), Toronto premiere documentary “Monsoon”, Bengali art-house hit “Asha Jaoar Majhe” (meaning Labour of Love) and “M Cream”.

UK premieres in Birmingham include Slumdog-like Kakkaa Mattai (The Crow’s Egg) and Khwada (Obstacle).

Screening Dates: 


15th July – BFI Southbank
18th July – Cineworld Haymarket
16th July – Cineworld Broadstreet

1 reply »

  1. It was nice to read an article about Sid M which was focussed on the passion that he is following rather than the collateral damage of his family. No sensationalism here. Well conducted interview Ms Sarkar.


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