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Anupam Kher Reflects On His Four-Decade-Long Acting Career; Revisiting The Actor's Finest Performances In Hindi Cinema

The veteran actor recently launched the trailer of his upcoming Hindi film, 'Kuch Khattaa Ho Jaay'.

"I have built my castle with stones that people threw at me.” - Anupam Kher.

It was 1981. A young boy named Anupam Kher arrived in Mumbai to become an actor, with Rs 37 in his pockets and dreams in his eyes, unaware of all the struggles and hardships along the way. Well, little did the boy imagine the remarkable journey he would be leading soon. Fast forward to today, he is one of India's most accomplished actors, with more than five hundred films and countless accolades to his name.

I wouldn't label this journey a 'miracle' as it would fail to acknowledge the sheer hard work and dedication that Kher has invested in his career over the last four decades. Just recently, he launched the trailer of his upcoming Hindi film, which also marks the 540th project in his filmography, 'Kuch Khattaa Ho Jaay'. Reflecting on his 40-years-long career, he said, "Until you don’t taste sourness in life, you don’t understand true happiness. It wouldn’t be a journey if the roads were without any hurdles. There is a saying, ‘I built my castle with the stones thrown at me’… So yes, there should be difficulties in life, there should be ups and downs. Only then you can live a life and enjoy it. It wouldn’t be as much fun if the road ahead of me was simple and smooth.”

“I welcome problems, I am a sum total of my failures and my bad experiences but I don’t remember them. There is so much to look forward to in life. I am very fortunate, in 1981 I came with Rs 37 (in my pocket) to this city and today I am talking about my 540th film, what more can I ask for from god? So I am very happy,” he added.

We congratulate the veteran actor... but in our own style. In this article, let's revisit some of his finest performances that prove how versatile he is!

B.V. Pradhan in 'Saaransh' (1984)

'Saaransh' marked Anupam Kher's debut on the big screen, and he portrayed a 65-year-old man at the age of 28. He appeared as a retired old man who is grappling with the sudden loss of his son. He was paired with Rohini Hattangari, and the duo's equation became a highlight of the film.

Kher delivered a nuanced performance in "Saaransh'. He brought the character's emotional depth out with remarkable sensitivity, effectively conveying his inner turmoil and complexities. This performance earned him his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

Dr. Michael Dang in 'Karma' (1986)

In Subhas Ghai's 1986 action film 'Karma', Anupam Kher appeared alongside heavyweights like Dilip Kumar, Naseeruddin Shah, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, and Sridevi among others, yet, shone brightly on the screen with his stellar performance. He played the role of Dr. Dang, the antagonist, and showcased his ability to perfectly pull off negative characters.

Kher embodied the ruthlessness as well as the chilling calmness of the character with the utmost conviction, making him one of Hindi cinema's most iconic villains. And he infused the character with shades, setting him apart from the stereotypical villains of Bollywood at the time.

Pushkar Nath Pandit in 'The Kashmir Files' (2022)

Whether you loved 'The Kashmir Files' or hated it, you cannot ignore the fact that Anupam Kher's performance in the film is a masterclass of acting. In the film, the actor appeared as a Kashmiri Pandit (of the late 1980s and early 1990s) and literally set the screens on fire with his performance. He conveyed everything about the character - from emotional depth to vulnerability to compassion and more - and through his performance, he captured the pain of losing one's home.

"My role in 'The Kashmir Files' was soulful as I did not have to depend on acting. I did not have to fake my emotions. I try to bring out the truth in my emotions as some roles do not require honesty of that level because it requires craft,” shared Kher during an interaction.

Be it the dialect, the body language, or the mannerisms, Kher brought enormous authenticity to his performance. And it's so subtle that you forget it's just acting and not reality. It truly stands as an example of his depth as an actor.

Besides the above-mentioned films, the list also includes 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', 'Daddy', 'Darr', 'Hum Appke Hain Koun..!', and 'A Wednesday'.