Popular actor Saiyami Kher who made her Bollywood debut with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Mirzya is on cloud 9 as she is garnering praise for her film Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai, which is directed by Anurag Kashyap. The actress took a gap of a year after each film as she was typecast as a glamorous looking actress right after her debut film. When Anurag offered her a simple middle-class Maharashtrian role in his Netflix film, the actor jumped in joy and took the role.

Coming from a family lineage of actors Saiyami Kher's journey is not as rosy as it has been for other star kids. The hard-working girl made her way into Bollywood and web and earned each and every series and film.

saiyami kher

In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Saiyami Kher spoke at length about being a part of Anurag Kashyap's film Choked, on being coined as a glamorous actress, her struggles and more.

Excerpts from the interview:

Saiyami Kher

 On being part of Anurag Kashyap's directorial 'Choked'

Anurag sir offered the film to me in 2017 when we met at the Mumbai Film Festival. The offer came at a time when Mirzya had released and post the first film, I was offered all the roles that were very glamourous ,which I didn't want to take up. When Anurag sir offered the film 'Choked' to me, I was blown away with the script and simple storytelling that I readily said a 'yes'.

 Working with the numero uno director!

There is a certain way Anurag Kashyap directs, he is a very intense filmmaker. He always told me to be as real and raw as possible. Never did I plan before coming on the set. Anurag sir always said, 'You come on set, be in the moment and let your instincts take over. Don't over-prepare. Don't give yourself too much importance.' Being a part of Anurag sir's project is a blessing for me. He has directed Radhika Apte, Nawazuddin and many more, and being part of his film knowing the fact that the actors he works with is something I shall cherish all my life.


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I had a very very long and most rewarding association with Rajeev Ravi .. we started with Gulaal & last we did was Mukkabaaz..there was this unspoken trust and communication and dependability .. we didn’t talk much but we had a rhythm .. he made me look good. He had this overwhelming need to tell a lot of stories ,make his own films & has been doing that. Post him was a void and I worked with lots of very good cinematographers, who made my film look great but then I met @sylvesterfonseca .Thanks to @smrutikapanigrahi . She was the one who told me to meet him. First time we collaborated was #Luststories . I didn’t have a script. I told him we will take it as we go along. I don’t go for recce,find it a waste of time & my energy,I also don’t get involved in much prep , I trust my team ,my production designer and I put things in script. That’s not the way most people work but I do , and it works for me. It allows my collaborators to bring in the extra. For lust stories I remember that I came to see the location once only because it was a first for Silver and then we had a chat, I said you figure. And we started shoot, no script, we started improvising with @radhikaofficial , it went so smooth, without a hiccup.. we also didn’t talk much. We went from lust stories to the remaining schedule of Sacred Games season 1, then Manmarziyaan, SG2, Choked, Ghost stories, and another unnamed film.. we just haven’t stopped. Feels like I have again found that unspoken trust, dependability. An equal collaborator . He takes the calls that I find tiresome , he makes it look good . I don’t feel the void anymore . We both sit and talk sometimes about Rajeev but then we rarely talk except when we are having our single malts. Another friend for life . And partner in crime . Thank you @sylvesterfonseca . Also his team 7.8.9. Pradeep Pashte Rajesh Paliwal, Beenu Thomas . The lights men. Pradeep took time to adapt to how we work . In the moment . But now we have a rhythm and together we all dance very well. Our set is like a carnival , like an annual Ball,these are the people that make it possible. P.S. there are more to come . It’s just that lazy @khamkhaphotoartist has to dig more.

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 On her memories of demonetization days

So, when the demonetization happened, it was my driver and maid who had to stand in long queues and they suffered a lot. When I would pass by banks, I would often see a lot of chaos and commotion around it. And when my grandmother passed away during the demonetization time, I went to a government bank for some work saw how employees work there, that was my conversational learning. 

On taking a break post her first film Mirzya

In Mirzya I played a double role, and one of the roles was a glamorous role. Afterwhich, people started to typecast me in those kind of role and it never excited me, that is the reason I did not take them up.

 On her struggle

My parents had moved to Nashik long ago, and I wanted to be an actor. Although my aunt (actor Tanvi Azmi) is into films, I had my struggle and a lot of it. I would audition to get roles. It's not that the roles fell on my lap. After the first film Mirzya, I was offered glam roles, which I didn't want. In the end, I would like to say that being an actor is not easy at all.

On the work front, Saiyami Kher has two projects in the pipeline - one being Amazon Prime Video's Breathe season 2 along with Abhishek Bachchan, and a Telugu film with Nagarjuna (with 20 days of shoot pending).