You may or may not have loved Ali Abbas Zafar's recently released Sultan, starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma, but chances are this guy probably left some sort of an impression on you.
We're obviously talking about the guy on the left.
Anant Vidhaat Sharma, who played Khan's best friend Govind in the film, has been at the receiving end of near-universal acclaim from critics (including yours truly) as well as audiences for his engaging performance.
Sharma is a theatre actor hailing from Delhi, having studied in the city's Kirori Mal College. Sultan isn't his first role — he previously appeared in small roles in Pradeep Sarkar's Mardaani (2013) and Zafar's previous release Gunday (2014), both of which were commercial failures.
He was cast in Gunday by Zafar, his senior from college, who knew him and his work from their theatre days in Delhi (they were part of the same group). "He remembered me when he was casting. When the role of Salman Sir's best friend for Sultan came up, I was called for an audition," he told dna.
Working with Khan, a superstar currently at the peak of his career, was challenging. "Right at the start of shooting when I was very nervous about facing the camera with Salman. He called me aside and said, 'Agar tum achche dikhoge toh main achcha dikhunga, agar tum achche nahin dikhoge toh main bhi achcha nahin dikhunga [If you look good, then I'll look good. If you don't, neither will I].' That broke the ice. From that moment onwards, Salman Sir laid down the mood for the film.We shot as two co-stars and I was never made to feel I was working with a superstar."
Sharma credits the way the role was fleshed out for the reactions he has received for it. Despite not being from Haryana, he managed to pull off a credible regional accent by imitating and teasing his Haryanvi friends.
One only hopes this doesn't mean he's peaked too early. He said: "Now when I am offered a routine hero's friend's role I can always argue, 'I've played Salman's friend. How can I play anyone else's friend?"
Suuurrrre you can, Anant.
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