I recently caught up with actor Sahil Vaid who is in Delhi to promote his upcoming film Badrinath Ki Dulhania, which stars Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan in the lead roles. One of the most exciting young and upcoming actors in the country, Sahil enjoys a parallel career as a successful voice artist who has dubbed for several national and international projects, including Deadpool, Beauty and the Beast, and Ant-Man.
What kind of role are you essaying in Badrinath Ki Dulhania?
I play a character named Somdev who is a childhood buddy of Varun Dhawan's character Badrinath. The two characters share a very strong bond and are like brothers.
How is Somdev different from your character Poplu in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania?
Well, Varun is a very good friend and so it's always great fun working with him. As far as my two characters are concerned, there is a great difference in terms of maturity as well as the bond that Poplu shared with Humpty and Somdev shares with Badrinath. Also, the character of Somdev is more nuanced and hence it was more challenging to essay in comparison.
How do you see the two parallel careers, that of an actor and that of a voice artist?
As far as I am concerned, the two careers complement each other really well. My work as a voice artist is my bread and butter, but my acting work is what keeps me hooked. My dubbing assignments have also allowed me to become a better actor as I get to do voice for some of the leading names in the world of cinema.
Tell us about your childhood influences and how they helped shape your decision to pursue a career in acting despite having a degree in engineering.
Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan top the list. As a Punjabi born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, I had a distinct advantage as I could access the early works of those two brilliant actors. I must have been in the 3rd standard when Rajinikanth paid a visit to our school. It was a magical moment that has stayed with me and continues to be a driving force.
What other projects are you currently associated with?
As far as acting is concerned, a movie called Bank Chor is lined up. Although, I am not in a position to disclose any details about my role in the movie at this point in time, all I can say is that it will greatly surprise one and all. It is nothing like anything I have done before. Also, I just finished the Hindi dubbing for Disney's upcoming film Beauty and the Beast.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors?
Well, the importance of practice and hard work cannot be overemphasised. At the end of the day it is about constantly honing your skills. Sooner or later, you will get your big break. The key is not to act pricey when an opportunity comes by. No role is big or small. What's important is whether it suits you or not.
A version of this article was first published in A Potpourri of Vestiges.