Sikandar Kher, who made his film debut with ‘Woodstock Villa’ in 2008, has been in showbiz for years. But he stood out with his character of Daulat, the trusted aide of Aarya and his family, in Sushmita Sen-led web series ‘Aarya’. Helmed by Ram Madhvani, the show is back with its third season, and it has been well received by the audience.
This season too, Sikander has reprised his role of Aarya’s silent protector. Now in an exclusive chat with Outlook, the actor, who has also starred in projects like ‘Monica O My Darling’, ‘Tooth Pari: When Love Bites’, ‘TVF Pitchers’ and others, got candid about his character, working with the ‘Aarya team’ and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
What was the brief given to you for the third season of the show since the character had been in place for the past two seasons?
Since Daulat killed Tej, everything had been a mess for Aarya. She was always on eggshells, but there was only one person that she could rely on, and that’s Daulat. When I made a backstory for myself, I saved Zorawar somewhere.. When he was old, I was young, he looked after my mother because I did not have a father. That’s where my loyalty comes from and killing Tej was the last stroke. In the backstory, Daulat also met Aarya when they were kids, so he started loving her very early and that’s unsaid. But of course, there is a difference in strata but love can just be given. That’s Daulat. So, he is interesting to see. Also, the tension from the second season is still there, so she doesn’t want him to be around. In this season, he gets out of jail, and she tells him that she does not need him. So he just bounces off.
What has changed in Daulat and Sikander both, both internally and externally?
I don’t have a process but I am instinctive with energy. So I can understand what people feel. So I can understand what Aarya feels about me. So her dislike for me is right there. Earlier, she used to call her Aarya and now he calls her Hukum. That instinct of his is there. I never really found a process so far.
There are newer villains on the show. Daulat seems to be the guiding force despite that. Any changes you thought would have aided Daulat’s character more?
The writers write it really well. The show is our God. I can go to the writers room and give suggestions, but that’s their job. It is not mine. Also, I don’t think I am in a position to say that. Also, Daulat is loved and some people say that they miss. That's the greatest compliment right. What more could I want? They are family to me, Ram Madhvani is family so are the writers. Whatever they do, is for the show. My only control is to only think what I can do after ‘Aarya’ maybe completes its 94th season.
How has the camaraderie on the sets evolved over the past three seasons?
It is the greatest place to work on the earth to work for a crew member on Aarya sets. There is no greater place, with all due respect. There are amazing production houses, who look after people like family. But Ram Madhvani, Shetty anna and it all boils down from them to the entire crew, which is full of lovely people. When we shoot for ‘Aarya’, it is like a holiday for me. Everyone is treated equally on the sets. They even kept in time and out time for the scene, and they stuck to it.
As an actor, what did you think worked for you with ‘Aarya’?
Abhimanyu Ray was the casting director, he called me and went up to him. He wanted to test me and he had this conviction that I could play Daulat. But why people loved me in ‘Aarya’, I have no idea. It’s luck, it is kismat. God just gave it to me, to the guy who had nothing to say. Yes, I wanted to work, and I would give my left arm to work with Ram Madhvani. How else could you say that? I remember calling someone about the time I was getting the part, and that person told me, Sikander, you are on a platform, just climb on the train, even if it’s not the first class but it would get you somewhere. So you, years and years later, I do not have excitement because lucklily, after so many years, things have worked for me and people have this condition that yes, this guy could do his work properly.