Sidharth Bhardwaj is one of the most popular names to have appeared on the non-fictional arena of Hindi entertainment television. He won the second season of the youth oriented show Splitsvilla winning over a lot of female audiences. He then woed his fans as a VJ for Roadies and other MTV shows. He went onto show his real side to his fans through the fifth season of ‘Bigg Boss’ and went into a lot of controversies. But he crushed all the negativity by doing Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi, a film called ‘Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi’ and now starts his new innings with a Discovery Jeet show ‘Shaadi Jasoos’ Where he plays an urban Haryanvi Jaat.
We chatted with Sidharth about his new show, journey so far and more. Here’s what he had to say:
Q. How has your journey been since the Splitsvilla days till now?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: It’s been great. Initially when I started I was doing non-fiction like Spltisvilla, Roadies and Bigg Boss. Now I’ve started a new innings with fictional shows.
Q. You’ve worked in fictional shows, non-fictional shows and films too. How has working on three of these different platforms been for you?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: Everything has it’s charm. As an actor, you’ll have to understand your limitations and play according to your strengths. And maybe enter an arena for which you receive appreciation.
Q. What do you enjoy doing most?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I enjoy doing comedy a lot. I don’t want to typical hero. I think comedy and playing a negative role is something very underrated. These kind of characters build and are strengths of a story.
Q. Tell us something about your character from the Discovery Jeet show that you’re doing.
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I’m playing a Haryanvi Jaat character. He’s very urbanized but has the typical Haryanvi touch to his accent. He’s basically like Joe from ‘Friends’. Everybody loves this character.
Q. Controversies have been a part of your life. How have you dealt with them at various stages of your life?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: Controversies keep happening. As they say, they talk about you only if your work is worth talking about. I look at it like that. I must be doing something right. I don’t think controversies affect me too much. I keep working and never stop regardless of what people have to say. If they say good I appreciate it and when they say bad, I look into it.
Q. How was doing ‘Bigg Boss’ for you? You had a unique relationship with your co-contestants back then, are you still in touch with them?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: The journey of ‘Bigg Boss‘ was very fascinating. I’m quite professional as far as my relationships are concerned. I’m done with what I’ve done on that show, it doesn’t come across as a baggage. I move on and wish all of those people best of luck.
Q. You’ve been an Actor and a VJ. What have you enjoyed doing most?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I think I enjoy acting more because there’s a style and script that the channel wants you to follow. The characters that you get have your vision and imagine the character in your own way.
Q. Along your journey you’ve made some really good friends like Raghu-Rajiv, Rannvijay Singha and others, who do you think is your true mentor?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I really don’t think I’ve had any mentors in my life. All of these people are very close friends of mine but I really think I’ve always maintained my unique style and nobody has really guided me. There have good good amd bad influencers in my life like Raghu and Rajiv, they’ve been great. Nikhil (Chinappa) has been a good influence. Rajiv is a 3 am friend. He listens to me really well (laughs).
Q. All of these non-fictional shows have the format and judges changed over the years, how much if a change do you personally feel after having been a part of them since their commencement?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: The new gen has become very social media oriented especially when it comes to Instagram. Talent is somehow becoming altered. When I was doing these shows, there was a lot of reality. Sentiments were still very genuine. Now, it’s all about the hashtags. I would rather have actual work to do rather than these followers on my social media platforms. Growing your social media is a very short term vision. It doesn’t describe who you are and how talented you are. I know people with huge number of followers who can barely act or speak, so what is hype about your followers for? They don’t have anything unique to them that should entice me to follow them. Only with talent can you survive in this industry in the long run. These followers will move onto the next talent from the next season as well. Sanjay Dutt is the biggest heartthrob of our country. He has a talent which will last for decades regardless of what negativity he has in life. He might not have as many followers as MTV people but that doesn’t take away from his acting prowess and style. The younger generation has to realize this.
Q. You were always known for your fitness but in between you’s somehow given up on it. We heard that Salman Khan motivated you back into it. How did that happen?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I had put on a lot of weight and happen to meet Salman (Khan) Bhai, he told me that if you sit with this notion in your mind that I’ll wait for a role to come my way to lose weight, then how can someone imagine you in that role if you don’t have that kind of body already? He really put in a lot of sense in my head and got back into work out. Today, because of my body, look and talent I am doing 2-3 shows back to back with God’s grace. Appearance really matters especially hen you are young in this industry.
Q. You’ve been known for your tattoos. Was it your personal style statement that you wanted to achieve?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I hadn’t gotten them done deliberately. I felt like nobody on Indian television had the courage to get it done on their neck and I did them. I believe in my tattoos, a lot of people took it very nicely and they became famous.
Q. Any film or role that you saw recently and wished you were a part of it or had done it?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I really liked Abhay Deol in ‘Dev D‘. It was a very interesting part and I would want to do something like that.
Q. Any directors with whom you’d want to work with?
Sidharth Bhardwaj: Rajkumar Hirani and Anurag Kashyup.
Q. Tell us something about your fitness and diet.
Sidharth Bhardwaj: I go for a very balanced diet. I understand my body and know what my body reacts to. The kind of workout my body reacts to. I go empty stomach or my cardio and martial arts. I just don’t stick to the gym. I’m more into sports. I want to revolve my fitness regime.