With his eclectic performance, Kiku Sharda captures the hearts of millions of people through his quirky humor. He has graced several shows with his gimmicks, including Hatim, F.I.R, and Akbar-Birbal.
Born as Raghavendra, Sharda was enrolled in an acting school, thereby developing expertise in acting. Been bought up in a business family, he had a very scarce idea about acting. Nevertheless, he made it to the limelight and has co-acted in many successful shows. His gig in the famous Kapil Sharma Show has proved to be one of the most sought-after performances.
Kiku Sharda has won awards such as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Comedy and Best Actor in a Comic Role for his artistry. Team Storiyaan, in a talk with the brilliant actor-comedian, learned about his everyday life behind the scenes.
Questions and answers
Can you start by talking about your time during quarantine and your primary focus?
I feel it is impossible to predict the course of action at this point. Right now, I am not focusing on anything in specific. I take every day as it comes. Taking precautions is a priority, along with others.
I spend a reasonable amount of time with my family. Since I am a father to two boys, I like to play games with them, binge-watch shows, and even bake a cake. Since I have a nuclear family, everyone contributes to household activities.
Out of all the characters that you have played, which one is the closest to your heart and why?
I would say, Palak and Bachcha Yadav are my favorites because they have a peculiar habit and style and represent daily-life characters. Bachcha has a UP-Bihar belt accent. Palak is a next-door character who carries a heightened level of confidence despite being overweight. It came as a change in my perspective, as I always felt that overweight people have low self-esteem. I realized that appearance didn’t determine one’s confidence.
Confidence should be inherent. Your looks don’t define you. As it played a vital role in someone’s life, I always felt Palak was a commendable character. Despite not being the prettiest girl around, the amount of confidence she had blown me off. She took great interest in reciting Shayari and would describe it to the show’s guests. I also enjoy this other character called Bachcha Yadav, a foreigner with a weird accent and from London.
How is the experience of playing Bachcha Yadav in The Kapil Sharma Show?
Bachcha Yadav has been around for a while in Colors T.V. in the form of a character named Lachcha. On The Kapil Sharma Show, he is a kindhearted milkman who believes in his humor and keeps cracking jokes frequently. A bunch of outstanding writers and crew created the content for the show. We regularly have discussed characters and lines. So far, we’ve had a great experience in creating the characters. Bachcha Yadav, Bumper Lachcha Yadav, Pankhuri, and Achcha Yadav are some of the characters I played on The Kapil Sharma Show.
How did the makers of Comedy Nights with Kapil approach you first?
The makers of Comedy Nights with Kapil approached me around 2013 for the Colors channel. Sunil Grover and Ali Asgar were part of the cast when I joined. I wasn’t the part of the show until 12 episodes later when they planned to introduce another character called Palak as a friend of Gutthi, played by Sunil Grover. Since Gutthi was a slim-fit, they wanted a thick-bodied role to go along with it. Kapil had seen me in F.I.R. and thus approached me for his show. That is how I picked my first episode with Comedy Nights with Kapil.
The audience is in love with your one-liners and punch lines as Achcha Yadav. Do you improvise while on stage?
There are times when we have to improvise a great deal to make sure the episodes go well. Once you are on stage, you cannot risk forgetting lines and stopping a play. In case your co-actor goofs up, you have to cover up by being spontaneous. For a comedy show, spontaneity is an essential factor for one-liners. Although it’s a televised show, and we are allowed to do a retake, we don’t rely on that. As an actor, you need to have a presence of mind to continue with the act. What helps is the theatre background we hold on either personal or professional levels.
Can you tell us one thing that you like the most about Kapil Sharma?
Kapil stands out like a grounded man despite all the fame and popularity he has garnered. Everything he has achieved in his life doesn’t stop him from being himself. He is very attached to his work and works towards growth passionate. You often see people change with success over time, but he has always been very motivated to work. It’s a child-like quality in him that I admire. Kapil is the happiest man I know who works excitedly. The positivity that he works with is what attracts me as an actor.
Being a senior actor-comedian, do you feel nervous before going on-stage? If yes, how do you overcome it?
That is natural and has nothing to do with seniority. I’m always slightly nervous before I get on-stage, but once I’m on, it’s rewarding. The stage is your playground. Like cricketers before a match, we get jittery too. That’s how it is for me, but it’s all healthy. Once we go on-stage, we are on fire.
Can you recall a single incident while shooting for the show F.I.R?
While shooting F.I.R., there would be many heating sessions. We’d often have copious amounts of food before us as a part of the show. Kavita Kaushik, who played Inspector Chautala, was fit but quite a gourmet too. There were times when we had a whole plate of Panipuri to ourselves.
She served Panipuri like seen in a regular stall. She is an excellent cook herself and likes to cook and feed everyone on set.
Apart from that, we love doing pranks on the actors. We had a personal factor to keep us going. We would use the character of Gopi to prank co-actors. So, yes, it was a lot of fun.
You have worked with many celebrities on-screen. Who do you enjoy working with the most, and why?
I have worked with various celebrities. Almost everyone has come to The Kapil Sharma Show for something or other. I have worked with Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, and among the newer lot, Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmaan Khurrana, Varun Dhawan, and Ranveer Singh. When you come across big names like Dharmendra, you go speechless, seeing them in front of your eyes. I never thought of meeting them while growing up as a child. The charming factors about these actors are that it’s harder to contact them. It was only in a magazine that we could see their photo and read about them. There were no other ways to bring those actors in for promotion. They were treated like gods back then.
I enjoyed working with the newer lot of actors. Ranveer Singh has an infectious energy and is always on his feet. Actors like Varun and Ayushmaan come up with creative ideas and are ready to try it out. When you work with them, it’s like you’re working with a friend and not an actor. You don’t see them as demigods.
Seniority comes with admiration and respect in the industry. Can you tell us a memorable fan moment that you remember?
We share Mumbai with many other artists and celebrities, to be honest. When you go to the mall, people come to you and ask for a picture or two. But when you go to smaller cities, you realize how big it is for them. After doing The Kapil Sharma Show, when we went out to perform a show, the crowd was sent into a frenzy.
There was this college festival in Assam, where we performed for a crowd of two Lakh people. When the audience screams your name, you’re delighted, especially when it’s a first. Apart from this, my fans keep sending me videos showing me a guy in their villages who dresses up like my character, Bachcha Yadav, and works as a News Anchor. He is called the Bachcha Yadav of his town. It’s interesting to see people mimic you in reality.
How did acting happen to you? Is there any specific college day incident that you would like to highlight?
I always enjoyed acting in school. It didn’t happen to me accidentally. I used to participate in annual days or in anything that came up. I was always on stage, performing, and doing something. I wouldn’t say that I had always wanted to become an actor because it was a challenging task for me. One has to go through various auditions and have a Godfather in the industry to even get a call from for T.V. series. I haven’t experienced these things. Moreover, nobody from my family has ever been into acting.
When I entered college and began doing plays, I noticed a theatre producer named Feroz Abbas Khan. That turned out to be my first professional work. I was weirder out initially as I never saw acting in a professional light and always used it as a medium to entertain my friends. But the situation is different when you are performing on-stage. You are aware that people came from war and wide to watch you play. It took me a little time, but I picked up a role in Star Plus’s Hatim. In this way, my first show on T.V. happened.
You have done T.V. as well as films. What, according to you, distinguishes both?
Unlike in films where you have to start a story and end it there, the story goes on, and on T.V. The T.R.P. matters a lot, which is why the soap continues on public demand. That’s the main difference apart from others. We always prioritize Theatres over watching it on Television, but it is the small screen instead that promotes the film. I enjoyed working in The Kapil Sharma Show, where big celebrities promote their movies.
I proudly claim that it helped me gain a global fan base. Many Asian countries like Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh have watched the show. It has also gained appreciation in America, Australia, and London. The audience has reached extraordinary numbers, thanks to the Digital Platforms available out there. I love Television more than I like working in big films. I am a T.V. actor first and a film actor next as I have only done limited films.
Being a comedian has never happened that someone has taken offense to a punch line and gotten you in trouble. How do you react in situations like those?
There have been such incidents as they don’t find it funny. In The Kapil Sharma Show, we try our best not to go beyond the belt. Not everyone enjoys innuendos. Kapil would sometimes joke on me not having a neck, and I took it lightly. You should be able to make a joke as friends too as we actors do. I don’t like the hypocrisy with jokes being funny when cracked among a group of friends, but not anywhere else. Therefore, I always urge people to keep themselves awake on humor as it is an integral part of life.
Be open to humor and laugh as much as possible. Don’t be so harsh on yourself.
What are your key takeaways from working in various shows and serials? Tell us one thing that you hate and love about Television.
My takeaway is that humor and laughter are great forms of living. They reduce burdens in your life and work towards your betterment. Laughter is the best medicine. I have done Comedy shows majorly, and I enjoy laughing and spreading smiles throughout my day. The blessings and which I receive from my fans and well-wishers are the ultimate source of my strength.
I feel Television is an excellent platform for people to grow in. I love watching Reality Shows be it singing or dancing, and I love to explore the talent our country holds. Previously, there was only one channel, Doordarshan, which provided employment only to a group of people. Today, there are a variety of platforms to get noticed as an actor. There is nothing that I hate about Television.
Have you ever experienced body-shaming or bullying? If yes, what word of advice would you give to the youngsters who experience similar issues?
I don’t see my struggle as much as compared to that of the ones moving from other cities to Mumbai to fulfill their dreams. For me, it was never too difficult as I had a house in Mumbai. My father is a businessman, and so I never had any monetary issues. I tried my hands on acting and had decided to join my father’s business. But luckily, it worked for me. I’m grateful I didn’t have to go through the struggle.
What is something that you would like to transform in yourself?
I am pleased with what I have. I have a happy family. I feel connected with them and share a great bonding with them. Moreover, I am also glad for the work I do. I feel blessed and would thank God for it.
What would you do if you had a chance to go back in time?
If I had to go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything at all. I don’t anticipate the future, as it is unpredictable. Every day is full of surprises. I would love to learn something new every day.
Bollywood– The dance forms
Favorite pastime– Watching films
Role model– I don’t have one
Travel destination– Europe