Sidharth Malhotra (born 16 January 1985) is an Indian actor who appears in Hindi films. Malhotra began a career as a model at the age of 18. Dissatisfied by the profession, he went on to work as an assistant director to Karan Johar in the 2010 film My Name Is Khan. He made his acting debut with a leading role in Johar's teen drama Student of the Year (2012), for which he received a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut nomination.
Malhotra played an aspiring businessman in the comedy-drama Hasee Toh Phasee (2014), a hardened criminal in the romantic thriller Ek Villain (2014), and an aspiring author in the family drama Kapoor & Sons (2016). The latter two rank among Malhotra's highest-grossing films. He followed this initial success by starring in a series of films that did not perform well at the box office.
Early life, film debut and breakthrough (1985–2015)
Malhotra was born in Delhi, India into a Punjabi Hindu family, to Sunil, a former captain in the Merchant Navy, and Rimma Malhotra, a homemaker. He was schooled at Delhi's Don Bosco School and Birla Vidya Niketan and graduated from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi. At the age of 18, Malhotra began modelling. Although he was successful, he decided to quit after four years because he was dissatisfied with the profession.
Interested to pursue an acting career, he successfully auditioned for a film to be directed by Anubhav Sinha. However, the film was shelved, following which he worked as an assistant director to Karan Johar on the 2010 film My Name Is Khan. In 2012, Malhotra made his acting debut with Johar's Student of the Year alongside Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. He was cast as Abhimanyu Singh, a scholarship student of limited financial means, who competes with his wealthy best friend Rohan (played by Dhawan) to win an annual school championship. Film critic Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN considered Malhotra's performance to be "earnest", adding that he had "a pleasing presence." Student of the Year was a financial success, grossing ₹700 million (US$10 million) domestically.
Malhotra was next paired opposite Parineeti Chopra and Adah Sharma for the romantic comedy Hasee Toh Phasee (2014), which tells the love story of scientist and an under-confident aspiring businessman. Mohar Basu of Koimoi found his performance to be "restrained" and described his chemistry with Chopra as "lively" and "heartfelt"; Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV praised his screen presence and compared it to the early work of Amitabh Bachchan. The film performed moderately well at the box office, with global revenues of ₹620 million (US$9.0 million).
Malhotra's second release of 2014 was the Mohit Suri-directed romantic thriller Ek Villain. Malhotra was cast as Guru, a hardened criminal whose terminally-ill wife (played by Shraddha Kapoor) is murdered by a serial killer (played by Riteish Deshmukh). Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express reviewed: "Sidharth Malhotra is watchable even if he has a hard time doing menace — he just seems so nice and wholesome all the time, even when he is crunching bones." The film was generally perceived to be plagiarised from the Korean film I Saw the Devil, although Suri dismissed the allegations. The film eventually emerged as a major commercial success with domestic revenues of over ₹1 billion (US$14 million). The box office performance of the film established Malhotra as one of the most successful among the new generation of Bollywood actors.
In 2015, Malhotra appeared in the remake of the 2011 American film Warrior titled Brothers directed by Karan Malhotra and co-starring Akshay Kumar, Jacqueline Fernandez and Jackie Shroff. Despite high expectations from trade analysts, the film received negative reviews and under-performed at the box office.
Kapoor & Sons and subsequent commercial struggles (2017–present)
Kapoor & Sons and subsequent commercial struggles (2017–present)
Malhotra's next release, the Shakun Batra-directed family drama Kapoor & Sons, proved to be a critical and commercial success. Featuring an ensemble cast including Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Fawad Khan, and Alia Bhatt, the film tells the story of two brothers of contrasting personalities (Malhotra and Khan) who return home to their dysfunctional family after their grandfather suffers from a cardiac arrest. A reviewer for India Today thought that Malhotra was overshadowed by Khan in the film, though Namrata Joshi of The Hindu wrote that "he holds his own with his solid presence and vulnerable glances".
In 2016, Malhotra starred as a mathematician who travels in time, thereby learning the value of family life, in the romantic comedy Baar Baar Dekho, co-starring Katrina Kaif. The film was produced by Karan Johar under the banner of Dharma Productions and Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani under the banner of Excel Entertainment. Directed by Nitya Mehra, the film opened to mixed to negative reviews from the critics. Released on 9 September 2016, the film was declared a flop by the Box Office India.
He next starred in A Gentleman (2017) with Jacqueline Fernandez from the director duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.. Produced by Fox Star Studios, the film was released on 25 August 2017 worldwide. The film was both a critical and commercial failure and was declared a "disaster" by the Box Office India. Both of the movies failed to outshine the box office with the domestic collections of INR 420 Million and INR 220 Million respectively.
Malhotra's final release of the year was Karan Johar's mystery 2017 remake of the 1969 mystery film Ittefaq, opposite Sonakshi Sinha. Produced by Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan under the banners of Red Chillies Entertainment, the movie got a huge critical acclaim but failed to show any remarkable performance on the Box Office with a lifetime collection of INR 500 Million. Directed by Abhay Chopra and distributed by BR Studios, the film also starred Akshay Khanna. Released on 3 November 2017, the film got "100% fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews.
Malhotra next featured in Neeraj Pandey's Aiyaary along with Manoj Bajpayee and Rakul Preet Singh. Produced by Shital Bhatia under the banners of Friday Filmworks, the film opened on a low note of ₹ 30 Million and collected ₹ 183.1 Million as far. Released on 16 February 2018, the film got negative reviews. Shrishti Negi of News 18 gave the film a rating of 1.5 stars out of 5 and said that, "Unlike Pandey’s other films, there is a sense of flatness in Aiyaary. Apart from a few scenes, the movie seems to be randomly constructed and fails to evoke any thrill." Bollywood Hungama gave the film a rating of 2 stars out of 5 and said that, "On the whole, AIYAARY misses the mark and is a huge letdown on the account of its flawed script and the lengthy run time. At the box office, it will be a disappointing fare."
Malhotra will next star in the romantic-comedy Jabariya Jodi which marks his second collaboration with Parineeti Chopra. He will then star in Marjaavaan co-starring Tara Sutaria, Rakul Preet Singh and Riteish Deshmukh. Both the films are slated to release this year. Malhotra has also committed to feature in a biopic on Kargil martyr Vikram Batra which will see him playing the double role of Vikram and his twin brother Vishal.
Apart from acting in films, Malhotra is an endorser of several brands and products, such as Coca-Cola, Corneto, and American Swan, Brylcreem, Fair & Handsome, Metro Shoes India etc.. He also does charity work. In 2013, Malhotra performed at an event alongside Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor and Huma Qureshi to raise funds for the flood-affected victims of Uttarakhand. He collaborated with PETA for a campaign to create awareness about dogs. In August 2016, he performed in various cities of the USA as a part of the "Dream Team 2016" tour, also featuring fellow actors Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Katrina Kaif, Parineeti Chopra, and Aditya Roy Kapur, as well as filmmaker Karan Johar and rapper Badshah.