He is considered the future of Indian Cinema, the next superstar amongst other things. Ranbir Kapoor
has always proved his brilliance with performances like Barfi, Rockstar
, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
. India Forums gets in a candid chat with the superstar of tomorrow. Tete-e-tete with Ranbir Kapoor
Nothing at all. Commercially I have never expected anything. When we were making Barfi, we thought that it would do good 20 crores and would get critical acclaim. I think what audience finds good in a film on the big screen, actors and film makers can never know. Like with Besharam, we are thinking that its a masala film, action-comedy-romance, it has everything but I think at the heart of it, it has a story. With the love story, the drama, the action, the comedy you have to entertain the audience and be honest to yourself. I think that is what's important and of course the success of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
has so many factors. Deepika and my pairing, the songs of the film, the genre, the timing of the release. When all of it comes together you get a super hit like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
. I have been very lucky with the kind of film makers and actors I have got to work with.
This is the first time you're attempting this over the top genre. How easy or difficult was it?
I've tried it. I think it is a very tough genre. The amount of belief and conviction that you have to have to do this genre is immense. When you do films like Rockstar
, Barfi, Wake Up Sid, there is a certain understanding when you work for a certain character. But when you play a larger than life character, he is a bit vulgar, repulsive. Its very hard. As an actor its very important that I challenge myself. I don't know, the audience might just hate me or hate the film but I think the risk factor is very important. When Abhinav came to me he had a small story prepared, then Rockstar
released and he sent me a message praising my performance in the film. What appealed me in Besharam was the fact that it is not at all preachy. The subtext of the film is, there is no right way to do a wrong thing which I liked. I liked Abhinav a lot. For me its very important to like and be comfortable with the director because after all he is the captain of the ship. He is directing the film, he is telling the story, he will take me to a different world that he has envisioned. I don't think he wrote the film keeping me in mind. He cast me as an actor and its my job as an actor to do justice to it.
Your character in the film Besharam is a fan of Amitabh Bachchan. What was that one thing that you specifically did to get in the skin of the character?
Grow my chest hair ( Laughs). It took me 4 months to grow my chest hair. It was my idea only to make this character a Amitabh Bachchan
fan when Abhinav was writing the character. He has posters of him in his room, he copies Amitabh Bachchan
in his clothes, his hairstyle. When Abhinav came to me after I had signed the film, he said that the only preparation that I want you to do is to grow your chest hair because this character is a little vulgar, little repulsive. So it took a long time for me to grow it and I am very proud of it. I would not want to shave it off ever now.
Howwas working with your father, the legend Mr Rishi Kapoor?
I was extremely scared. Till now I have never looked in my father's eyes. I am very scared of him. But I think on a film set, he becomes the character. There is a part of him that at this age, after working for 40 years is still so excited about film making and acting. It is the learning that is important. With everything he puts in so much effort to make it look effortless. I think that is a great quality. He made me feel comfortable, never intimidated me. I had to say things like, Mote, Dharti pe Bhoj to him. I was like, he's my father, I've never even looked in his eyes, how will I say such things to him. But he gave me the courage to do it, he was very happy with the script, the character. So it all went well.
You've worked with Anurag Kashyap as well as Abhinav Kashyap. How different are they from each other?
Very different. One makes sunshine, happy entertaining films and one makes dark films. But as an actor I think its very important that I find a place and best support from both worlds. I had a great time working with both of them. Both of them are very honest to their work, are very hard working and they give a lot to an actor.
You're dancing on songs like Badtameez dil, doing films like Besharam, getting a tattoo that says Awaara and on the contrary you're a very shy person. So how do you balance the whole act?
I am a very shy person in life. I have to do these things, project a certain character and bring them alive on screen. I am happy doing it for the camera but if people really hang out with me in my life they'll get to know how shy i am. I like being at home, I am not a people's person, I get very shy around them, I stammer sometimes. But I guess you have to do all those things. You have to have conviction and belief as an actor to pull off these over the top things.
Recently, Salman Khan was all praises for you and said out and out that Ranbir Kapoor is giving all of us a tough fight...
This is the bigness of Mr. Salman Khan
. He is not an insecure actor. He is encouraging new young talent. What he is said is such a nice and a correct thing. You hear rumours about people not liking each other but if you compete with each other in your work then nothing like it. Coming from Mr. Salman Khan
, that is a very big compliment. Only 10 of my films have been released yet and I cant even consider myself in the same league as him. I think the true superstars of this country are Amitabh Bachchan
, Salman Khan
, Shah Rukh Khan
, Aamir Khan
, Akshay Kumar
, Hrithik Roshan
. They have constantly been entertaining the audience, giving big blockbusters. So if they talk about me, it gives me a very proud feeling but then I go back to myself. I get a reality check that I have a long way to go.
You're getting into production with Anurag Basu with the film, Jagga Jasoos. Why did you plan on a new production house, Picture Shuru rather than taking RK Films forward?
First of all Anurag Basu and I are coming together and I believe that it should be equal right because I believe it is as much a director's film as an actor's film. I am very excited. Jagga Jasoos. Its a new venture, a musical, children would like it. I thought that both of us should produce it where we both have equal right. Where RK Films is concerned there are 4 partners, my father, both my uncles and my dadi. When we have a good director, then we'll produce a film in that manner. But I think its very important for Anurag Basu to get his fair share, so I am starting that film in November and I am very excited. We're making a franchise, so probably we'll introduce the villain at the end of the film. It a big franchise, Sherlock Homes meets Austin Powers.
What all do you have lined up for us?
Bombay Velvet will come after this and the character that I am playing is very intense. He is a boxer. After that there is an Imtiaz Ali film and then a superhero film with Ayan Mukherjee which I will start end of next year. So I am trying to do different characters like in Besharam he is vulgar, loud. So I am trying, I am even trying to build my body for the last 6 years but doesn't happen maybe then I can do action ( Smiles). But then I also believe that intensity in action also comes from the eyes.
A super hero flick with Ayan...?
It is going to be a very different film which Ayan is developing. It is going to be a trilogy. It is going to be a fantasy film. He has just started writing the film. Ayan and I share a great working relationship as well as a personal relationship. He is going to go abroad and maybe do a post production course also. Hopefully we'll try and make something path breaking.
Have you ever identified with the characters you've portrayed on screen?
In the 10 films that I have done, I can somewhere only identify myself with Wake Up Sid and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
. Its the character that probably I have seen or maybe have been at some point in time. Otherwise all my other characters have been derived from the story and the director.
Your film Roy is slated for release next year, tell us something about that...
Its directed by a very close friend of mine, Vicky and I am playing a supporting character. The lead characters are played by Arjun Rampal
and Jacqueline Fernandez. Vicky came to me and told me about it and as a friend, as an actor I appreciated the character but its not my film, I am just playing a supporting role.
There is so much said about your personal life everyday. Would you want to clarify anything?
There is so much being said about my personal life that I really don't want my life to become a reality show. Yes, Katrina is a very special part of my life but I think beyond that what I have learnt from my own life and experience is that when you're so open about your relationship and god forbid if it doesn't come to a marriage, I think there is so much judgement in this country about the woman in the relationship. I think one should protect that. When I am ready to marry someone I would not hide it from the world. When I was in a relationship earlier in my career and spoke about it so openly, a lot of spotlight went from my work to my relationship and it took away from my work. It is a catch 22 situation. As an actor you work hard your entire life for people to know you and speak about you and when they start doing that you want to shy away from them. I will try and protect the mystery of what I have in my personal life.
In today's time where the world is a walking ab- machine, how important do you think fitness is for an actor?
I play a street fighter in Bombay Velvet so I got a MMA trainer from Kenya an started building my body but now I have a 5 months break and in Jagga Jasoos I am playing a 12th standard boy in school so I have to become a little thin, shave and look like a 16 year old boy. So I am trying to go through a body transformation right now. Fitness is ofcourse important as its a visual medium. Its important to look presentable but I keep telling my trainer that Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan
, Shah Rukh Khan
never had a body and they are such big stars. So thats my excuse ( Smiles). But, in today's time and age it comes with a role. If you're playing a Ghajini
and I am hadi paslee like this and I hit someone, you're not going to believe that. So I'll probably make a body for such a role. But right now the kind of roles that I am playing I am okay and I am happy. I keep picking roles where I don't have to build a body.