Shahid Kapoor is an hour late but his fans, 19-year old Jai Hind college student Parakram Rana and 17-year old National College student Ishita Bhojwani were expecting it. "He's been visiting colleges promoting his latest film," says Bhojwani. "That must be tiring." However, Shahid walks out of the lift with his trademark smile and no trace of fatigue. He instantly recognises Bhojwani. She is the founder of the largest Shahid Kapoor fan club on Twitter " it boasts 7,000 fans since it began in April 2012. "You're here!" he exclaims. Bhojwani blushes.
"We have tonnes of questions for you," says Rana as the duo huddles around Shahid for pictures. "Stop posing and start asking then," he laughs. Rana wants to know about his upcoming film Hamlet
directed by Vishal Bharadwaj. "It's an unapologetic, dark and real film set inKashmir," Shahid replies. "I'm very excited about it." Bhojwani's heard that he's going bald for the film. "Please don't!" she says. "But it's good to try different things, no? Like Brad Pitt
did in Fight Club. You need to challenge yourself as an actor. I'll look good," he assures her.
They ask him about his time as a dancer with Shiamak Davar. "I always miss Shiamak. I had fun in my life when I was part of his troupe. I was in college, making good money, I had really good friends. I loved it," he replies. "And then you decided to become an actor?" asks Rana. "You know, at that time I never thought I'd get the chance to be one. Sure, my father's an actor (Pankaj Kapoor), but I didn't want to ask him to call anybody for me. Nowadays, so many newcomers are launched. There were 26 of them last year. When I was doing Ishq Vishq i
n 2003, you'd see a newcomer once in five years, so we were very scared," he replies. "And even then, Ken Ghosh had initially rejected me and asked me to build a body," he says. Rana asks Shahid about his toughest role so far. The actor admits it's the one he played in Vishal Bharadwaj's Kaminey
"Although it was a double role, you remember the hero for the speech defect," he says. "I visited speech therapists and tried to understand why someone stammers. Lisping is a physical problem, but stammering could be psychosomatic. A childhood trauma, lack of confidence...you have to research, else people will kick you're a**!" he says.
"Do you think you've grown as an actor?" asks Bhojwani. "Yeah, but I don't think I can be like my father," says Shahid. "There can be only one Pankaj Kapoor. I'd say I've found my own identity, but there's a lot more I can do."
It's time for some rapid-fire questions. Rana fires away. Favourite actress? "You've got to give me options," Shahid jests. "Actually, I'll go for the Audience poll. Whoever the audience chooses, I'll second that," he laughs. Favourite dancer? "Hrithik. And I love, love, love, love, love Govinda
," he says. Directors you want to work with? "Vikramaditya Motwane, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Abhishek Choubey." How was it working with Sonakshi on Rambo Rajkuma
r? "She's a fantasticdancer," he replies. "I'd forgotten my steps, but she remembered it all." "And finally, Ileana?" asks Rana. "I connect her with waist movement," replies Shahid. "I searched her on Google and saw all the item songs she'd done in the South. There were many close-ups of her waist, and that's what I remember her for!" he laughs.
"Are you going to tear your shirt in Phata Poster Nikla Hero
?" asks Bhojwani. "I'm tearing the poster, not my shirt!" says Shahid. "I'm playing a Salman fan in the film, and he has a special appearance in the film, where I go 'Yay'! You know, like how you do," he says, teasing Bhojwani.
"Are you happy to be single?" Bhojwani asks. "Yes, I am," replies Shahid, who in turn poses this question to Rana. "Not really," the teenager answers. "Aren't your parents asking you to get married?" Shahid teases Bhojwani, who blushes a deep red. "We're the singles club," he declares, and his fans nod in agreement.