Actor Pankaj Kapur has been around for over 30 years, making his mark in theatre, on television and in films. Yet, his most colourful role might have just come now. He talks about his acting career, being a proud father and looking forward to Shahid’s marriage.
Matru seems flamboyant. Why haven’t we seen you do something like this before?
Anushka Sharma and Imran Khan will be seen romancing onscreen for the first time in Vishal Bhardwaj's next Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. The film is a comedy drama film written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj.
You haven’t seen me doing this kind of role because they were not offered to me. Vishal, with whom I did two films earlier, had the confidence in me. He offered me the role because he knew I’d be tempted to do it.
How do you see your contribution towards your son Shahid’s career?
I’m the proud father of a star, but I didn’t make him one. When he was going to sign his first film, he asked me to come with him, but I didn’t go. I told him that he should handle it himself.
Do you want to see him married soon?
I want to see him married. But it’s his choice. He will decide who to marry and then come to me and say ‘Here is the girl I want to marry.’ As a father, I will make the arrangements and participate. As he is established, it is his prerogative. It’s my duty to stand by him.
‘Stardom scared me’
Your directorial debut didn’t work at the box-office. Has that deterred you from trying again?
I do want to make another film. Because I wrote that one over three years and made it over another three, I thought I’d better to do a bit of acting to rejuvenate myself. Meanwhile, I’ll think about what to make in the future.
Will you help your younger children enter the industry?
Both (daughter and son) want to be actors, so hopefully, in the future, you will see them on screen. Whatever support and guidance they require from their father, they will get, the same way I supported Shahid. I’m not in favour of spoon feeding them.
Your image has never been that of a star. Do you shun stardom?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I got stardom with Karamchand (’80s TV series). And it scared me. I felt I wouldn’t be able to live a normal life, sit in a dhaba and have tea. I get petrified when I’m mobbed. I didn’t want to be stuck within the four walls of my house. If I get disconnected from life, how will I be creative? I wouldn’t have been able to do Office Office (TV show) if I were not connected to normal people. So I never worked towards stardom, rather towards excellence in work.
Television has changed a lot since it started in India. Do you see yourself fitting in?
I can’t see myself being part of what’s happening now. The face of television I see now is sad. There are some programmes that have certain values and good storylines, though.
Would you write or direct for TV now?
Why television? I’d much rather write a film. I would attempt to write a script for a film and feel more satisfied even if it never got made.
Are you busy now, picking your next project?
There are lots of scripts coming my way, so I’m just reading them and trying to decide which to pick.
What was it like working with Imran and Anushka?
I liked how committed these two kids are towards work. They are very adorable, and respect their co-actors.