Actor Anil Kapoor can pride himself on a lot of things — he is one among the few Indian actors to have worked with as much flair in Bollywood as in Hollywood, he’s credited for looking forever young, and he has survived the ruthless film industry for over three decades. But, most of all, he’s a very proud father, especially when it comes to his daughter, actor Sonam Kapoor.
“Sonam has really made me proud. She has achieved so much in such a short time,” he says, referring to her recent hits, Raanjhana and Bhaag Milka Bhaag. Kapoor, who was in HT City as a guest to meet the 10 lucky winners of HT City’s Stars in the City contest, and to speak about his upcoming TV show 24, was at his candid best as he chatted up his fans.
Asked if like all other dads, he too has thoughts on what he would want Sonam’s husband to be like, he says, “You should ask her mother. She has some set criteria about how she wants her son-in-law to be. As far as I am concerned, she is free to marry anyone — a Chinese, a Japanese, a poor guy — as long as she’s happy. That’s all that really matters to me.” A doting dad, Anil says all he wants is to see Sonam smiling always. “By God’s grace, I am in that financial position where I can support them for life, so I am not bothered even if she marries a regular guy.”
His son Harshvardhan Kapoor, 21, is set to make his debut in Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra’s romantic tragedy, Sahiba-Mirza. Ask him if he feels equally proud about his son’s work, and the strict dad in him surfaces. “He’s just signed one film. He has to work very, very hard to make me proud!”
The two-and-a-half-hour wait for actor Anil Kapoor at HT House on Tuesday was completely worth it, as the star engaged in a lively interaction with the audience. The 53-year-old actor had come to meet the lucky winners of the HT City Stars in the City contest, as well as to promote his upcoming television debut series, 24.
Anil not only answered some of the questions put forward by his fans, but was also sporting enough to repeat his oft quoted dialogue ‘Jhakas’ once more, in his typical filmy style. On a request by a fan, the Mr India star even danced to the tunes of, Ae ji, O ji, his hit song from Ram Lakhan, along with the entire audience.
Talking about 24, which is based on the American TV series of the same name, Anil said, “When I went to Los Angeles (US), I was awestruck with the set-up. I wanted to bring the same thing here. I spoke to the show’s producers and that’s how I got a go ahead from the team,” he said. But he adds that his character in the show, which will be aired on Colors in October, will be bit different from his American counterpart played by actor Keifer Sutherland. “It is not exactly a copy of that character, but their boundaries are similar. They both are flawed characters,” said Anil.
When asked how difficult it was to get a veteran actor like Shabana Azmi on board 24, Anil said, “Shabana is a good friend. She agreed immediately to the show.”