Not many know that Anil Kapoor is a trained semi-classical singer. “If I start doing riyaaz again, I will be able to sing. But, at the moment, I am very nervous. I’m scared,” says the Bollywood actor-producer, who is currently busy with the second season of his popular TV show. Here, he shares his take on method acting, and tells us why he doesn’t sing for films anymore.
You have recorded songs for a few Hindi films in the past, including Pyar Kiya Nahi Jaata from Woh 7 Din (1983) and I Love You’ from Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai (2000). Why don’t you sing anymore?
I learnt semi-classical singing from music director Chote Iqbal, and then I stopped doing riyaaz because I got so involved in acting. I got a lot of playback offers, but I felt that I was not good enough because I had stopped practising. Also, I learnt singing not because I wanted to become a singer, but because it helped me with the lip-syncing for my films. So, in my movies, I am actually singing [those songs], because I don’t like to do things mechanically.
Did a lot of Bollywood actors opt for method acting like this, when you first started out?
It (method acting) was there, but it was not covered by the media. Today, it has become a marketing tool. Whether you gain or lose weight, learn a skill, cut your hair, or change your look — the media is very interested. I remember when I changed my physical appearance for a few films in the past, like Lamhe (1991), 1942: A Love Story (1994) or Virasat (1997), it was very difficult to get the media to talk about it. We thought that we would use it as a marketing tool, but no one was interested. At that time, if you were doing something unique and classic, it was very difficult to make your presence felt. No one took it seriously. Many other actors, like Dilip Kumar, Kamal Haasan, Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi, have also done method acting. But I am glad that there is awareness now, and that people appreciate the kinds of efforts actors put in.
Listen to Pyar Kiya Nai Jaata here
You are a film and TV actor, and also a successful producer. Is there any field that you are yet to explore?
Rhea (Kapoor; daughter) handles the content for our production house, and she is planning something big for me on the digital platform — something like what Kevin Spacey has done with House Of Cards. So, I want to do something exciting for the web, but it has to be special. Also, I want to work in theatre. I have wanted to do that for many years. But I will venture into it only when I have completely stopped doing everything else.
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