In a span of about eight years in Bollywood, Ranbir Kapoor has evolved as one of the most sought-after actors in the industry. He has carved a niche for himself with the versatile roles he has essayed. But despite being popular and having a huge fan base, the actor — unlike most of his contemporaries — hasn’t hired a PR agency to manage his public image.
Ranbir talks about being a recluse, watching the works of other Bollywood actors, and more.
Despite your stardom, you are a recluse. Why?
Maybe I am, and Imtiaz (Ali, director) says that too. He says "beware", because it’s not a good thing to be a recluse, especially for an actor. I guess that’s always been my personality; I’ve always been an introvert. But somewhere, I find a channel through my work to express myself. I can’t express myself through an interview, or through Twitter, or any social network platform. I can’t keep talking about what I’m doing.
But wouldn’t you want to change that?
I’m not doing this intentionally; I don’t want to be a recluse, it’s in my personality. Also, as an actor, you should maintain certain amount of mystery around you. Too much exposure about your life can be detrimental because the audience can get bored of you.
When almost everyone around you has a publicist to take care of their image, why don’t you have one?
I did have a publicist initially, but then I realised that it’s a dirty game. Even though you don’t put anything about yourself, your PR people fight with others in the field. They plant things and then you take the blame for it. You’re the name behind it. But I think a good PR for me would be to keep me away from the news. I think to just come back with a movie, start talking about it, would be good PR. But, I have no negativity towards it; I don’t think I’m saving the world. I’m not a doctor or the president of this country. I’m an actor and people want to know about my life, like how I probably want to know what Leonardo DiCaprio is doing, or what Jennifer Lawrence is up to when she’s not doing a film.
Do you keep a tab on the work of your contemporaries?
I have a lot of interest in what’s happening in the film industry. I always want to know what films are happening and what work my contemporaries are doing. This is because I have a competitive streak in me, and it’s not in a negative way. That streak inspires me and pushes me to do better in my films. And when I see a good performance by any of my contemporaries, or my seniors, I feel jealous. I feel jealous in a way that I think, "Why am I not a part of this film?" I’m not a recluse in a way that I shut off from the world and sit at home. I’m aware of what’s happening around me.