Having been in Bollywood for over a decade now, lots has changed about Shahid Kapoor. He’s easy to talk to, is more communicative, and throws in witty one-liners regularly. Here, he tells us about his choice of films, regrets and evolution in the industry.
After a commercial film, you’re doing a more edgy, serious one now. With one, seemingly, being for fame and the other for critical acclaim, how do you select your projects?
I don’t really try to look at the result; and none of us really know. For example, when Kaminey (2009) released, there was a swine flu threat going around. It also got an adult certificate. Even then, it made more money than any film of mine had, till that point. Today, I think the audience is just looking for a good product. If you make a film they can’t connect with, then there’s a problem. And for me, these decisions are based on my instinct as an actor.
Do you mean the audience has evolved?
The sense I’ve got in the last five years is that the audience is saying, ‘Look, give us a good film, we don’t care what the genre is’. People appreciate it when actors take risks because they understand that the stakes are high. At some level, I feel like that too. I think originality comes from spaces which are risky; and people appreciate the fact that actors are getting into that space. You can’t be original in your comfort zone.
Also read:Sonakshi denies link-up with Shahid
But taking a risk isn’t always the wisest decision, right?
Then why be an actor? Do a desk job if you want a safe option. Go and do something in the public sector or something. We’re here because we like doing such things. That’s what keeps the adrenaline going, and that’s what keeps it unpredictable.
After over a decade in the industry, do you have any regrets?
Yes, I do regret some choices I’ve made. But I wouldn’t ever talk about them or name those films. There’s a lot I’ve learnt over the past two to three years. I don’t know whether the results will show or not. I think I’ve kind of found a more correct way of looking at films. Actors live a very isolated life, so sometimes, you may just lack perspective. It’s very important to keep yourself open to points of view, opinions and people. As much as the best of us would like to believe that we are, we’re not really in touch with reality.
Also read:I am underrated as an actor, says Shahid
What keeps you in touch with reality?
You just have to feel it. It’s very rare for someone to walk up to you, and tell you, ‘What you’re doing is s**t’. You have to read between the lines. And if you’re going to live in your own world, you’re not going to do that. You need to learn to be approachable. I think once you become a star, you need to do everything in your capacity to undo everything that being a star is about. You need to make people feel like you’re just another guy. That’s the only way you can stay in touch with reality.
Have you changed as an actor in all these years?
I’ve learnt a lot in the past two-three years. During Mausam (2011), because my father (Pankaj Kapur) was directing, I was always concerned about what’s happening behind the camera and if everything was going fine. I saw so much, which I had never seen in the seven-eight years of working. It changed my understanding of movies. And since then, I’ve become aware of those factors.
What do you make of people’s reactions to your movies?
Every actor has an audience that will love him or her no matter what he or she does, and an audience that likes his or her work on the basis of the films he or she does. There are different categories of people, and you need to break it down in your head to understand it practically. People, who have liked my work and liked me for being me, have been extremely kind and loving. It has taken me 10 years to understand that I want to offer them quality. I can never have control on how big my film will be, but the fact that I’m attempting to do something good is what I want to create and build.