In the past 13 years, he has acted in a variety of films, and has created a niche for himself in Bollywood. Still, Shahid Kapoor says, regardless of the length of his role, he won’t hesitate to sign a film as long as it is “different”.
“For instance, the length of my role in Udta Punjab wasn’t as long as in Haider (2014),” he says, adding that he still took up the movie because it gave him an opportunity to play a “great character”.
“I feel proud as playing Tommy Singh was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My instincts, as an actor, are driving my choices. I jump at anything that allows me to do something different. I am not thinking about too many other things,” says Shahid.
He says he wouldn’t mind taking up even a “stupid” part if he loves it, and if it challenges him. Having said that, the 35-year-old admits that besides the good choices he has made, there were a few that “were bad”. “Certain other choices, which could have been great, didn’t turn out that way,” he adds.
“It is a learning (process) and a part of my life. It is the result of a larger design, which one can’t understand, so I don’t want to analyse it too much. Sometimes, when we look back too often, saamne se jo aa raha hai woh dikhta nahi hai (You are unable to see what’s in front of you). So, I just like to focus and look forward,” says Shahid.
He reveals that even though he is veteran actor Pankaj Kapur’s son, life wasn’t a cakewalk for him. “Everyone thinks that he is Pankaj Kapur’s son, so isko toh break mil gaya hoga (He must have got a break). But I have been rejected from 100 auditions. Sometimes, I didn’t have money to eat food or to even go to the auditions. I have lived that life, and I don’t like talking about it. But that is my reality,” he says.
The industry kid
Shahid also admits that when his first film, Ishq Vishk (2003), did well, he felt “meri lottery lag gayi hai (I have won a lottery).”
“I felt that an opportunity has come from nowhere, and God has given me something I never thought I’ll be able to achieve,” says Shahid, adding that he sometimes felt like an insider in the industry, and at times, like an outsider.
“My parents were actors, but they were not stars. So, they didn’t have any pull. Mujhe samajh mein nahi aata tha ki kisse milun, kya bolun ya kya karun (I couldn’t understand who to meet, what to say and what to do). Now when I look back, I feel like God has blessed me with this career, and I cannot let this opportunity go to waste. I don’t want to feel satisfied easily (laughs). It has been a 13-year-long wait to reach here. So, it will maybe take 13 years for me to feel relaxed,” he says.