He was last seen in the film, Kaun Kitne Paani Mein. But Kunal Kapoor, is still best remembered for his role in Rang De Basanti (2006). Now, he has turned his attention to theatre with director Danish Husain’s Ek Punjab Yeh Bhi. Here, the 38-year-old, who is writing scripts, talks about returning to theatre, and more.
What prompted you to return to theatre?
I have known Danish for a while now, and I was keen on doing theatre ever since I watched his play, Chinese Coffee. So, he asked me to read a few stories, and I was completely blown away. The language was very different — Punjabi and Urdu. The stories were very dark, but laced with humour. The production is a musical dramatic presentation of four contemporary Urdu stories by Ali Akbar Natiq (Urdu poet and short-story writer), and I play multiple characters in it — from an unrequited lover to a brute.
How difficult do you find acting on stage?
It’s been challenging, because the amount of preparation that goes into theatre is very different. At the same time, the soul of films and theatre is the same. You are working on bringing life to a character whether it’s on screen or on stage; only the technicalities are different.
As a medium, do you prefer theatre or films?
I find that debate very silly. In college, I did a bit of theatre, and also worked with Barry John (theatre director) for a bit. Several years ago, I was part of Naseeruddin Shah’s theatre group. It’s exciting to come back to the stage.
You made your debut with Meenakshi in 2005. Has your career worked out the way you wanted it to?
My career has not panned out the way I wanted it to. I did have a chance to be part of a lot of good things. I was part of Rang De Basanti. But I would have liked to do a lot more films. Right now, not everyone is willing to back the sort of movies that I want to do. If you are successful and have a lot of hits, then people are willing to support everything that you want to do.
Watch the video for the title track of Rang De Basanti here
What is your take on Aamir Khan’s recent comment about the growing levels of intolerance in the country?
I think the tolerance issue has become chaotic. Everything that anyone says becomes sensational and gets blown out of context. What Aamir said was blown out of proportion. This debate is about sensationalism and people looking to pounce on you to get their two bits of publicity.