Most television personalities who have tried their luck in Bollywood have been unable to hit the bullseye at the box office, especially with their first films. But Kapil Sharma has landed a hit with his debut release.
From the beginning, Kapil says, he knew he was dealing with a safe subject, and that the audience supported it. He was confident that it wouldn’t be a distasteful comedy. Happy with the success, Kapil now plans to make a “better” film next.
Are you satisfied with your journey in the entertainment industry so far?
Actors are never satisfied. They struggle all through their lives. I want to do some interesting and challenging roles. Thankfully, because the movie is a hit, all doors are open for me now. A few big producers have shown interest in making a film with me, as they feel I am a safe bet. Also, I don’t feel any pressure or tension about being accepted on the big screen, because I come from TV. Now I can follow my heart.
Will you continue doing your TV show, or will you quit the tube to work on your Bollywood career?
Yes, that (the show) will continue, for now. We plan to make some changes to the set.
Unlike several TV actors’ film debuts, yours has become a hit...
It feels good to get such a wonderful response from the audience. We used a tried-and-tested formula, and people enjoyed an out-and-out comedy film. But with the positive response, the responsibilities also increase. So, now, I want my next movie to be totally different from this one. I want to impress the audience with a better subject. My team of writers and I are working on my next film, but nothing has been finalised yet, as our ideas keep changing.
Were you nervous before the film’s release?
No, not at all. I was actually very excited about seeing myself on the big screen. Sustaining a hit show on television, and being accepted by people, is very tough. There are a thousand channels, and if you bore viewers even for a second, they will change the channel. With films, once people buy a ticket, they will at least end up going to the theatre. I was confident that my product would entertain people. It was the audience’s love for me that drove them to the theatres, and I am thankful for that.
Did you expect this?
I had an inkling, as people love our TV show. My film was a promising one as well. Also, I feel people knew that I would not do a vulgar comedy. When the production team did a survey to predict the audience’s response before the release, they said that the movie could get an opening of Rs 6cr. But I knew that these surveys are done online with mostly youngsters. What about the older people, like my parents and grandparents, who don’t use the internet, but still watch films? Eventually, the film got an opening of Rs10.5cr, which was huge.
Do you plan to produce movies too?
I do, and there are a few plans that are in motion. We’ll make an announcement soon. It will be a Punjabi film, but I won’t be acting in it.
What do you want to make next?
It will be a comedy for sure, but something better. In Bollywood, such a subject (his debut film’s plot) has been done before with two heroines; I had three. Maine koi itna bada tukka nahin maara (I didn’t take such a big risk). It was a clean film, with a low budget — it was made in Rs 7cr to Rs 8cr — and garnered more than six times that sum. I don’t want to make a Rs 50cr movie next. I want to make something that works for the audience, but doesn’t put any pressure on the producer either. I don’t want to make a Rs 200cr film, and then charge the audience Rs 900 for one ticket.
Now that you’re part of Bollywood, will you be more media savvy?
I talk to the media whenever there is anything worth talking about. I am active on Twitter, so I am in touch with people constantly.