A still of Pankaj Kapur and Shahid Kapoor in a uniform has fanned speculation that the father-son duo will be seen on screen together for the first time in their forthcoming film Mausam that opens in the theatres next Friday.
The debutant director admits that he was really keen on enacting a particular part and had even had a costume stitched. But his wife, actor Supriya Pathak-Kapur and kids, Shahid, Ruhaan and Sanah, believed that it was too important a character for him to play, and would end up distracting him and the viewer from the main story.
“This is the only time I listened to them and ended up with not even a cameo or a passing appearance as an actor in my first film as a director. I’m extremely upset,” laughs Pankaj, even as Shahid mumbles that it would have only added to the pressure and built up expectations amongst the audience. Shrugging off misconceptions of having drifted away from Shahid during his growing up years, Pankaj admits that working closely with him for two years on Mausam has made the bond stronger. “More than a father, I’ve always wanted to be a friend to my children and with the older one, I think that’s finally happened,” he asserts. “The film has brought us together as two friends who can discuss anything with each other and as two professionals who respect each other.”
He insists that Mausam is Shahid’s best performance to date and “it’s not just because I want to sell my film”. “Harvinder Singh’s decade-long journey required him to play a range of histrionics and Shahid delivered on cue. Some day, he will make a good director too. He’s creative. He has a good understanding of cinema and a better understanding of commerce than me. That should serve him well,” Pankaj smiles.
“But for the next 10 years, he should concentrate on just being an actor.” Pankaj has another script ready. And this time he promises to direct and act. “But it could be a while before I make the film,” he adds. “It requires “a certain maturity in the handling of the theme but it will be made, for sure.”