Shahid Kapoor’s recent hit, R… Rajkumar (2013), has come as welcome relief for him after some unsuccessful films. However, he hadn’t really lost his standing in the industry in the interim.
You recently termed this as a crucial phase in your career. Has R… Rajkumar’s success done the trick for you?
Yes, I felt a certain sense of relief after its success.
Prabhu Dheva had got Salman Khan’s career back on track with Wanted (2009). He seems to have turned saviour for you as well.
Yes, he has a knack for understanding what will make people clap and whistle. He promises an entertaining experience, and that’s what the audience gets. This film is a reflection of that theory.
Ranbir Kapoor attempted a mass-y film (Besharam, 2013) but failed. Do you believe you’re the only one from your generation to deliver a hit in this genre?
He tried Besharam, but it didn’t work for him. That doesn’t mean he’s not good at it. I feel that if he does a good film in the genre, he’ll be appreciated. Apart from the film being good, the actor, too, has to be able to carry off the role, and I don’t know how many actors from our generation can carry it off. That’s one thing that only the audience can decide.
With so many talented actors doing well in the industry, does the competition frighten you?
If I start thinking about the competition, I will lose myself. My message to them has been very clear — that I will do different stuff. Please be prepared to be extremely shocked or surprised. I plan to attempt all genres. Every time I do a different kind of film, I’ll be compared with a different set of actors.
Your last few films (Mausam, 2011; Teri Meri Kahaani, 2010; Badmaash Company, 2010; Paathshaala , 2010) didn’t do well, but you were never written off. Why do you think film-makers approach you despite your not-so-good record?
I always aim to do a good job, and probably that is what gets recognised. Even in Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (PPNH), everyone said they loved my performance. People tell me, "You’re really unlucky that your films didn’t do well," but no one has said that I need to do better work, at least in the past few years.
How much credit do you give your fans for standing by you?
I’ve been lucky to get lots of love and appreciation. My fans have been loyal and have constantly supported me. I feel that, in the past two years, their love has encouraged me to strive for the best.
Many actors are venturing into diverse businesses. Do you have any plans to open a dance academy like Madhuri Dixit?
Honestly, I think a lot of people are better than me. In fact, my younger brother dances so well that I feel like learning from him. I may be one of the better dancers among actors, but there are so many good dancers in the country who I don’t feel I’m capable of training. In fact, I want to learn more.