Anil Kapoor has spent over three decades in Bollywood. From being an award-winning actor to leading a film producer, he has proved his mettle in various spheres. Anil says stardom followed him because of his constant desire to work. Now, the actor is content that his next generation has also started making a mark in the industry. Ask him what he thinks of daughter Sonam Kapoor’s career so far, and he says that even though she belongs to a film family, it has not been easy for her, and even for his nephew, Arjun Kapoor (Boney Kapoor's son).
“I am very proud of them. It’s not been an easy journey [for them]. In fact, it hasbeen very tough for them, particularly for Sonam, because her first project was a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, Saawariya (2007). She was Anil Kapoor’s daughter working with Rishi Kapoor’s son (Ranbir Kapoor), and the movie didn’t do well. But, I told her that it was the best thing to have happened to her. There are many actors, whose first few films work well, and I feel sad for them… I feel that it’s better if you come up the hard way,” says Anil.
Unlike other actors her age, Sonam has always been vocal about what she feels, and has never minced her words. But Anil doesn’t feel she is the only one to do so. He says, “I think a majority of people in our country are like that. That’s why Sonam has such a mass following on social media. They love her; otherwise, she wouldn’t have had such a huge fan base. Though she has given many hits, she hasn’t delivered a blockbuster yet. But just imagine what will happen when she gives a blockbuster. After seeing the kinds of films she is working on currently, I can say that her best phase will only begin now.”
Anil’s son, Harshvardhan Kapoor, is also set to make his Bollywood debut soon. “I don’t want to talk about him right now. It’s not fair. I think Rakeysh (Omprakash Mehra; film-maker) and the movie itself should talk about him,” he says.
Anil says that despite doing successful films, it took him “much longer to carve a niche” for himself in B-Town.
However, he is happy with the way his daughter, Sonam Kapoor, is making her mark. “She has already carved a niche for herself with who she is, the way she dresses, the interviews she gives and the kind of films she picks. People are talking about heroine-oriented films now, and only established actors sign those. But Sonam has been doing such films from the beginning,” says Anil.
He feels that his daughter also suits such roles. “Her personality is like that. She is tall, and she was always slightly different,” he says, adding, “I cannot imagine her doing anything but an Aisha (2010) or a Khubsoorat (2014). These are films you do once you are established, and after you have spent several years in the industry. She started doing this (taking up such roles) in her third film.”
Unlike most actors from his time, Anil manages to stay in the limelight, not just in India, but also globally. Ask him what sets him apart, and he says, “I’m hungry. I’m starving. Hunger is manageable, but I’m starving for good work,” says the actor.
Talking about the international acclaim he has earned, Anil says, “I think it’s just payback. I am a very spiritual person, and I feel God decided that I deserved this due to my hard work.”
Read: I should have listened to my father, says Sonam Kapoor