Iam thankful for everything but I’m hungry for more,’ says a candid Shahid Kapoor in a telephonic chat with HT Café. The actor, who was appreciated and nominated for several awards for his stellar act in Udta Punjab (2016), states that he is in a “good space” professionally. Of late, Shahid has been discussed at length for his unconventional film choices. Continuing to remain off the beaten track, he will be next seen in Vishal Bhardwaj’s upcoming film and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ambitious project.
The actor feels that he was typecast as an actor before Bhardwaj presented him in a completely different light. “Vishal sir saw something in me, which nobody else did. He gave me an opportunity to rediscover myself. I wouldn’t have done Udta Punjab, had I not done Kaminey (2009). As I saw that side to myself, I realised that it can work for me.”
Shahid goes on to state that it’s not just him, but other actors as well, who are looking to explore varied projects. “There was a time when actors used to do the same thing again and again, and become superstars. I don’t think that time is relevant anymore. Today, we have reached a point where all of us are looking for different content. Actors want to be surprised, excited,” he adds.
A new start
shaping up the way he wants it to. Beside sharing screen space with Kangana Ranaut and Deepika Padukone, he is also working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the first time. Ask him if he was nervous to collaborate with the film-maker, who is known to be a taskmaster and Shahid says, “He drives you to do your best. I thrive for that because you are pushed beyond whatever you are used to. I love working with him.”
Speaking of Deepika and Kangana, Shahid says that their polar opposite personalities work in his favour professionally. “Both these girls have great potential. It’s great to be working with actors who are at the peak of their careers. It’s a good time to be working with actors that challenge you. I feel good about myself. I feel I’m in a good space as an actor.”
Watch: Trailer of Rangoon
Dance to another tune
Shahid used to be a dancer at Shiamak Davar’s academy before he began acting. His skills as a dancer are showcased in his movies, and he also judged a dance reality TV show in 2016. When asked if dancing had grown too commercial owing to the plethora of reality shows revolving around the art form, the actor says, “Yes. It’s a good thing dance is viewed as something that can be taken seriously. It’s a beautiful form of expression and should be given importance. But the way it is being projected today is definitely up for discussion.”
Watch: Shahid Kapoor in song ‘Mauja hi mauja’
he actor is of the opinion that dance should be considered a proper profession and not just a medium of entertainment. “I was thankfully born with parents who are artistes and who understood it [passion for dancing]. Many people might not have. However, dance is more accepted today, because there are so many opportunities. But I feel these opportunities are more about using dance forms commercially. I believe that’s something that needs to be worked on. The purity of the art form should be retained,” he adds.
Shahid recently launched his own clothing brand. The actor says that he came up with the venture, as he wanted to make clothing that was “accessible”. Celebrities are expected to look their best at all times, but the actor says Bollywood doesn’t set unrealistic standards for the youth. “As opposed to maybe 15 years ago, the people are exposed to actors in different spaces. I feel that today’s generation is dressing down a lot more. Dressing down is a lot cooler than dressing up these days. I don’t think celebrities are trying hard to look all dressed up. That’s very tiring to do,” he says.
Ask him about 2016, and Shahid, now the proud father of a baby girl, laughs and says, “I’ll sum up 2016 by saying, ‘Misha’.” But what does he expect in 2017? “I’ve got to get up every day and do better. These years are extremely crucial for finding the trajectory of my life. Now that I have become a family man, I have all the more reason to do this not just for myself, but for them as well. And there’s nothing more inspiring than that feeling,” he says.
On Mira Rajput’s debut on Karan Johar’s Koffee With Karan
Shahid maintains that he “wasn’t nervous” about introducing his wife, Mira Rajput, to the nation on Karan Johar’s talk show. “After the episode, everybody told me that it was nice to see me ‘normal and settled’. When Karan called and said that he would like us to be on his show together, my first question to Mira was if she would be comfortable doing something like that. But she was happy to do it. I was happy as it went well,” he says.