We have seen him performing in Dil Chahta Hai, Bheja Fry, Monsoon Wedding and many other movies. And, he has directed some of the wittiest comic films in the recent times (Bheja Fry, Mithya).
Even as director-actor-writer Rajat Kapoor gears up for his next Aankhon Dekhi, starring Sanjay Mishra, we catch up with the filmmaker for a chat.
Rajat believes that art pieces, like films, cannot be made on customer demand. It cannot be the motivation for making a movie, he said in an interview to Hindustantimes.com.
Rajat Kapoor in a still from Aankhon Dekhi.
The director has explored both acting and direction. However, it is direction that Rajat always wanted to do. He said, "I always wanted to direct films. Even as a child, I knew I want to make films. Acting just came my way."
With films like Mithya, Bheja Fry and in his kitty, we wonder how do such interesting films happen, especially in an industry choking with box-office wars?
The director said that he never gets into the zone of whether or not a film makes box office profits, especially while making a film. "What people want to see cannot be the motivation for filmmaking. It is an art piece, not a toothpaste that will be made with customers' demands in mind," he further said.
Although Rajat is not anxious about its box-office results, he is content that people are connecting with the story of Ankhon Dekhi after watching the promos, and the film at its few preview screenings.
When asked about getting people onboard for his off-beat films, Rajat said, "It was and it still is very difficult to get producers. The first question each producer has to ask is who stars in the film."
"When I made Raghu Romeo after a lot of efforts and it bombed on the box office, I was scared. I feared I will have to wait for another six-seven years to make my next film. Thankfully the scenario is changing now. But we still have miles to go," Rajat said.
The 53-year-old said that he is not too keen on working with stars of the industry. Stars tend to have the last say in all edit and cuts in their movies and Rajat said that he needs control of his own films.
Talking about his upcoming film, Rajat said it came about from how we look at knowledge. He said, "How do we know things that we do? Do we know things because they are or do we know things because we have been told they are so. It is with this idea that Bauji (Sanjay Mishra) wants to live with - I will only believe what I see."
"I began with the idea that it is a story about this man (Bauji) and how his family reacts to it," the director-actor added.
"When I was writing the script for Aankhon Dekhi, Sanjay Mishra's face kept coming to my mind. Approaching him for the movie, I told Mishra that I will only make it if he does the role of Bauji," said Rajat.
Made on an estimated budget of Rs. 5 crore, Ankhon Dekhi is slated to hit theatres on March 21.