"I’m not sure who I am. That’s why I keep saying I’m an adventurer that goes out," says award-wining filmmaker Shekhar Kapur in an interview with director Sudhir Mishra. Kapur is the first among filmmakers like Mira Nair, Danny Boyle, Shyam Benegal, to be interviewed by Mishra on Masterclass, a new series launched by Fox History and Entertainment, which airs tonight at 10 pm.
Talking about the events that shaped his life, Kapur says, “I gave up the idea of having a career when I was 24. Sounds glamorous, but I’ve been doing things since then and part of those adventures was to make films because I realised I was actually quite good at it and I enjoyed it.”
After the critical acclaim of Bandit Queen (1994) with Seema Biswas, Kapur went on to direct Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth in 1998. Of the two actors, he says, he found it easier to direct. “Because Seema didn’t carry the burden of having to prove that she’s great, it was in a way easier to get into her soul. She would more easily trust the moment and the situation. Cate would take time to trust herself, the moment and the situation.”
Buzz has it that Kapur latest project Paani may star actor Hrithik Roshan and Inglourious Basterd’s Christoph Waltz. He says he’s been obsessed with the idea of this movie for years. “I was inspired by the words of politician Devi Lal. He once said, ‘Yeh sheherwale ek flush mein itna paani ghatate hain, jo teen din mein tumhare poore family ko nahin milta.’ And since then I’ve wanted to make a film about the urban-rural divide in water.”
He explains that the story is set in the “dangerous near future” where a city, which looks like Mumbai, is divided into an Upper City and a Lower City. “The upper city sucks up all the water and it’s been privatised.” But he adds, “It’s not Mr India and it’s not quite science fiction.”