Bollywood is bonding all right. A few days ago, tongues were set wagging when Ranbir Kapoor landed up at a screening of the Imran Khan-starrer Delhi Belly. But the young Khan insists that he shares a "very cool" relationship with the Kapoor scion.
In fact, he defends Ranbir’s Casanova image, saying, "I feel people take things too seriously. Ranbir is a young, talented, rich and successful star. Let him party and date girls. Why are people bent on turning it into a bad thing?" asks Imran (for Ranbir, we presume).
In the past, Ranbir has been linked with fellow actors Sonam Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Rockstar girl Nargis Fakhri and recently, model Angela Jonsson. He’s also openly dated his Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) co-star Deepika Padukone.
Ask Imran, who recently married long-time girlfriend Avantika Malik, if he ever wanted to try the bachelor life and he shoots back with a laugh, "I don’t have the energy to party. I want to be in bed by 11 ‘o’ clock. Go to bed; watch a good film and sleep. That’s my idea of partying."
The two young stars have been the subjects of rumours suggesting their friendly competition may not be so amiable after all. But Imran insists the gossip circulating around Ranbir and him is "frustrating and upsetting." He adds, "To Ranbir’s credit, he has always given me a call whenever things have become nasty and vice versa. I always give him the benefit of doubt. We talk to each other and clarify things whenever such stories appear in print."
So does he trust his rival completely? "It’s basic courtesy. I believe he is a good boy and a superb actor. And if you respect someone, you would offer such courtesy," he says, adding, "You can’t let good things go to your head and bad stuff hit your heart. You must look at the bigger picture."
Speaking of big pictures, is talk of him and Ranbir opening a production house together true? "No. We’ve only talked about doing a film together in a completely new set-up," Imran says with a smile. "So, we had a chat about the film, state of the economy, following a new business model, and a tight budget. And soon, it spiralled into talks of us coming up with a production house."
Friends or foes?
The tension between the two actors first made headlines when Imran’s then-fiancée, Avantika, apparently made some scathing comments about Ranbir’s performance in Raajneeti (2010). Imran clarified the misunderstanding with Ranbir.
Later, reports emerged that a telecom company had opted for Imran as their brand ambassador, passing up on Ranbir, because of the former’s ‘clean image’.