Shahid Kapur turns 27 today. So, here's the birthday boy quizzed by Roshmila Bhattacharya
How do you plan to bring in your birthday?
Oh, I have big plans. (Laughs) I'll be working all day.
No actually. I'm quite happy about this. I was sitting at home for six months after Vivah and for three months after Jab We Met. So I'm glad to be back on the sets even if I have to work on my birthday.
I've had some really special birthdays, I treasure some lovely gifts. The best was my younger brother who was born in 1995 a few months before my 13th birthday. I loved him, he became my jaan.
Why would anyone be sitting at home for three months after a huge hit like Jab We Met?
I was waiting for the right film to come along. I didn't want to take on anything just because I was at home.
I've had two hugely successful films. That allows me the right to pick and choose. It would be foolish not to exercise that choice. But so many of your colleagues are signing mega-buck corporate deals.
<b1>By being picky, aren't you bypassing opportunities?
I have a two-film deal with UTV. But unless I'm excited with a script, I won't give my go-ahead. I'm fine with the four films I have.
That includes Vishal Bharadwaj's next?
Yes, we're working on the script together at the moment.
Tell me more.
It's too premature. Besides the director would be the right person to represent the film.
Okay, what about the Yash Raj film.
It's a love story (Grins) And since everyone likes to do a love story with Yash Raj, I'm looking forward to it. Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge is one of my all-time favourites.
Wouldn't you want to step into Shah Rukh Khan's shoes?
Films like DDLJ are great to watch but difficult to recreate.. a film like that comes once in a generation.
Jab We Met had strong shades of DDLJ.
(Smiles) And it did well too. Most of my hits have been love stories. I like that because every actor wants to occupy that space. However, the fact remains that only a few love stories have done well in the last few years.
Did you know that Kismet Connection was offered to Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan earlier?
Really? I didn't know that. But yes, the fact is that this is the first film that Aziz (Mirza) Uncle is making without Shah Rukh, the biggest star of the country. That has been . at the top of my mind. I don't want to let him down.
Kismet Connectionabout this NRI dude who meets the American President?
(Laughs out loud) Now where did you hear that? That's complete hogwash.
Okay, may be it's the Canadian Prez?
(Laughs harder) Wrong again. Like all of Aziz Uncle's films, it's about an underdog and his struggle to become rich and famous. Like
Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman
Is the movie as real.. believable?
Our perception of NRIs is that they're loaded. But I was in Toronto for 60 days for the shoot and I realised that several of these guys are still chasing their dreams, day after day It has a tremendous con . nect because even here at home we're all trying to do better, get bigger.
When do you start shooting for your dad Pankaj Kapur's film?
We'll start shooting in the second half of the year, around October-November. It's a role that requires a lot from me as an actor, including a new look. So I need to wrap up my current projects and not take on any any other work during its shoot.
This film will be like going back to school for me. Every time I see one of dad's films, I come home, convinced that I know zilch about acting. So, I'll just surrender myself to him and obey everything he says.
<b3>Is it because you said "Yes" to your dad that you had to thumb down your mother Neelima Azim's film?
A lot has been written on this. I'm not comfortable discussing this.
You've been working out at the gym really hard for the last few months. Is it for your dad's film?
No, it's for Ken Ghosh's musical. I've been visiting Ken for the last two years trying to get him to make another movie. But for some reason, after Fida, he went into hibernation. I'm glad he's woken up again.
It feels like only yesterday that we were shooting on the roads of Mumbai for Ishk Vishq. The only difference is that no one knew me then. Now it's different.
Will your dance guru, Shiamak Davar, be choreographing your moves?
It would be wonderful if he did. But we're looking at bringing down some foreign choreographers. Every Hindi movie has a song and I've done plenty of them.
So we want this one to be really different. Even though I've been dancing since years, dancing for this movie is turning out to be more difficult than anything I've done before.
Aren't your Jab We Met director, Imtiaz Ali, and you getting together again?
Not right away. He's busy with another film (with Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor). I'm glad for him. Otherwise, Imtiaz also has this tendency to go into hibernation. It took him three years to start work on Jab We Met after Socha Naa Tha.
Kareena Kapoor has walked away with all the Best Actress Awards for Jab We Met. Aren't you disappointed you're not even in the honours list ?
I did win a couple of awards. But it's been a fantastic year in terms of male performances. And when you're being judged alongside Shah Rukh well, then, it's an honour to just be nominated.
When we were shooting for Jab We Met, I'd told Imtiaz that the film would benefit everyone but him and Kareena a little more. He'd laughed at me then but later admitted that I was right. No complaints. The film has given me a tremendous boost too.
So, are you and Kareena still friends?
Yes, things are very congenial.
Are you expecting a call from her to wish you on your birthday?
I haven't given that a thought at all.
Will Sania Mirza call, given all the cosy dinners you've been having together?
A lot has been written about me of late. All the girls I'm being linked with is a new development. I know everyone wants to know what's up but I've chosen not to speak about it.
So do you like tennis?
Yes I like tennis… but let me tell you, I like cricket too.