Chalo Panjim. He’s shooting for a travel bag ad, and for once he’s bereft of companions. All there and smiling in the sunny, bebinca ambience, he hops into a car to speed along the seafront. So here’s Shahid Kapur in a feni-‘n’-games chatteroo with Nikhil Taneja who returns home from Goa with his teetotaller reputation intact.. hic?
Your Yash Raj movie seems to be making news for all the wrong reasons. Apparently director Anurag Singh was sidelined during the Chandigarh shoot and Rani Mukherji was ghost directing it.
Now tell me, who was in Chandigarh to see all this? We were shooting in the middle of huge wheat fields.. was any reporter hiding there among the wheat stalks and reporting such news? There was nothing of the sort yaar, I don’t know how such news makes it to print. There was no such stress.
So there are no issues between Rani and you?
Of course not. Rani is very professional. And like (director) Anurag, she’s been a part of the Yash Raj set-up since years.
When this news of Rani ghost directing came out, we were still in Chandigarh and we all laughed about it. (Smiles slyly) In fact, we’ve captured some moments in the making ofthe film about the incident.
Isn’t the movie inspired by She’s The Man?
I haven’t seen that movie, so I wouldn’t know. (Laughs) But when I see it, I’ll let you know first. As far as I know, it’s an original screenplay.
I believe you’re playing a top cricketer in the movie.
(Laughs) Let’s do one thing. I’ll tell you everything about all my four movies which will be released in 2009. So next year, I won’t have anything more to say about them.
Okay, so isn’t the Rani Mukherji-Shahid Kapur jodi as odd as the pairing with Vidya Balan?
I guess people should wait for the promos before they talk about our chemistry.
Your chemistry, in real life, with every actress becomes grist for the gossip mills. Right now, you’re pretty buddy-buddy with Priyanka Chopra..
(Exasperated but smiling) Ooof, this has been happening to me since last year. Even if go out for dinner with my cousin sister, I’m linked with her. Just because two celebrities sit together and laugh on the sets, you can’t jump to conclusions.
If the media wants to conclude that there’s something going on between me and every girl I talk to and laugh with, then it’s their problem, not mine.
In hindsight, should you have made your relationship with Kareena Kapoor so public?
Let’s face it, do actors have a choice? It’s a professional hazard. Even if I want to be private, I wouldn’t be given the freedom. Having said that, I don’t hide anything. If I’m seeing someone, it is bound to become public knowledge. But I’d like to hang on to whatever little privacy I can get.
So are you holding on to a ‘single and dating’ status now?
(Laughs) No, no, no. I was a kid when I started out in this profession.. I didn’t know what was going on. I’ve made some mistakes but with age and experience, I’m more balanced now.
Oh, you sound pretty mature for someone..
(Cuts in.. with mock anger) Tu mujhe mature bana raha hai? This must be the first interview in my life during which I’ve actually been called mature. (Animatedly) I’m really happy yaar, because I’m working really hard to look older.
But aren’t you making some rash decisions.. like nixing Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani and Ashutosh Gowarikar’s What’s your Rashee?
(Smiles) Even the most innocent thing you say about a movie you’ve turned down becomes a controversy. Let’s just say, I can take on new projects only after completing my earlier commitments.
You’re featured prominently in the promos of Milind Ukey’s Paathshala.. though it’s only a cameo.
Yeah, I’m not the hero of the film, very clearly. I’m doing it for Ahmed Khan who’s a dear friend and his wife is producing a film for the first time. But I have a substantial half-an-hour or 40-minute role of an English and music teacher.. unfortunately not a dance teacher.
You’re learning some international dance form for Ken Ghosh’s Yahoo, right?
Yeah, we’ve brought in Marty, a choreographer who does most of Justin Timberlake’s videos. (Smiles earnestly) I’m working really hard yaar.. it’s a dance movie.
Talk was that Ken Ghosh was unhappy with some of Jiah Khan’s scenes?
There was four or five days of re-shooting but not because he was unhappy with anyone.. we’re just looking at the overall product.
Has the movie been delayed for six months because of your neck injury?
There was a cancellation of just a few days, that’s it.
Was the injury because of all the stunts you’re performing for Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey?
The neck injury didn’t happen on any set. Okay, I’ve had some minor injuries while shooting for Kaminey.. but that happens during every physically demanding movie.
What’s with the title of the movie?
(Laughs) Hey, you guys should ask Vishal this question. He thought of the title but I like it very much.. it’s very relevant to the film.
How come you’re not doing anything on TV?
It would be too early to do that at this point. And honestly, I’d resolved not to do any endorsements either if I didn’t care for the product or if the product didn’t connect with me.
You’re doing an ad for a VIP.. what’s the connect there?
See, VIP has a history.. they are the highest selling Indian bags in India. And now they have come up with a stylish line for the young traveller.. VIP Nuovo.
I’d like to think that I represent the young generation. Plus I liked the creatives, so I signed on as their brand ambassador.
Okay. So what’s the status on the delayed-by-eons Milenge Milenge? Apparently you didn’t want to dub for it.
See, I finished shooting for the film three years ago.. no one contacted me about it until recently. I’ve started dubbing for it now. But I have several prior commitments, so I will complete the dubbing when I get the time.
And what’s happening with your father Pankaj Kapur’s film? It was announced almost an year ago.
We’ll shoot for that from April through the entire year.. because it’s the kind of subject requires for me to do nothing else while I’m shooting for it.. and not just because it’s my father’s film.
Back to the basics.. are you okay being single?
Hey, you won’t get me there. Whether I’m single or not, I’m very happy with my private life.
So you are not single then?
(Laughs) Go figure!