Jai Shri Ram.
(Laughs out loud) Good one!
You resemble the teddy bear I have.
Thanks.. that’s a cute compliment. I’m happy to know that girls equate me with their most loved possession. Precisely the reason they won’t let you get eliminated from Jhalak Dikhhlaa Jaa 3 too soon.
I hope that’s the case. I’d so want to be on the show for as long as I can. Sometimes, I get apprehensive wondering if people will vote for me.
But you’re their adored Jai Walia of Kasamh Se.
Not any more. The show has ended.
It’s been four years. Won’t you miss it?
I will. I’ve been working so hard.. 12-16 hours a day sometimes. But of late, boredom had crept in. The story wasn’t progressing. It was a good idea to call it a day instead of going on and on endlessly.
Was that why you opted for Jhalak.. ?
To an extent, yes. But I was also drawn to the show because Gautami wanted me to be a part of it. A lot of people think that I am like Jai Walia in real life.. serious, business-minded and somewhat unapproachable. I’m not! When I met the BBC guys before signing on for this show, they also believed that.. not any more.
So are you like the brat Karan Singh Grover?
Yeah, I was such a prankster in school and college. If you ask me to remember one prank I pulled, I won’t be able to pick any because there were too many.
Karan and I are quite alike. That’s why we gel well. We slog our asses off while working.. put in our 100 per cent even while rehearsing and..
.. And you’re both rule breakers too?
Yes, but those are funny rules, so no one takes them seriously. They’ve just been introduced this year. According to them, you’re not supposed to be late for rehearsals and no cancelling either. We do break that one sometimes but it’s not intentional. Then our sweet judges pull us up as if we were school kids. (Laughs) It’s a lot of fun.
Isn’t your weight a big concern on the show?
It’s a bigger concern for me, yaar! I’ve decided that the show I sign next will have a lean Ram Kapoor, most unlike Jai Walia.
Is your wife, Gautami, helping you with the resolution?
Nope, I’m doing it on my own.
What about dance?
I have my choreographer for that. Marischa is so sweet. She works out moves which I don’t find difficult to carry off or feel awkward about.
Karan’s wife, Shraddha Nigam, sneaks in to keep a watch on him. Does Gautami do that too?
No way! Our son is not even two months old. She needs to be with him all the time till he grows up a bit. If I am still around after a month or two, she might just drop by. We stay far away from the shooting location.
Has your two-year-old daughter seen you dancing?
She’s two-and-a-half, actually. She tries to imitate me all the time. She insists that we all sit in the drawing room and watch her instead.
When was the last time you danced in public?
It was for Monsoon Wedding. There was a sangeet sequence and I jump in to do a jig with Neha Dubey.
You started out with films, Monsoon Wedding and Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi. Why didn’t you do more movies after that?
The roles I was offered in movies were just average while on TV, I got to play the central characters. So, I chose to stick to TV.
On TV, you played father to actors close to your age.. something most actors would decline to do?
I think that’s stupid. As an actor, one should be willing to play characters which are unlike one’s personality.
If you only want to play guys who are your age, then why be an actor?
When I started on Kasamh Se, I was already playing someone who is 20 years older than I am. And over a period of time, the character had to grow still older. I enjoyed that experience.
Has Ekta Kapoor offered you another show.. now that Kasamh Se has wrapped up?
There are talks for a couple of shows but I am in no rush. After I’m through with Jhalak.., I’d like to take my family for a long holiday, get back into shape and then start working. I haven’t spent much time with my kids and wife.
You missed them, didn’t you?
All of us have to slog if we want to give our children a certain lifestyle and comforts. My father wasn’t around when I was growing up.. and that’s why we had more than what we ever wanted.
Today, he and I are best buddies. When my son grows up and has kids, he will have to go through the same cycle of life. Gautami and you haven’t done a show together in a long time.. not even a Nach Baliye.
We’re not against doing a show together but now she can’t put in 16 hours a day. She’ll work as per her convenience.
As for Nach.. they have begged us to be a part of the show at the start of every season. But their timings have been bad. The first season, I was too busy to make time for a reality show. The next season, Gautami was expecting. This time, if they approach us and we have the time, we’ll take it on.