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Rajit Kapur: I’m glad I played Byomkesh Bakshi and created such an impact

Actor Rajit Kapur is happy that his portrayal of ’90s detective Byomkesh Bakshi is remembered even today; says as it was such a simple show it had a strong impact on the audience.

art and culture Updated: May 19, 2017 18:18 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Rajit Kapur,Byomkesh Bakshi,Rajat Kapoor
Actor Rajit Kapur will soon be performing on Delhi stage.

The moment Rajit Kapur says his name, he’s almost prepared to hear the next question: Do you mean [actor]Rajat Kapoor? It’s been happening for so many years, that Kapur says that the two [he and Rajat] of them just laugh it off now. “Yes, it’s been happening for so many years and we both just laugh about it because there’s nothing really that we both can do. We both are almost the same age, he’s just a little older, and there’s just a difference between ‘a’ and ‘i’ in our names and ‘u’ and ‘oo’ in our surnames. Just the other day, there was somebody who called looking for him saying we met in Delhi and I said you have called the wrong person, this is Rajit not Rajat, and he thought I was fooling him! Even pranks happen on their own because of the similarity in our names. Like once a colleague of ours had sent him a cake, and it came to me instead,” says the 56-year-old actor who was last seen in the recently-released Vidya Balan-starrer Begum Jaan.

A regular in both theatre and films, Kapur shot to fame with his portrayal of detective Byomkesh Bakshi on television, and till date feels grateful for being part of the cult show. “I find it quite unbelievable that even 25 years later it has such a mark. It was so simple and sometimes simple is more effective. It’s a classic and I’m lucky that I was the one who did it and created such an impact and the show has left a stamp.” Kapur also received critical acclaim for his acting in The Making of the Mahatma by Shyam Benegal. “I never feel that pressure of working with Benegal because I know he is going to give me something different to explore and he will allow me to work on it and bring something on the table. He has done that from day one and now I look forward to expecting something challenging from him (Benegal) all the time,” says the actor who has collaborated with the filmmaker for various projects.

The actor is set to make his stage appearance in Delhi again, with actor Naseeruddin Shah, in the much-acclaimed play A Walk in The Woods directed by Ratna Pathak Shah. Is Ratna a strict director? “Yes, a stickler, which is good because it keeps you on your toes. Otherwise, after so many years, you sometimes want to fall back to your comfort level. Someone like her (Ratna), who knows you, makes you work because you can’t take chances,” he adds looking forward to his performance in the Capital.

Actor Rajit Kapur shares the stage with actor Naseeruddin Shah in the play, A Walk in The Woods.
The new thing is that people can’t stop using phones. I had almost thrown one of the mobile phones at a recent performance because it was so distracting. Even after announcing if people can’t stop using them then they should just go out and not come to watch the play!

A few years ago, before his performance in the Capital, he turned back a family who had come with a child, to attend the play, which was for adults only. “Yes I did.. even if the girl would have been above fifteen, I would have allowed them to enter but how could I let a six years old child see a play, which had an intimate scene between a married couple… the child may get confused. That’s why we wrote on the posters beforehand but the parents don’t respect the rules. “

The actor is also irritated about the constant use of phones during performances. “I had almost thrown one of the mobile phones at a recent performance because it was so distracting. Even after announcing if people can’t stop using them then they should just go out and not come to watch the play!”

  • What: Delhi Theatre Festival
  • Where: Siri Fort Auditorium, August Kranti Marg
  • When: April 29
  • Timings: 8pm
  • Nearest Metro Station: Green park on Yellow Line

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First Published: Apr 25, 2017 18:20 IST