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Anil Kapoor: I have never made a film to exploit any issue

Actor Anil Kapoor talks to us about his latest film Fanney Khan, the way music has evolved over all these years, and whether he took up Fanney Khan, which talks about body shaming, only because his own daughter, Sonam K Ahuja and nephew Arjun Kapoor battled them in the past.

bollywood Updated: Aug 06, 2018 15:00 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Anil Kapoor,Bollywood,Fanney Khan
Anil Kapoor feels that people today ‘see’ and not hear music.(Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)

The room springs to life the moment he walks in, flashing his trademark smile and age-defying dapper looks. Anil Kapoor has never shied away from talking about everything under the sun. Here’s a freewheeling chat with the jhakaas man whose movie Fanney Khan (FK) hit the theatres on Friday.

Your first Hindi film as a leading man was Woh Saat Din. You played a musician in that. 35 years later, you are again playing one in Fanney Khan…

I don’t know why you want me to go down the memory lane, (laughs) I always move ahead and never look back. But I did Taal also, which had a lot of music, where I played the owner of a music company. In Woh Saat Din, I played the harmonium. In Fanney Khan, I am not a musician in the real sense of the word. I write songs, compose, sing, and I do playback. I am not getting a job as a lyricist, but I am (Mohammed) Rafi saab’s fan. I get an opportunity to sing Badan Pe Sitaare, in a chawl where I am staying.

Has anything changed in all these years? Do we treat music the same as before?

Music hasn’t changed. That’s what my daughter in the film ( Pihu Sand) too feels. What’s definitely changed is that today, people don’t just hear music, they ‘see’ music. They see you sing, and not just hear you sing. That’s the change, and this is why she talks about what she is going to wear and look, the make-up, the jewellery. Everything has become external. The way you look at it, the marketing, the packaging. Earlier, it was simple: just go in front of the mic and sing. Only talent mattered, now it’s the entire package.

You are popular for looking impeccable, and playing stylish characters in films such as the Race franchise and Dil Dhadakne Do. Was it a challenge to play a middle-class man sans glamour?

All roles are tough, but it depends on the script, director and producer. When you have a good director, acting is always a joy. All the films you mentioned were a joy to work in, including FK. We didn’t go to the sets just like that. We had a lot of workshops, and tried to make it as real as possible. The clothes I wear, the places I have shot in, the chawl areas , they are not alien to me. I have been through that in my struggle. I call myself Chembur ka ladka!

Because simplicity never goes out of style! #FanneyKhanInDelhi

A post shared by anilskapoor (@anilskapoor) on

FK talks about body-shaming. Sonam and Arjun Kapoor, both have battled body issues in the past. Did that motivate you to take up this film?

That was not the main reason...it was just one of the reasons. I don’t belong to that school of thought that I should make a film to exploit any issue. I have never done that in my career. I never exploit. I am not a person who will sensationalise or politicise things. It is just one of the aspects of the film. I loved the story, and the fact that it was probably the first time someone was tackling this. My daughter in FK is going through this situation. Also, if there’s any script which I feel like ‘main pehle kar chuka hoon’, toh main nahi karoonga.

Go on…

There are so many boxes you have to tick - the role, the script, story, producer, director, how the storytelling is, how it culminates. Yes of course, (Sonam and Arjun’s issues) were one of the reasons which made me say ‘yes’, but it was not the main thing, because I have seen people do that. It was integral that we are not exploiting it. It’s there in the film, beautifully done. Good films are ones which do it in a subtle and nice way.

First Published: Aug 06, 2018 14:59 IST