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Rishi Kapoor on working with young stars: I admire Alia Bhatt for taking up challenging roles and she’s got talent

Actor Rishi Kapoor says that one has to be lucky enough to get interesting roles and he feels that in his younger years, he didn’t get enough opportunities as filmmakers mostly thought of him in romantic roles.

bollywood Updated: Jun 21, 2018 18:14 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Rishi Kapoor,Alia Bhatt,Ranbir Kapoor
Actor Rishi Kapoor has two releasing coming up next — Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk and Leeva Yadav’s Rajma Chawal.

At 65, actor Rishi Kapoor continues to hold his ground and is in no mood to take a break. His last film, 102 Not Out, which released in May this year, garnered a lot of praise. He has two more films releasing soon (Mulk and Rajma Chawal), and apart from that he is also shooting for an Indian adaptation of the Spanish film, The Body (2012). Kapoor says that it’s his “love, passion and dedication for work” that keeps him going. In a candid chat, the actor talks about the evolving phase of India cinema, his take on doing cameo roles, and why he likes Alia Bhatt the most, among the younger lot of actors.

Doing four films in a year at this age, does it ever get tiring?

I enjoy working in films and belonging to any part of cinema is a great high for me. I see that same passion in my son [Ranbir Kapoor], too. Also, the fact that actors of my age are getting work is a great thing. Today, I have the facility of an option to choose from whatever I’m offered. I feel blessed to have this feeling.

You had once said that not many opportunities to play challenging roles came your way in almost 65 years of your acting career. What were you referring to?

I enjoyed the work that I did in the ’70s and ’80s, but the work that I am doing now is more enjoyable for me. Writers writing great roles for me, and directors offering me those parts was unfortunately not the case when I was younger. Perhaps it was my demeanour and my image that didn’t allow me to play other characters. Filmmakers only thought of me when they wanted someone for romantic roles or to dance around trees.

Do you see things changing now?

The audiences have evolved and are willing to see a new kind of cinema. They’re enjoying films like 102 Not Out, which has no hero, heroine, item song, villain or romance — just two old people interacting within themselves. It’s quite a feat when films like these work. You couldn’t have made these types of films 10-15 years back, as they would have never worked.

You’ve done a cameo in Nandita Das’ Manto. There were reports that you regretted doing it. Is that true?

I never meant in that manner. Someone wrote my name in the star cast whereas I’ve just done a minute and a half long role. This is how it goes wrong when you do a favour to someone. Nandita is a good friend and she insisted that she wanted me in the film. So, I did it willingly and I’m happy to contribute to that film because it’s different. People just make up things.

So, will you be okay doing cameos in future?

I’m not okay doing cameos or guest appearances. This is the last time. They always get misconstrued. My fans feel cheated that your name was there in the cast and you’re hardly there in the film. They don’t want me to work in films where I have a one or two minute role.

You’ve worked with many younger actors in your recent films. What do you think about the younger lot?

I admire someone like Alia Bhatt, who takes up challenging roles like in Highway (2014) and Raazi. It’s very difficult at this tender age to carry a film on their shoulders and only an actor can do that. Also, one has to be lucky enough to get such parts. Alia has been lucky and of course, she has the talent too.

Interact with Monika Rawal Kukreja at Twitter/@monikarawal

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 18:13 IST