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Sanjay Kapoor on The Zoya Factor: The director didn’t sign me because I was Sonam’s uncle

Bollywood actor Sanjay Kapoor talks about his excitement on sharing screen space with his niece, Sonam K Ahuja, but he also points out that he was cast because he was right for the role, not for the family ties.

bollywood Updated: Aug 29, 2018 16:48 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Bollywood,Sanjay Kapoor,The Zoya Factor
Bollywood actor Sanjay Kapoor wil play his real-life niece Sonam Kapoor’s on-screen father in The Zoya Factor.

These are busy times for Sanjay Kapoor — he has been in the entertainment industry for 23 years, hasn’t done that many films, but remains highly enthusiastic about every project and eager to challenge himself at each step.

After the praise he got for the web show Lust Stories, Sanjay will now be seen in The Zoya Factor, directed by Abhishek Sharma, and one of the most interesting things about this film is that he plays to the reel-life father to his real-life niece, Sonam K Ahuja. “Of course, it’s super exciting to work with Sonam. She’s family, and when you work with someone who’s from the same family, it’s better. It’s great fun, yaar,” he beams when asked about the working relationship between him and Sonam — their shooting schedule is yet to start, but there have been some workshops.

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However, Sanjay points out that the family link with Sonam wasn’t a factor in his casting. “The only thing that works right now is the chemistry between us. As an actor, you have to work on your character. Abhishek didn’t sign me because I was Sonam’s uncle, [he did so] because he saw the actor in me, and felt that I’d suit the character. Even then, you have to do workshops and other things to make your character better,” he says.

Having made his Bollywood acting debut in 1995 with the film Prem, Sanjay says that while he hasn’t done a lot of films, he’s “proud” of the fact that he has done a variety of roles that challenged him as an actor.

“In the year 2000, it was still a very hero-oriented industry, and everyone kept doing the same thing. When Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe (2002) came, they wanted to cast me as the hero, but I looked at the role of the negative character in it and said that I wanted to do that [role]. I cut my hair, prepared for the role and did it. I’ve always had that idea and I’ve always been willing to challenge myself as an actor,” says the 52-year-old.

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Sanjay did another negative role in the 2003 action film, Qayamat: City Under Threat. “That role was completely different from what I had done in the past and it taught me something different as an actor,” he says. “But I wouldn’t lie to myself. I haven’t done 200 films, so I won’t say that I am very choosy, or whatever. For me, I have to choose [from] what I get. But, yes, if I get a chance to experiment with whatever roles I get, then I won’t shy away from that.”

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First Published: Aug 29, 2018 16:47 IST