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‘Once it was gossip, today it’s all real’

The much-maligned media actually finds a supporter. Rishi Kapoor in a reality chat with Vajir Singh.

entertainment Updated: Jan 29, 2009 19:05 IST
Vajir Singh
Vajir Singh
Hindustan Times

For the last couple of years, you have been pretty busy as an actor?

Kaam karen ke nahin.

Even though the ticket rates are high, people are watching movies. Because of the multiplex culture, the sensibility of the audience has changed. The movies are more youth-oriented. Still, there are so many films in which actors of my age are playing central roles.

Different kind of films are being made. We have stopped making action films, lost-and-found films, boy-meets-girl-

parents-creating-problems films.

Today, which child is willing to listen to anyone? If he or she wants to get married, end of story. All that antique sort of stuff is rejected now.

But today’s youth still loves the golden oldies.

Kitne hain?

The percentage is so low that they don’t make a difference.

Would you say that today’s films are coming closer to real life?

I wouldn’t say that. It’s just that all kinds of cinema are being made. No one could imagine

A Wednesday

being made five years or ten years ago. It’s one of the most brilliant films I’ve seen in years.

You are playing a film producer in

Luck by Chance

. How real will that be?

Over the years, I’ve observed mannerisms, at times boorish behaviour and the dependence on superstitions. My character Romi Rolly is not based on any one producer but on quite a few of the producers, writers and and actors I’ve worked with.

Why wear wild colourful shirts as Mr Rolly?

For Romi Rolly, that’s fashion. He feels that he’s the most stylish guy on the scene.

What kind of change do you see in today’s producers?

There’s more money.. so producers are more organised today. The burden of production is shared not by one but several co-producers. Bound scripts do exist. There are well-planned schedules. That wasn’t there in my time. Earlier, producers would be shooting and trying to get finance at the same time.

Today, money is irrelevant.. banks are financing films.. there are corporate companies. Money isn’t a problem.. the problem is what to do with the money.

But it’s believed that the entertainment business has been hit by recession.

I want to challenge the


who say this. Why should there be recession? See the kind of business all the successful films are doing!

No one could have ever imagined a film could cross the business of Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore. But it’s happening.. the audience turns up for


. And if there’s a film which has repeat value, the business will cross everyone’s imagination.

But the gross collections reported in the papers can be manipulated by the producers.

(Pause) They can be manipulated yes.. but to an extent. See, these days, films are being released with 1200 prints..1500 prints.

Business is booming. In today’s time, if we had films like

Sholay, Bobby, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

releasing, then imagine their collections.

What about actors’ prices?

Yes, those need to be curbed.

If the market is peaking why isn’t the RK banner reviving film production?

I have absolutely no idea. You can address this question to Mr Randhir Kapoor. I’m busy as an actor.

Do you also believe that luck plays a key role in show business?

Let’s face, we are all hungry for luck. One may be talented or hard working but one needs to be at the right place at the

right time.

My father wanted to make Part II of

Mera Naam Joker

but couldn’t because the first part flopped.


was planned, it wasn’t a launch vehicle for Rishi Kapoor.. I’d already been launched in

Mera Naam Joker

. I suited the role and got the chance to work with Raj Kapoor and the film became a huge hit. That was my luck.

(Amitabh) Bachchan did


but it was offered to Dev Anand and Raaj Kumar. Amjad Khan was Gabbar but he was not the first choice. Yash


(Chopra) offered me


. I told him that my negative role in


hadn’t worked.

He then offered me the second lead but I refused because I had been the hero in Yash




. That’s how the

association of Shah Rukh Khan and Yash Chopra happened. And see.. Shah Rukh Khan was to do

Slumdog Millionaire

but it was Anil’s (Kapoor) chance.. his luck.

What do you think of Ranbir’s career?

I don’t make any creative decisions in his career. He’ll fall, he’ll rise. My father never imposed himself on our career. He let us go the way we wanted to. If Ranbir wants guidance or advice I’m always there.

Isn’t he too picky about his projects?

That’s perfectly okay. One film at a time works in today’s times. I tried to explain to him that he must try and do two films at least simultaneously but he doesn’t agree. I guess this is how he wants to work.

How do you react to the gossip about Ranbir in the papers every morning?

I don’t react. What’s there to react to? Once, it was gossip, today it’s all real. There was a time when we would have to wait for something to appear in print. Today, if you do anything, you’re on television the very next moment. Practically every channel’s prime time is devoted to Bollywood.

Neetu Kapoor and you will work together after 25 years.


Do Dooni Char

will be made at one go in Delhi. It’s being directed by Habib Faizal. I’m very excited and Neetu is very nervous.. but don’t expect Neetu and me to break into a dance please. People say but there should be music, dance and romance.. and I’m like, “Are you mad or what?”