Anil Kapoor chat
Well into his forties and still going strong - that's Anil Kapoor. While many write him off as a bad copy of South Indian star Kamal Hassan, others insist he is the only actor in Bollywood who is constantly reinventing himself. Read transcript of a chat with him held on April 21, 2003 where he has spoken on Armaan and Allwyn Kalicharan.Updated: Apr 22, 2003 13:55 IST
smita: Allwyn Kalicharan sounds like a very interesting name for a movie. What is the movie all about? What kind of character do you play in it?
Anil Kapoor: I play a "cool cop" in the film. The script of the movie is very different. The script and the character unfold reel by reel in the film. You cannot really know the character till you see the film. The whole genre of the film is totally pulsating. And it goes like a roller coaster.
sonam: I just go for your movies to watch you. You perform so well. I particularly liked you in Badhai Ho Badhai. How did you prepare for the role?
Anil Kapoor: The first half of was very instinctive. The second half needed a lot of preparation. The second half is the one where I play "fat". It was a vigorous kind of thing. I had to get up at 4. At 5 the make-up started and it took 3-4 hours for the make-up to be applied. We had a team from LA for doing the prosthetics. Performing with prosthetics is an art. The entire expressions have to be exaggerated for it to show through all the make-up. Also, you cannot eat while the make-up is on. It was a learning process for me - getting into the psyche of a fat man and performing with all this make-up. Satish Kaushik, the director, was similar to the character, so it made it slightly easier.
ankurk: Sir, is moustache the reason behind your huge success... would you recommend it to people?
Anil Kapoor: I wouldn't say so as it makes you slightly limited. If you don't have a moustache then you can get away with a lot of get-ups. For me, it became a part of my face. It's a necklace without a neck. People prefer me with a moustache. An actor's face is always better without one. You are limited with a moustache. But great actors like Charlie Chaplin, Raj Kapoor, etc. were great actors with moustaches! Grass is always greener on the other side though. Thank you very much for making me feel good and confident. :-)
jatak: What do you think is ailing Bollywood? Most movies have not been doing well. What do you think the industry can come out of this really bad stretch?
Anil Kapoor: This stretch has been a slightly long - 1 1/2 and 2 years. I think this summer will change it all. Many good movies are releasing this summer. These include my films like Calcutta Mail, Armaan etc. There are other quite a few good movies coming this summer, including LoC, a Raj Kumar Santoshi film and many others. So luck might change. There is also the piracy problem. The audience like movies on VCD, because of the craze. I think that is also one of the main reasons for the movies not doing well. I think that will change over a period of time because the movie quality in that is not good. And also films are not good enough. We should try and make better films.
ankurk: Where would we have met Anil Kapoor if he didn't go in for films?
Anil Kapoor: I always dreamt of being in the film industry since I can remember. Being the kind of person I am, I would have survived anywhere. I would be around doing something. I would be in a farm doing farming, I would be in the army... I would have done something, I'm sure. Whatever I would have done, I would have done with total passion and dedication. God has been kind to me and has got me in a profession that I love. I have got more than what I deserve and I am grateful to God for that.
reena: You have performed almost all kinds of roles, and done very well. What kind of roles do you look forward to doing?
Anil Kapoor: Acting is like an ocean and one life is not enough. There are so many characters that one can do. There are millions and millions of kinds of roles. What I have done is just a drop in the ocean. I work for them with equal dedication as I have done for my first film.
kajal: It's pretty good to hear that Indian film stars are being recognized abroad. I think Vivek Oberoi, Aishwarya Rai and few others have received Hollywood offers. Will we be seeing you in any Hollywood movies as well?
Anil Kapoor: There are a lot of films are that are being planned. We have to work hard and make films as good that you don't have to go there and do these movies to get recognized. Mr. India and 1942 - A Love Story have done well abroad. They were played in Russia, Europe and many other countries. Films like Lamhe also got international acclaim. Students from US had come down and saw the screening of the movie. I would prefer that Indian films in Indian languages do well abroad. I would prefer this rather than that. Make an Indian film in Indian language and make sure that it gets success all over. That's what I am trying to do in future projects.
girish: Which movies of yours are your personal favorites?
Anil Kapoor: Woh Saat Din, Parinda, Pukar, Virasaat, and Mr. India are among my personal favourites.
chandangururaj: Which performance of yours made you remark: "Oh I should not have done this role!"?
Anil Kapoor: There are a few, but I don't want to name them. I don't want to let anyone down as efforts of many people are involved in making those films. I have put my best in all movies that I have done.
chandangururaj: Who is your favourite costar?
Anil Kapoor: All of them - particularly Sridevi and Madhuri. Then Kajol, Aishwarya and Rani now in Calcutta Mail. I have really enjoyed working with them.
nivedita: Will Anurag Kashyap's Allwyn... have something controversial like Paanch?
Anil Kapoor: I hope that it doesn't get into this kind of controversy. I believe that it's a great entertainer and a commercial kind of film with a fresh outlook. You never know what happens. I hope it doesn't. I feel that there's nothing controversial in the film.
prettyflower: Sanjay Kapoor once said that Boney used to bully you. Is it true? Does it still happen?
Anil Kapoor: LOL. He used to bully me and hit me sometimes. But nothing serious. These kind of things happen with brothers.
queenaashima: You look better than many of the current lot of heroes. How do you maintain yourself?
Anil Kapoor: You have to work hard for that. I lead a very disciplined life. Happiness reflects on your face. If you have a good family life and good friends then it reflects on you. If you give your best and if you grow as a person, it brings you happiness. This helps you in the way you look and that's what I am trying to do.
chandangururaj: Can we be expecting you and Kamal Hassan in a movie?
Anil Kapoor: I would love to work with him. I am a great admirer of his. I hope it happens soon.
ankurk: Mr. India... seems to be gaining weight. Has he not been going to his wife's gym?
Anil Kapoor: LOL. My weight has been the same for the last 20 years. I have been very consistent.
chandangururaj: Do you have any plans of directing a film in the future?
Anil Kapoor: No. Not at the moment. I am concentrating on acting and not thinking of directing.
abid: You are the greatest and most versatile actor of the Indian Cinema. Keep up the good work. What is the secret of your success?
Anil Kapoor: Thanks Abid for this complement. But I don't deserve to be the greatest. Thanks for appreciating my work though. I am trying my best and that's more due to sincerity and commitment. I have been working with good co-actors and directors and that helps as well.
ankurk: Anil Kapoor is a natural entertainer. Do you agree with that?
Anil Kapoor: I have always tried to be as natural as possible. I have made very conscious effort to be natural. I can try and act larger than life, but I consciously try for being natural. And I think others should do the same as well.
andrew: I have not seen you endorsing any commercial products. Do you stay away from endorsing products?
Anil Kapoor: Since the last 20 years I have tried to stay away from endorsements. I have not done a single endorsement till date. It's a matter of principle.
sahar: Are you gonna work in any other movies with Shahrukh Khan?
Anil Kapoor: Yes, definitely. Just done one movie with him - Trimurti - and after that we haven't been able to work with each other.
ankurk: How long does Mr. India see himself ruling the film industry?
Anil Kapoor: I would like to die with my boots on!
priya: I really like the movie Nayak and I am looking forward to Armaan. What is Armaan about?
Anil Kapoor: It's a very decent, dignified film and I am playing a neurosurgeon in the film. I think it's the kind of film that you will really appreciate! It has a very different script. And the team (that's a part of the film) is great.
chandangururaj: In your entire career you've worked in Hindi, a Malayalam film and a Kannada movie. If you get offers from other languages, would you like to work in them?
Anil Kapoor: You've missed one more - a Telugu film. I would like to work in all languages including Bengali and Marathi.
ankurk: How do you manage criticism? Do you neglect it or reflect it in your attitude?
Anil Kapoor: It depends. If it's genuine and if it's from someone I look up to and admire, then I reflect on it. Otherwise I just ignore it.
vishal: What's your role in Calcutta Mail like?
Anil Kapoor: The movie is an emotional thriller. The screenplay, role and character again unfold when you watch the movie, reel by reel.
ankurk: From Woh Saat Din to Armaan... any armaan of yours that is still unfulfilled?
Anil Kapoor: Lot of them, actually. Now my armaans are my children and my future is totally devoted to them and my country.
ankurk: If Mr. Anil Kapoor were to become real Prime minister what would be the first change he would bring?
Anil Kapoor: I think first change would to clean the system completely and make sure that politics in not communal. It becomes unbiased and it becomes the country Gandhi and Nehru wanted it to be. There should be no animosity anywhere, especially in our country.
indianlioness: I have been watching your career since the beginning, (as I am almost of your age). What in your opinion has been the major drawback in your acting abilities that never promoted you to the heights of superstardom?
Anil Kapoor: I believe more in longevity. I have been a solo star for the last 20 years. You can hardly count people on the fingertips who have been playing solo for more than 20 years. And this is my 21st year. There are actors and stars that come and are on the top and then just go. We just have to see how long they can survive. For me longevity counts more than short spurts of stardom.
ankurk: Ups and downs are part of life. Do you do anything unconventional to overcome hard times which you would like others to pursue?
Anil Kapoor: That's a good question. You are up, you should be as modest and humble as possible. When you are down, it should not affect you. If you are arrogant when on top, when you change yourself and down, then it will affect you terribly. You should be consistent. You shouldn't constantly think about the future and the past. What you should focus on in the present. I think that's the basic thing that you should do is to focus and concentrate on what you have in hand instead of dwelling in the past or imagine how success will be. That's why they call it the nervous 90s in cricket. They forget about the ball which is bowled to them. They think about the last game and how they got out in the 90s. You should concentrate on the next ball that is coming to you. You will see that you are always successful throughout the life and you will achieve all heights and overcome all ups and downs gracefully.
First Published: Apr 19, 2003 13:11 IST