New Delhi: Kunal Kapoor has been missing from the silver screen for a year. However, the lanky star was making full use of the time - learning to fly a plane, training in the sporting activity of parkour, working on his vocals to play a singer, and not to forget, beefing up for a superhero role.
"I wasn`t on a sabbatical. I may have not shot for one year but it has been the most productive year of my life," said Kunal.
He was last seen in a full-fledged role in Madhur Dixit starrer ‘Aaja Nachle’ in 2007. After that, Kunal just made special appearances in 2008 in movies like ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ and ‘Welcome To Sajjanpur’. He was missing from the silver screen in 2009.
"I was doing a lot of things so I wouldn`t call it a hiatus. I`ve got the chance to work on myself as an actor all this while, to fly a plane, to learn sky diving, work on stories that I really want to be a part of. There`s an action film (‘Doga’) that I`m doing, so I was learning parkour (an acrobatic street sport) for it," Kunal told reporters over telephone from Mumbai.
"I was working...There`s never really a dull moment. It`s just that I didn`t have a release for a while. As an actor, it is exciting for me to have lots of releases but at the same time, there have got to be movies that I really want to be a part of," he added.
Kunal will be now seen as a young politician in Rahul Dholakia`s ‘Lamhaa’. Releasing July 16, it also stars Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu and Anupam Kher.
Set in Kashmir, it deals with the sensitive issue of militancy and the presence of the army there.
So did he take flying lessons for a movie? "That was passion. That was something I really wanted to do since a really long time," he replied.
The 34-year-old is learning to fly a single engine Cessna 172 at Sagar in Madhya Pradesh. So has he mastered the controls completely?
"It`s a never-ending process. You keep adding hours and as much as you can do. There`s no fixed amount of days. You keep doing it and you keep learning," said the actor, who debuted with MF Husain`s ‘Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities’.
Kunal is now trying for a pilot`s license.
"I don`t have one right now but that`s what I`m working towards. The only thing I am petrified of is giving exams...I haven`t given exams in a long time. That should be a whole new experience now."
That`s not all. The actor is working hard on his physique as well to bulk up for Anurag Kashyap`s superhero movie ‘Doga’.
"`Doga` is a process and it`s going to take a while. Doga is a character who is 25 kilos of muscle more than what I am. I have to work towards that so I`ve just begun right now."
He is also working on his vocals for Navdeep Singh`s movie ‘Chamkila’, based on the "Punjabi music world" and shows a "never seen before, raw side of Punjab".
"I play a singer in the movie. I am terrible at it but I`m working on it (too)," he said.
All the learning has left the actor brimming with confidence.
"I`ve never felt so sure about myself as an actor. I am really excited about starting new stuff now...life for me has never been about one thing.
"We make life more about work than anything else. It`s about discovering a lot of things. There`s so much to it and that`s what I am working at," Kunal said.