He is charming, good-looking and most importantly, a terrific actor. With his new film `Besharam` the talented Ranbir Kapoor is gearing up to enter the massy commercial space and it’s not easy, he says…
In a short span of time Ranbir Kapoor has experimented with different roles and has successfully earned the tag of ‘versatile’ actor. While he has grown professionally, personally too this Kapoor lad has learned a lot – how to keep his personal life personal, for one. When we caught up with Ranbir Kapoor, we realised that the `Besharam` actor is nothing like his on-screen persona. He is polite and has a generous heart (not badtameez), and didn’t mind waiting till we got answers to our questions. So did we ask him about a certain ‘special friend’? Did he talk about making fun of Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan in his new film? Will `Besharam` beat YJDH in box office collections? Read on to find out….
With Besharam you are moving into massy entertainer genre. How easy or difficult is it?
Well, I have tried it earlier, but I think it’s a very hard genre. The amount of belief and conviction you need to succeed in this genre is immense. I have done films like `Rockstar` and `Barfi` – there is a certain understanding and you work on a character, but when you’re playing a larger than life character like Babli in `Besharam`, who is a bit vulgar and repulsive, it’s very hard for me. But as an actor I think I should challenge myself. The audience might just hate me in this film. But the risk factor is very important, so I am trying different genres. Let’s see how it goes.
Abhinav Kashyap wrote `Dabangg` keeping in mind Salman Khan’s personality, he said. So was it same with you and `Besharam`?
I think it was a process. When Abhinav came to me, he had a small story. At that time `Rockstar` had released and he sent me a message that he loved the film and that I am very good actor. He said give me six months and I will come back to you with a script. When he came, he didn’t give me any pravachan about the story. It was a simple script about how there is never a right way to do the wrong thing. And I liked it and I like Abhinav also. It’s very important for me to like a director. Also, I don’t think he wrote `Besharam` keeping me in mind; he has just cast me as an actor.
Recently at the Bigg Boss Saath 7 press` conference, Salman Khan said, ‘There is a new guy, Ranbir Kapoor, who is giving tough competition to all the big stars’. Do you agree?
I think this is the bigness of Salman Khan. He is not an insecure actor and has always encouraged new talent. Unhone jo kaha, badhiya kaha, ‘coz there are always reports about inki iske saath nahin jamti and all that, but if you compete with work, there is nothing better than that. And coming from Mr Salman Khan, it’s a very big compliment. I have been working for around six years, so I don’t even consider myself in their league. I think the true superstars of this country are Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan. They have been entertaining for so long and if anybody amongst them says something good about me, I feel proud.
After watching the trailer, people thought you were making fun of Salman and Shah Rukh...
No, I am not making fun of anybody. I think jab bhi koi sarson ke khet ke samne aata hai, they remember only one song, Tujhe dekha toh ya jaana sanam. I think we have said that in good humour. Mr Shah Rukh Khan himself has a great sense of humour. If it has hurt him or his fans, then I would like to apologise. That was not our intention. Also, about making fun of Salman Khan – I would like to say that my father plays Chulbul Chautala and my mother, Bulbul Chautala. Now Chulbul and `Dabangg` have become such household names, so we are just taking the help of that character. In fact, I am insulting my father, that ‘Chulbul naam rakhne se koi Dabangg nahin ho jaata’. So I am complimenting Salman sir, but people have misunderstood. And I am a very secure actor. I don’t like making fun of people just to get more attention. I think attention kaam se milta hai.
Was it intimidating working with your father Rishi Kapoor?
Absolutely! I was very scared about how I will work with him. Till date I have never looked into my father’s eyes. I am very scared of him. But on a film set, he becomes character. That’s the great thing about him. Even after working for 40 years, he is still excited and passionate about working. I had to call him ‘mote’ and ‘dharti pe bhoj’ and I was like, how will I ever say that! But he gave me courage and never made me feel uncomfortable. So it all went smoothly.
Pallavi Sharda, your `Besharam` co-star is a trained dancer. So was there any completion on sets when it came to dancing?
Yes, Pallavi is a trained dancer from Australia and she is very good actor as well. But there was no competition as such. But yes, I do compete with myself when my co-stars are good dancers. Also, I hope people accept Pallavi.
There were reports about you being upset as Pallavi was roped in opposite you….
No…I was not upset at all. In fact, I have worked with so many newcomers. In Rockstar I worked with Nargis Fakhri, then I worked with Ileana D’Cruz in Barfi! So I am actually up for working with newcomers. And I am not an interfering actor. I don’t tell my co-stars what to do, or not to. How to say lines and all. In fact, Pallavi knew everything well and was competent enough to do everything on her own .
Will `Besharam` break the box office record of `Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani`?
Luckily I come from a family where I have never faced a dearth of anything – be it money or luxuries. Hence I am not doing films for money. By God’s grace, I am financially well off. But yes, I do hope the audiences like my film and this can beat YJHD‘s box office numbers too.
In a recent interview you said that you would sacrifice your life for Katrina Kaif…
I don’t want my life to become a reality show. Last time I spoke about my relationship openly and my work got sidelined. People spoke more about my personal life. So I have learnt from my past experience. I am not really being selfish, just protective, since in India, people are judgemental. When a relationship doesn’t culminate in marriage, people start saying, ‘Pehle iske saath thi and then someone else’. But obviously, if I am going to get married, I will let everybody know. And I have said that Katrina is a special person. So that’s’ it.
Your parents share an amazing onscreen chemistry even today. One female co-star with whom you share such chemistry…
To be honest – and I am not being diplomatic – I think I share better chemistry with my directors. ‘Coz I am selfish enough to understand that they will add more to me than what my heroine will add. So I have enjoyed working with everybody, from Sonam Kapoor to Deepika Padukone. I have been lucky that I have got such talented and pretty co-stars. And I always believe that an actor will be loved if the actress loves him well. So these women have loved me well onscreen, for people to like me.
Your cousin Kareena Kapoor is keen on working with you….
I would love to work with Kareena Kapoor. But nothing great has come our way. I have worked with my uncle Shammi Kapoor and my parents. So now only she is remaining from my family… so why not!
One thing that Ranbir Kapoor is totally `Besharam about`…
I am a very shy person in real life. But as an actor one should be besharam about showcasing emotions. And besharam doesn’t necessarily mean kapde faadne and all. It’s more of an attitude. Even in my film, we say are trying to say that suno sabki par karo mann ki. Besharam is about doing what you think is right, listening to your heart and not caring about what others think. So I am quite besharam in front of the camera.
September 28 is your birthday. Any plans?
I will be promoting my film `Besharam` and I want to clarify that I am not getting engaged on that day. Maybe I will cut a cake amidst media people. My friends may come over to wish me. So that’s it. Even last year, I was on the sets of `Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani` on my birthday and before that on the sets of `Barfi!`.