IN CONVERSATION Each actor takes the industry forward in his own style, says Ranbir Kapoor
Looks like Ranbir Kapoor has decided that the usual is not for him. The Kapoor scion who began his career with the experimental “Saawariya” is ready with his next film, Imtiaz Ali’s “Rockstar”, in which he plays the role of a musician with a disquieting past. He is working on Anurag Basu’s “Barfee”, in which he plays a hearing and speech impaired. deaf and mute character.
In an interview, the young and much-sought-after actor talks about taking a different path in a rather formulaic industry, his platonic relationships, and letting go of the past. Excerpts:
I think ‘Rockstar’ is a very Hindi film. It is a love story between a Jat boy and a Kashmiri girl, and about the boy’s musical journey after he suffers a heartbreak. It is not a run-of-the-mill plot, yet not radically cut off either. As for being a gamble, I really don’t think so. There is a lot of talent in the film — A.R. Rahman, Imtiaz Ali — so I never thought of it as a risk. To me, it was the role of a lifetime, and I jumped at it. I totally submitted myself to the director’s view.
In life, we deeply love someone who has the capability to destroy us. This film is about the journey of Janardhan in getting destroyed.
Reading biographies is my particular interest, but that wasn’t part of the prep work for ‘Rockstar’. However, I did put in other effort such as familiarising myself with Jats. I haven’t personally known any Jat family, so I went and stayed in Pitampura and put up with a family who had a son my age. I ate their food and went drinking and partying with them to learn their mannerisms. Learning music was intrinsic to my character, and I had the good fortune to practise the guitar at Rahman’s studio where Imtiaz (Ali, director) had warned me nobody could go! But, the biggest prep any actor can do is to marry his ideas with the director’s vision. I did that.
Oh! I can’t escape these link ups. But, I really think they are unfair to her (Nargis). She is new to this country, and she was quite upset when she first read the stories. I am used to them by now and know how to deal with the speculation; she still can’t. But that’s okay, she’ll learn. We share a pure platonic relationship.
I don’t rate just contemporaries as competition. Even Amitabhji is competition as someday I expect to match his stature and popularity. Of course, that’s when I have that kind of body of work behind me.
I think Shahid was good in ‘Kaminey’ as was Imran in ‘Delhi Belly’. I even liked Ranveer in ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’. I feel each of us will be taking the industry forward in our style.
We are both aware that we come to this film with baggage. Yet, we are going to try and make it the love story of the generation. When Ayan offered me the role, I was just concerned about who the director was and how attractive the script sounded. It doesn’t matter who the co-actor is. Moreover, as responsible adults we have both moved on and nurse no negativity against each other. I wish her well in all her endeavours, and I am sure she does too.
Every film comes with its fair share of challenges. In ‘Barfee’, the challenge is serious, as I play a hearing and speech impaired. But ‘Barfee’ is not a very serious film. In fact, it is a warm comedy. I’d say it is a sunshine movie in the league of a Roberto Benigni or a Charles Chaplin.