He keeps getting asked about the famous Kapoor ‘legacy.’ But that doesn’t pressure the super-confident Ranbir Kapoor.
He’s not at all tired, he insists. That’s because “it’s such good fun promoting your film!” He’s moved by all the support and adulation he’s been getting even before his film’s release, and eventually admits to being a bit nervous, as he walks in hand in hand with Saawariya co-star Sonam Kapoor, greeted by a huge crowd of fans. They are both dressed in black. By design? “Serendipity!” he laughs.
Ranbir Kapoor doesn’t look nervous, however. Dressed in a Saawariya tee, black leather jacket and jeans, he handles the press with the dexterity of a seasoned star, dodging questions about his link-up with Deepika Padukone (“Being two known faces in a group, we got linked together. No, I haven’t dated her.”) and his nomination as the latest gay icon (“I’m flattered at all the attention I’m getting.”) with diplomacy and ease. Is being launched by a director of the calibre of Sanjay Leela Bhansali an advantage? Or will every other movie after that come as an anticlimax after this huge hype? “I hope not,” he confesses. “I do wonder where my career will go from here. I guess if I worked for 3-4 movies before doing Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s I might have truly realised his worth. But even so, doing my first film with him, and the great technicians who work with him — everything’s turned out just perfect.” How is he handling the constant reminder that he comes from a family of great actors? Does that put pressure on him? “Well, I guess it’s both good and bad. I’m proud to be part of a family like ours. But when we are together we are a very normal family. So I don’t feel any pressure or awe,” he says. Bhansali is considered a tough taskmaster, so was it difficult to deal with his temper and exacting ways? “He’s a perfectionist, and his only concern is his work. I was aware of this and tried to rise to his expectations. He’s a hard taskmaster, yet friendly with us. Yes, he does make you work a little extra, but that’s expected,” says a diplomatic Ranbir, who has assisted the director earlier. There’s little mention of Salman Khan and Rani Mukherji in the promos of the films, but what was it like working with them in his first film? “I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity — I didn’t do any scenes with Salman, but did share some frames with Rani. She’s such a brilliant actor — there’s so much dedication and passion. She’s always charged, so you have to be on your toes, you just can’t falter.”
Is all the early adulation a little disconcerting? Yes, he confesses. “It’s hype. People are seeing the glossy side of us, during the promos, the tours. This attention is part of the hype. Let’s see how things develop after it.” Ranbir has mentioned that he would like to direct movies one day. Is he ready to give up acting for direction? No, he says. “I’m as passionate about acting as directing. So I may act, or direct other actors in my movies.” Finally, would he consider making a Kal Aaj Aur Kal -type multi-generational film, featuring his mom, dad and himself in it? “Absolutely,” he says with confidence, “If I found a story that inspired me.”