Ranbir Kapoor opens up about all the stories written about him while he was away shooting in Sri Lanka.
We recently saw pictures of you and Katrina holidaying in Spain. Are you both in a relationship?
Right now, given the phase I am in my life, I have opened this umbrella which comprises my family, love, friendship, my movies and things that make me happy. In the last few months, a lot has been spoken about my relationship, but I think before my personal life becomes a reality show, I would like to protect it as much as I can. It’s not about one person, but involves two people, the other being a girl, and she has more to lose than me. I think there is a right time to speak about everything. But right now, I am so consumed by my life — be it my professional or personal life — that I don’t want the spotlight more on that. Fortunately, I was away in Sri Lanka for the last one-and-a-half months shooting, when all this was happening and I was completely focused on my work and did not see the backlash that was coming. The pictures are out. Today, the paparazzi are not just photographers, everyone has a cell phone with a camera. If they see an actor, they click pictures to show it to their friends or have it on their phones and, as an actor, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Having said that, there is a limit that has been crossed, but there is nothing right or wrong. As an individual, when you’re the subject, you can feel bad about it. But too bad, you are an actor. So it’s a bit of a catch-22 that you wished it did not happen, but, when you think about it, you can’t really do anything about it. All this is really in between. What really matters is your movies and how good a person you are. Otherwise tabloids and news channels writing about you only builds your curiosity and stardom and propels you to reach wider places.
Your father has said that he has no reservations about who you want to get married to, but he just wants you to be happy. Any plans for marriage?
There are a lot of theories that my parents are intrusive in my life and my mother is this and my father is that and that really annoys me. My parents have worked too hard and they have come to a place where they don’t demand respect, they command it. So much has been written about them liking this girl and not liking that one, the reality is they have never ever told me about the girls in my life. They are happy if I am happy. They’ve never ever passed any rude comment about anybody. They are extremely friendly with me and, if they have any problem with me, I can always go and speak to them. Marriage is a natural process that has to organically come from you. I cannot get married because I am going to become 31 this year. Also, somewhere in my head — and it’s a bad reason — but I am living with my parents and we are planning to move out and make a larger space, where I will start my family. I don’t see myself ever leaving my parents. Also, I believe that a child needs both parents, so I will get married when I am ready for a child. I definitely want to get married, but not immediately. A tabloid wrote that I am getting engaged on my birthday, even though I have not even had a conversation about this. Firstly, it makes me sound tacky that I am going to propose on my birthday as I don’t take my birthday so seriously. Secondly, it will be a special moment for me and when I do get married, I want the girl to feel special and want it to be a surprise for her as it will be a big moment in her life, too. I hope that the tabloids do not spoil her surprise and she is actually surprised when I propose to her.
Having been in relationships and having dated girls, are there qualities you will look for in your wife?
With age and experience, I have come to the view that what I really look for is to look up to the girl. I need to respect her and that she adds more to my life than I add to hers. Every individual is different and you just have to be comfortable with each other. I am not a male chauvinist and want my wife to live her life and have her own point of view. I want her to do all she wants to. Gone are the days when women take the personality of the man and are just homemakers.
Your dad is known to be a dominating person. Are you like him?
I am the complete opposite of my father. I have grown up in a different generation, getting exposed to different cultures and realise that these are all society’s dos and don’ts. Duniya mein sabse bada rog, kya kahenge log? We are scared of what people will say and so we behave in a certain way. You can live a happy and full life with a shared point of view. It’s about sharing and not about you being the provider and she taking care of the home.
You are working for the first time with both your parents in Besharam. Which of them did you grow up liking more as an actor?
My father, of course. I am a little possessive of my mother and don’t like her romancing other heroes. If it’s my father, it’s fine. When he is acting with you, you don’t realise what he is doing as it’s so simple and natural, but when you see it on screen, there is a larger picture. His experience, his spontaneity and passion comes across effortlessly. Having said that, he puts on so much effort in his mind to bring out that effortlessness.
Is there any trick you have learnt from your dad?
Before Rockstar he told me, ‘Ranbir, you should sing your songs.’ Before that, I used to just move my mouth quietly, as I am conscious as the actress in front of me will judge me. But it’s important to sing wholeheartedly as songs are such an important part of Indian films that you have to really enjoy it and find your own style. You can’t do Mr Dev Anand style or Mr Shah Rukh Khan style or Mr Salman Khan style. My father had a natural way of singing. I try and do that and sing loudly now. My actresses still judge me and make faces because of my shrieking voice, but too bad, they have to bear it.
Your father and Ayan have both spoken about you being a detached person post the release of your film. Is that true?
It’s not that I am not emotional, but I am extremely secure and curb it as I am afraid to let go and be broken. So, I have cultivated myself to be detached in life, specially where movies are concerned. I have a high goal and if I get bogged down by failure or let success go to my head so early, it will only lead to my downfall and that too, very soon. Detachment works for me. I am attached to a few people in my life and I can give my life for them. I truly believe that God has given us few brain cells and you have to direct them to the right things that make you happy.
Who can you give your life for?
My family, Ayan, Katrina, as she is a very special person in my life, Rohit Dhawan, who I grew up with, and Aisha Divetri, my school friend. And Imtiaz Ali and Anurag Basu, as they add a lot to my life.
You are seen today as a superstar in the league of Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir. How do you feel?
It’s nice that you say this to me, but it is really hard to digest it and believe that I am compared to them as far as stardom is concerned. I am the same and am approaching my films in the same way I did for Saawariya and know that Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani did well for many reasons — music, Deepika and my pairing, timing of the film, genre and made with honest intentions. When I am a part of a bad film and if I can’t make it run on my starpower that means I am not a superstar. I come from the notion that a superstar can make a bad film run. For me, a star is not above the film. When everything comes together, a film does well and it adds to my star value and stardom. This term superstar is bastardised in this country. But I believe that the true-blue superstars are Mr Amitabh Bachchan, Mr Shah Rukh Khan, Mr Salman Khan, Mr Aamir Khan.
What is your larger goal?
It’s too large. I have the hunger to be a better actor, bigger star. With every release, my hunger is just growing. I want to produce and direct. At 30, I have produced. I hope to direct by the age of 35. I need to achieve all this, so that at 80 when I have bought a vineyard with my wife, I can call you from somewhere there and say, ‘Ya, now I feel I am a superstar.’
Do you wish your grandfather were alive today to see your success?
He died when I was six. More than Raj Kapoor my grandfather, I am close to his films. That has inspired me and taught me a lot. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder and am proud that I am his grandson. But he is public property and he is as much mine as he is everybody’s. He is my idol and my golden goal and I hope I can achieve something like him.
You got a lot of flak for making fun of SRK and Salman in your Besharam trailer.
I have grown up watching both these icons. There was a scene of me pissing in the fields and I asked my director if I could sing that iconic song of DDLJ, as it would be a comic moment. We did not mean to hurt anybody, so I apologise to his fans. Mr Shah Rukh Khan is a man with a great sense of humour and I am sure he will not mind it. I will apologise to him when I meet him and ask him if he minded it. My father’s name in the film is Chulbul Chautala. So when I tell him, ‘Chulbul naam rakhne se koi dabang nahi ban jata,’ we were not trying to ridicule anyone. I don’t want to take anyone’s place and I am a secure and arrogant actor and will not belittle anyone to find success.
Stories connecting you with Deepika don’t seem to stop.
Deepika and me have fortunately done a successful film together and we have been in a relationship in the past, but it is hard for people to imagine how we have both moved on in our lives. She is doing well and I am proud of her achievements, but we have not been in touch after YJHD. I hope people can distinguish between us and that we are working together only as professionals. There is nothing common in our lives other than the films we have done or will do. I have never ever involved myself with casting. That’s the director’s prerogative. I am doing Imtiaz’s film irrespective of his heroine. Even if he had taken a five-year-old boy to work opposite me, I would have done it.