‘Don’t get roles like Tezaab’

News as of 15:36 GMT on Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Ramkishore Parcha, Senior Film Critic for BBC Hindi.com

In Indian cinema, Anil Kapoor is such an actor who does not appear under the pressure of age even after crossing the age of fifty. He still has the energy-filled and cheerful face of Prem Pratap Patiala Wala, the hero of his film ‘Woh Saat Din’, which came almost three decades ago.

This fortnight when British director Danny Boyle’s English film Slumdog Millionaire was released, Anil Kapoor once again came into the limelight. Highlights of his conversation:

This year your films like Tashan and Yuvraj did not work, but Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire got you discussed all over the world. What exactly is there in that?

It sounds exciting although I am not his hero. I have played the role of an anchor named Prem Kumar in it, who is the operator of a game show ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’. It is the story of a boy named Jamal who grew up in the dirty areas of Mumbai but when he becomes the winner of a game show, the police arrest him for cheating.
Later when he narrates his story, people come to know how poverty and its experience turn one into a book of questions and answers.

What is your reaction to the failure of Black and White, Tashan and Yuvraaj?

I don’t understand people’s preferences. The roles that I did in these three films, I had never done before. In Tashan, I did a negative role for the first time, whereas negative characters do not thrill me at all.I always want to try something new. That’s why I do black and white and Yuvraaj and Tashan too.

You are called Subhash Ghai’s favorite actor?

No, when I did films like Karma and Taal with him, other people like Govinda were supposed to do my roles earlier. I was the first choice of Subhash ji only in black and white and Yuvraj. It is a different matter that I want to do every film of his.

When you made Gandhi My Father as a producer, you neither took Boney Kapoor nor Satish Kaushik along?

Don’t say that. I could not even think of working without him. With Satish we had made films like ‘Roop Ki Rani…’ to ‘Badhaai Ho Badhaai’. But I wanted to make Gandhi My Father with a different treatment and I had seen the play of Firoz Khan.

This film did not glorify Gandhi. It was a film about his family and relationships. I felt that only a man who understands its soul can create it.

In your long career, you haven’t done Tezaab-like roles again?
Roles like Tezaab or Ishwar are not written again and again and now I can’t do acid-like roles even if I want to. But I remember that when the films ‘Lamhe’ and ‘1942 A Love Story’ were shown in America, students kept coming there for months to see them. When I got the National Award for Pukar, there were more people who congratulated me who had not forgotten my role of ‘Woh Saat Din’ even today.

Your father was himself a big producer and distributor, then why didn’t you start with his films?

I wanted to prove myself on my own. I didn’t want anyone to say that it was easy for me to be a hero. Yes, when I became successful in films, we definitely made films under my father’s banner.

So why are you supporting your daughter Sonam. The news is that you give him directions?

No. I care for him only like a father and that is what every father should do. I am happy that his career is taking shape. When she did Saawariya, I was glad that she turned out to be a talented actress.

As far as I am concerned, we both were seen together during a function in London and Lakme Fashion Week in India but it was a father and daughter together, not actor Anil Kapoor or actress Sonam.

What are the movies and people that you still remember at this point?
I don’t forget anyone. Not even that struggle of my film ‘Ek Baar Kaho’ in which I jumped from a train bogie because I wanted to make that scene memorable, but when I saw the rushes, my heart broke. My face was lost in smoke and the camera was focusing on Shabana ji’s face.

These were the moments that inspired me to be a hero. I also did the negative role of Tashan because I wanted to try myself. So I can never forget all the films I did in my career.

Have you ever thought of directing?
Direction is not my job…

You have been compared to Kamal Haasan and it is believed that after him, you use yourself the most in your roles?

Kamal is a great actor. I like his films. If I am compared to him, then it is a big deal for me. But today is the time of makeover. Now people give the name of makeover to experiment whereas a role does not just mean changing clothes or hair style.

For that one has to live within the character and the character. I remember how I worked without fat and moustache during Badhaai Ho Badhaai and Lamhe.

What do you say about your family? Heard you were nothing when you got married?
Family is most important to me. When I married Sunita, she used to run a gym. I loved him and from then till now he played a role in my life which no one can play in any film. This is a real life role and I respect that role .

Which are the upcoming movies now?

Now Yuvraj and Slumdog Millionaire have been released. After this no problem and more shortcuts will come.

curtsey : bbchindi.com

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