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Interview: Ranbir Kapoor may be a product of nepotism but has his own stamp.

By Pratishtha Malhotra Thursday, Jul 13, 2017 08:16: PM

Ranbir Kapoor is the generation's finest and there is no denying that. Having been so versatile in all his films, he is the one to admire in anything that he does. I sit with him ahead of his passion project Jagga Jasoos’ release and talk about if all the boxes are ticked. Pratishtha Malhotra chats it up with Ranbir Kapoor. 



After working on a film for three and a half years, was there any point where you were tired of Jagga Jasoos?



It is tiring when you try to finish your films in three months. It is just mentally tiring because of the patience that it needs. I had worked with Basu (Anurag Basu) on Barfi so I know his style of working. Barfi took two years as well, but ya I wasn’t prepared for this long a time. But Basu does a lot of work for you and I have had a good creative collaboration with him. I was very excited to work with him again. He works very hard, is very passionate and is very inspiring. When you are on set with him, he always challenges you. He does not like rehearsals, so everything is improvised. The situations are so out of the ordinary that you are always surprising yourself as an actor. Having said that, it tested our patience and we all got frustrated. We lost hope, we even tried to shelve the film. At some point, we also lost interest. What kept us going was just Basu’s persistence. He deserves all the success for it - not us.



Anurag Basu works without giving a script to his actors. Does it get tough to work like this on set?


He is that kind of a film maker and actors are insecure people. They need to know what to do, what is their graph. I knew all of this but it was harder for Katrina (Kaif) because she is the new cast member. But everyone else including Saurab ji (Shukla), were prepared for it. Now Barfi was a silent film so I didn’t need any dialogues but this one is a musical. Honestly, it is not so challenging as this is a very happy, positive film. As a character, you don’t have to work so hard.



You had mentioned that you wanted to revive the RK banner but with Jagga Jasoos you started with Picture Shuru Productions. Do you still plan to revive the family banner?


My intention is to make a film for my own banner but that is when I direct a film. Anurag Basu is a very big name and his contribution to this film is way more than mine. It was only fair for me to produce with him 50-50. I did not want to take the entire credit of producing this film. That is why we started Picture Shuru Productions for Jagga Jasoos and not to start a big company or anything. We have made Jagga Jasoos like a franchise film and want to do more films relating this character but all that depends if the film does well.




Did all the waiting get a little easier as the family understands how things work in the business?


My father was completely against this process. He used to take my case every time. He would keep telling me that I am not being responsible while producing a film. He would say, “Why is this taking so long? There is money involved by other people and your reputation, your money is at stake too…” Honestly, I am an actor and that is my skill set and do not have a skill set of a producer. It is a job that I don’t do well. I am not the actor who will tell the director that I will give you fifty days and you have to finish the film in it. I understand film making is an art that requires a certain time and everything happens in its own time and destiny. Eventually when the audience watches the film, it doesn't matter if you have taken five years or three days. As long as the film is good, that is what matters. I have always lived my career by this principle and would follow that in future as well. We could have been more responsible. But it was a very hard genre for dada.



You have been touted as the finest actor of the generation. Do you sometimes feel that some films don’t do justice to your talent?


I don’t feel that I am so talented that nothing is on my level. But I feel that I have been very lucky that I have got support from the film industry, the media, the audience.  and so many good film makers have come to me.  They have really supported me even in my failures. You know, whenever I have tried to go by formula like a Besharam, I have fallen flat on my face. It is not something that comes naturally to me. The riskier parts, the non-heroic parts where the deeds are heroic are the roles I connect with. I like playing the under hero and not the larger than life hero. I go by my instinct so if my gut likes the story and the director, I sign it.




The nepotism debate has been stirred one more time. You hailing from the first family of Indian Cinema feel any differently?


Well, of course it exists. I am a product of nepotism. I got opportunities because of my parents, my  father got opportunities because of his father and his father got opportunities because of his father’s father. For my children, if they choose to be actors, I would give them a platform also. If they want to become doctors, I would give them that platform as well. I would give them the education, the backing to follow their dream. So I mean it in that way. My family business has lasted for the last 85 years. It is unfair to a lot of people who are way more talented than us but we do get opportunities and attention. This is a big example but if Lionel Messi’s son wants to become a footballer, you want to watch him play to know if he has his father’s talent. If any person has accomplished something in any person in any field, you want to see if their kid is as good as them. There is a curiosity about them. The film industry is more glamorous and more focused on it because it is exciting. People like to get point of views and a debate on. Yes, nepotism exists everywhere but in the film industry it exists more. I don’t want to be a cry baby about this that I have so much pressure on me or so many expectations. I have been given a lot and I am very grateful. I am grateful for the fact that I get to do what I love. Very few people in the world get to do what they love and am very grateful that my parents gave me such an opportunity. Sanjay Leela Bhansali launched me but after that it is about your talent, your vision and how hard you work. Thankfully I have not been compared to my family. I had my own stamp. There are certain actors who have a style and their children try to follow that. My father didn't have a style as he has always been a spontaneous, natural actor. So you cannot compare our styles, so that is a positive.   

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