The graft of Bollywood’s first family, Ranbir Kapoor’s instantaneous triumph in the industry makes him want to achieve even more by day. In an exclusive interview, the gen-next star, Ranbir Kapoor sheds some light on Besharam, his future ventures and his relationship with alleged ladylove, Katrina Kaif. Read on to know more…
Your last film ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ has been a super grosser at the box office. Did you expect such a response?
Not at all. Actually I have never expected anything from my films commercially. Even when we were making Barfi! I thought it would make around Rs 20-30 crore and critical acclaim. But what audiences like and expect on the big screen is something that filmmakers and actors will never know. And at the heart of it, it’s the story that matters and one has to be honest to themselves.
Same way, the success of YJHD had many factors, Deepika and my pairing, the music of the film, the timing of the release, the genre. And when these factors come together, you get a superhit like YJHD. I have been very lucky for the commercial success and critical acclaim that has come my way.
Tell us about your character, Babli in Besharam?
Films like Besharam belong to a very tough genre. The characters I have played till now have a certain understanding, but when you play a character like Babli, which is larger than life, a bit vulgar, repulsive, it becomes very hard. But as an actor it is very important that I challenge myself. I don’t know, the audience might just hate me, but the risk factor is very important.
So did Abhinav Kashyap mould the character keeping in mind your personality, or was the character written keeping you in mind?
I think there was a certain process. He had a small story in mind and he first got in touch with me when he congratulated me after Rockstar, for my performance. He had already started working on the script and when he contacted me, it took him 6-7 more months to complete it. And I couldn’t say no because I like Abhinav a lot and it is very important for me to like the director.
Just recently at the Big Boss conference, Salman said you were a threat to him when it comes to work. Isn’t that a huge compliment for you?
I think this is a huge thing for me, coming from an actor like Salman Khan. It is a great thing that he is encouraging other actors. I have only been working since last six years; I can’t even consider myself in the same league as him. But yes, such compliments do make me feel proud of myself.
Your character in Besharam is a huge fan of Big B and it turns out you have also adapted his look in the film…
Yes. Actually when Abhinav wrote my character, it was my idea that I play an Amitabh Bachchan fan and the only preparation that I had to do is grow my chest hair. It took me 4 whole months to grow (showing off his chest hair) and I am very proud of it. I don’t think I will ever lose it either.
The trailer of Besharam shows that you are making fun of SRK and Salman.
Not really. I don’t think we are making fun of anyone. I think whenever someone stands in a sarson ke khet, all they remember is the song, ‘Tujhe dekha toh’. It is all said in good humour and Mr. Shah Rukh is himself a man of great sense of humor and if by any chance we have hurt him or his fans, I would definitely like to apologize to him. Whereas Salman sir is concern, we have the Chulbul name, because it has now become such a household name. And by saying that Chulbul naam rakhne se koi Dabangg nahi ban jata, I am actually insulting my father and complimenting Salman sir.
How was it working with your parents for the first time?
I was really scared, because still today, I have never looked at my father directly. I am extremely scared of him, but on the film sets he becomes the character and that is a great part of him. Even after being a part of the industry since 40 years, he is still excited about all his characters. I myself got to know so much about acting from him. He also made me feel extremely comfortable and never intimidated me. My mother, on the other hand is playing an extremely different character and seeing her work after 30 years, it was very heartwarming.
What do you have to say about the versatility that Rishi ji show in his acting till date?
Well, he has made me realize that stars fade and actors remain. He is very passionate and whenever we go on a shooting together, he is ten times more excited than me.
Have you very tried copying him, or you have always preferred being original?
I think he is a very natural, spontaneous actor and you cannot really copy someone like that. If you see his earlier films, he was him and I want to make my own image too. Anyways I am burned by the tag ‘The Star Son’ and that I get everything easily. Yes, I did get my first film easily, but at the end, it is your own hard work and I too had to go through a lot of struggle.
One actress, you thing you share a good chemistry with?
Actually to tell you the truth, I share a great chemistry with my directors. They will add more to me than what a heroine will add to my life. I have enjoyed working with everybody. Right from Sonam, to Deepika, Nargis and now Pallavi, I feel lucky that I have got such pretty and talented co-stars.
You are working with Anurag Kashyap and Abhinav Kashyap. How different are they?
Very different actually. One makes very sunshine, happy, entertaining films, while the second one makes dark films. But as an actor it is important that I get the best of both worlds and I had a great time working with both of them.
You are a terrific dancer, so how have you used it in this film?
I actually don’t consider myself as a great dancer. I have long thin legs, my hands are a little feminine, but it is important to enjoy every performance and you should dance with your face and expressions.
Pallavi is a trained classical dancer. So was there any competition on sets?
Actually I was competing with her and she is a trained dancer from Australia and a very good actress also. I hope people accept her and it is very nice to work with newcomers as there are no date problems. I am all for newcomers.
How was it visiting KBC sets and meeting Amitabh ji?
I think it is always great to be on his show because he gives so much love. KBC is also a great platform to promote your film and a lot of people watch it. I had fun with Amitji and told him how big a fan I am of his.
What is the one thing that you think you are Besharam about?
I am a very shy person in real life and I can only show my Besharmi on screens. Because when the audiences come and see your performance, they are willing to see honest acting.
You have played a very polished character on screens, but this was something different. So was it difficult for you?
It was definitely hard to pay that part, because I have grown in such an environment, that I am very well-behaved and soft spoken. But it’s important to challenge yourself in films.
How did you react when Abhinav told you that your name in the film is Babli, which is a woman’s name?
Oh, I loved it. I believe audiences react more on such names, like Barfi! in Barfi!, Janardan or Jordan in Rockstar and now Jagga in Jagga Jasoos.
There is so much that has been spoken about your personal life. How do handle that?
There so much being said about my personal life and I really don’t want my life to become a reality show. Yes, Katrina is a very special part of my life but beyond that I have learnt that, when you become so open about your relationship and God forbid, if it doesn’t reach the marriage stage, there is a lot of judgment about women in our country. And I would love to share about my relationship, if I find the need to.
Even the pictures that recently came out of me, I am not mad about it. I understand that being a star, these things are a part of my life. It is a Catch 22 situation for me as this is the life I have chosen to live. You can write anything about me, it may or may not be true, it is your job. Media has made me today.
How important are promotions for a film?
Promotions are very important. Since filmmaking is such an expensive medium, you want people to know about the movie. When you go on reality shows, you get a lot of respect as an actor.
Do you think Besharam will beat the box office collections of YJHD?
I have no idea but I hope it does so that my next film, people are even more excited to see it.
What do you long to achieve in future?
I think this is just the start for me. I want the best of all the stars including Aamir, Shah Rukh, Salman, Akshay and Bachchan Saab.
Can you shed some lights on your future ventures?
I will begin shooting for Jagga Jaasoos in November. It has been produced by me and it was a great experience to work with Anurag Basu. It is a musical with a detective concept and is co-produced by Disney brand. They are actually making a franchise with comic characters and stuff. Then there is Bombay Velvet in which I am playing a very intense character. I am also working for Imtiaz Ali’s next and also Ayan Mukherji for a superhero flick. There’s Roy which is directed by a very close friend of mine and I am playing a supporting character in it.