IBNMovies gets talking with the actor Aditya Raj Kapoor on movies, and also about his nephew Ranbir Kapoor and his nieces Kareena Kapoor and Karisma Kapur. Excerpts:
How important is it for you to be a Kapoor?
I'm very proud to be a Kapoor and carry forward the legacy. My grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor nurtured people in the industry – 75 family members itself, and many music directors, and so on. We have the blessings of all of them.
What has been the response to your acting in Chase?
It's a very slick film, and people have liked me in it. This is my second films as a villain, the first one being Mumbai 118 in which I played an elderly businessman who falls in love with a prostitute.
Why did you stay away from acting for so long?
I was not mentally qualified to be an actor. Also, my spiritual guru had advised me to take up acting later on in life. But I did direct three films abroad, Shamaal, Sambar Salsa and Don't Stop Dreaming.
Are you very spiritual?
Yes, I am. I even got married in my guru's ashram. I want to go by the science of spirituality rather than just blindly follow something.
Were you nervous while shooting with Dimple Kapadia and Randhir Kapoor for Society? Also tell us something about the film and your role.
Well, it was a historical moment. I had assisted Raj Kapoor on Bobby, so I know Dimple from those days. But I was nervous when shooting with her. My cousin Randhir Kapoor helped me loosen up. Both treated me like a newcomer and took care of me. In fact, my being in the film was a surprise for Randhir. He was in tears when he saw me. As for my role, it's a cameo.
You'd said before that you get 'cold feet' while acting. How have you been able to overcome that?
Acting is there in my genes. I have to learn to drive a car, or say, be an astronaut. I don't know how to learn acting. My mother and father both were actors. So, people tell me I'm very natural. Jag Mundhra also told me not to act in Chase, but simply be matter-of-fact.
If you had to choose between Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor as actors, who would you choose?
I would choose my father, definitely. I'm built like that and I feel today there's a gap for his kind of acting. He had also done roles with grey shades…. But I respect Rajji – I have learnt everything from Raj Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor.
Tell us the one thing you have learnt from your father Shammi Kapoor…did he give you any acting tips?
My father has always told me to keep my best foot forward, keep smiling and be adventurous. About acting, he told me that even if your back is to the audience, don't worry. Whatever body part faces the camera is your face.
If you had to choose between Ranbir, Kareena and Karisma, who would you go for?
All three are different. I think Ranbir is cute and has a full 20 years to showcase his acting. Karisma is an excellent actor, especially in films like Fiza. Kareena is extremely pretty. You can't take your eyes off her. And in films like Asoka and Chameli, she told the hero what she can do and carried the story forward.
About reviving the RK banner – what kind of films are you guys looking at? And what is your role in the process?
Well, Randhir is taking care of it, and whenever he calls me, I'm there for him.
Are you as Net savvy as Shammi Kapoor?
Yes, I'm on Facebook, though not on Twitter. I will soon have my website.
What are your forthcoming projects?
I'm again playing a negative role in Deewangi Ne Had Kar Di. Plus there's a film with Rajshri Pictures. And there are these boutique films which are being offered to me. I'm all for supporting young, new filmmakers with fresh ideas.