The rise of another Kapoor
The star kid who impressed in 'Ishaqzaade' has A unspooled his magic yet again in a double role in his new film A 'Aurangzeb'. Arjun talks about his...
The star kid who impressed in 'Ishaqzaade' has A unspooled his magic yet again in a double role in his new film A 'Aurangzeb'. Arjun talks about his A personal and professional life.A Radhika Rajamani Arjun Kapoor stormed into cinema with his performance as Parma in 'Ishaqzaade' directed by Habib Faisal. The film was hit and another actor was born with it. Arjun walked away with some of the Best Male Debut awards. Having grown up in the film industry, being the son of Boney Kapoor and the grandson of Surinder Kapoor, Arjun was also assistant producer and assistant director before the arc lights beckoned him with 'Ishaqzaade', a YRF production. When one compliments him for his performance at the beginning of the interview Arjun is courteous enough to respond, "Thank you so much. It is always good to hear compliments from people even one year after the debut." And then the interview veers towards his forthcoming release 'Aurangzeb' where he does a double role and his future projects. How did 'Aurangzeb' happen? 'Aurangazeb' ironically happened even before 'Ishaqzaade' released. After the Chopra's saw the rushes of 'Ishaqzaade' they offered me 'Aurangzeb' as a Valentine's Day (February 14) gift. I thought it would be the conventional Yashraj film � the romcomish space or the entertaining space but what surprised me and made me really happy was Aditya Chopra thought of me so early to play a double role in my career. The material that I read was so unlike that they have made that I was instantly drawn to it because it was unique. It sort of had the old world charm of Yashji's films �'Trishul' or 'Deewar' in the confrontation and dialogue-'baazi' but it was a contemporary take of Gurgaon today, how relevant the land mafias is in Gurgaon today. I really found it intriguing and it was a story that has never been told before. Why is it titled 'Aurangzeb'? It's quite intriguing to name it after a historical character and more so a Mughal emperor... The idea behind was to create a sense of intrigue. It works a certain metaphor for all our characters. Kingship knows no kinship as they say. 'Aurangzeb' destroyed his family to gain absolute power and that's the journey of all our characters. We (characters) all have the streak of not even caring about our own emotions towards our family and wanting to destroy them to usurp power. That's where 'Aurangzeb', the title, stems from. You have a double role in the film. How challenging was it to play it in your second film itself? It was an exciting challenge because as an actor when a producer and director pack you thinking they believe you are capable of it automatically it gives you a belief. Once Atul and I read the script, I spoke to him and got tremendous clarity. So, the challenge was to create two separate isolated characters � one is Ajay, who is the prodigal son based out of Gurgaon who wants to take over his father's empire (i.e. Jackie Shroff's empire). Ajay is absolutely black. He doesn't care what people perceive and what people think. He is an alcoholic, badly behaved, arrogant but he wants to be the centre of attention. On the other hand, you have Vishal, who is planted in the place of Ajay by the police to get information out of the underworld. Vishal is contrary to Ajay. He is submissive, silent, merging in the crowd, well-spoken, well behaved simpleton from a small town of Nainital. So, there were two different characters. During the shooting when I used to play Vishal I used to remember Ajay and keep him in mind and when I played Ajay I used to remember Vishal. We really worked on making for the disparity between with the dialogues, walk and talk. You had to live through two characters while shooting the film? That must have been pretty exciting... Yeah. As an actor what else do you crave for? You get to live vicariously through your characters. I got to play two in one film, so I made the most of it. Is Aurangzeb a high-voltage action one given the cop-real estate backdrop? It's an emotional drama at the end of the day � a drama with a lot of confrontation and action but it's also emotion driven. It's not 'maar-daar' for the sake of action. It follows the path of drama that leads to action. So, the build up is always through the performance of the characters and the twists and turns that the story forms. How was the experience of working with senior artistes like Rishi Kapoor and Jackie Shroff? Fantastic. It's a big learning curve for me because 'Ishaqzaade' was with all newcomers. After that to get to work on a new film where I'm the youngest and everybody else is more experienced than me it allowed me to elevate my performance to match their performance. That's what working with good actors does. It sort of makes you rise to the occasion and I hope I have done that. I enjoyed myself and I got to learn a lot. The way they carried themselves and the way they take their craft seriously, they are so good with their work. On the other hand, you acted with Prithviraj and Sikander Kher... Yes, both are more experienced than me. Prithviraj is a huge star in his own right. He's very humble when he approaches his work. I have known Sikander as a kid, so sharing space was an emotional and fun experience at the same time. What can we expect from this film? In our day-to-day lives, you hear about land mafia, land grabbing, people trying to make money. 'Aurangzeb' is a present day story. It deals with the politics of family trying to destroy each other, so it's all relevant to modern day India. What I would like people to see in the film is it is an emotional drama with loads of action and thrill. How was the overall experience of doing this film? It's been a learning experience. It's only my second film and I got to explore such a different journey and it's a high when you get to play a double role. The other aspect I enjoyed was it being completely different from 'Ishaqzaade'. It was great fun. What are the kinds of films you want to do as an actor? It's difficult to pinpoint. I want to dabble in all kinds of genres. I do want to make entertaining films. As actors I feel we owe it to our audience that we cannot make overly self-indulgent stuff. It should be quality entertainment. I am not saying frivolous entertainment but intelligent films because you should be able to gauge our audience which is sensible today. What made you want to turn an actor? I've been a part of this film industry in some way or the other growing up. I was pursuing direction till I met Salman Khan and he made me realise I have it in me even when I did not. I was 140 kilos. He made me lose weight and he made me become an actor. Have you signed more films now? I am doing 'Gunday' for Yashraj. We shot 60 per cent of the film. I am doing a film for Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala � a co-production which is 'Two States' based on Chetan Bhagat's novel. How do you see your journey so far in tinsel town? It's been amazing because I have got to interact with so many interesting people, got to travel around the country, got to meet people who have appreciated my work and are looking forward to my work in the future. I love going to work. I am just about finding my feet and I hope in the next few years to find a consolidated foundation to build upon. Do you feel the lineage you belong to is a baggage you carry? I do not look at it like baggage. I see it as something to be proud of. I'm lucky to be born in such a family. I don't feel the pressure or burden. I feel happy I'm carrying it forward and I hope to do it to the best of my capacity.