Just like his other films, Shahid Kapoor has flawlessly delivered a massive hit, Padmaavat recently. In just 4 days, the film has crossed the 100 crore mark at the box office. Padmaavat has become his highest grosser film of all time. In the film, we saw the Udta Punjab actor essaying the role of Maharawal Ratan Singh and he looks like a royal king in each and every scene. For the first time, we saw Shahid romancing Deepika Padukone in a film and their chemistry has been showcased so beautifully!
Recently, KoiMoi.com met the king himself for a successful interview for his much talked about film Padmaavat. Shahid shared his happiness about the film, how Padmaavat has raised his own bar, chemistry with Deepika, his next with Imtiaz Ali and much more!
Excerpt from the interview:
1. So Shahid, how does it feel? Padmaavat has become your top grosser! What do you have to say about this huge success?
You know everyone is talking about the top grosser only, but it is a great film. The first feeling that I have is that we have come a long way, it’s a year & a half of a journey and there was a time that we were wondering if the film will release or no. So, it’s been a very turbulent journey and emotionally very draining, tiring. We were just waiting to showcase a film and share it with everybody. The first thing that I feel is that validated with the fact that the film has come out and people have said so many beautiful things about the film. You feel good about the fact that the intent, with which the film was made, has been seen and people have loved it. The second thing that I feel is that it was one of the biggest risks of my career to take a role like this because for a long time nobody knew what it is! Many of them told me that why I am doing this film. So, when the film released, I waited for two days to actually see what people say. So, I feel very grateful and thankful because I knew that my character is an underdog in this film. I am so happy that the hero of the film was given that love! And yes, the numbers are also great (smiles)!
2. Do you think a bar has been raised for you to perform better in your upcoming films than what you did in Padmaavat?
It is not about better or worse, it is about different! I think that’s the operative word for me. I’d like to different things and every film & role offers you different opportunities. So you have to fall truthfully on that opportunity. You should never bring your personal aspiration into what is required in a film. It is very important to do something that will benefit the film, to do something what’s right for the film and to learn to be different in every film. So yes, for the next film I am playing a lawyer from a small town, so it will be different from playing what I did in Padmaavat and the attempt will be to do something different. I am very thankful that you think that a bar has been raised which means I did something right in the film (smiles). And of course, I have to raise a bar every time. But I am bound by choices that I get and I must give every film what it needs. At times, the drama is very exciting and sometimes playing loud nosy characters like Tommy Singh is exciting and sometimes playing quiet, subdued, powerful role is interesting and sometimes a very regular guy on the street is interesting! And the sum total of that is how the people should perceive me and not by any individual performance.
3. Your films and performances have always been praised. But if we keep that aside, Padmaavat has set a different benchmark with 100 crores in just 4 days. It has become your highest grosser and highest single day grosser in Bollywood history. So how does it feel coming back in a raging form from the box office point of view?
I don’t know how to answer this question because I don’t really think that the box office is up to any actor. Maybe I can at least speak for the current generation. You see the numbers of actors who work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, you can see the numbers of actors who work with him but he isn’t directing it. How can I take credit for the numbers? Nobody should take the credit for the numbers for Padmaavat. It should be Sanjay Leela Bhansali who should take all the credit. We all know that the actors who work with him, they all jump. I am thankful that he gave me this opportunity and he has also taken me to such wide audience. And I know that in the years to come, it will benefit me. Of course, it is not about Padmaavat, it is what we do after Padmaavat. The film is his credit, what we do after this, will define where we stand in terms of how people view us. I am happy to be the hero of his film because all the heroes of his film become the bigger stars (laughs)!
4. We saw your chemistry with Deepika Padukone in the film and your chemistry has come out really well on-screen. So how was it working with her?
I was doing from romance to drama between Ranveer and Deepika (laughs)! Well, for 10 years or so we have kind of had offers which have come and gone and somehow we have never ended up on saying yes to a film together. And when this film happened, and when sir told me that you both are doing it, so I was like about 10 years we are finally doing film. And this is a film worthy for those 10 years to have happened. So it is great that we have done this film together. In fact, I remember sir saw the film and the minute he got up, he looked back and said, ‘I want you and Deepika to another film together!’ In this film, there was not that much time for the romance, it was very quick. So I think we make a great pair and I am sure we will do something more together in the future. And yes, there is more that can be juiced than what Padmaavat had!
5. This was your first time with Sanjay Leela Bhansali whereas the other two actors have worked with him earlier. So how was the feeling when you started on your first day?
After 15 years of work, I felt like a newcomer! I would definitely say that it helps if you have worked with him. The more time you spend with him, the more beneficial it is for you as an actor because he has a certain defining process of work. I just feel like this film has been like a very little of what I think we can share together. It was great fun in learning from him.
6. Do you think that the performances which are subtle and subdued often get overshadowed by the performances which are more aggressive and out there? Do you think that happens?
I don’t know. I didn’t feel that I mean I did feel it during Jab We Met. When I did Jab We Met I felt it. This time I haven’t felt it. So I guess people are evolving. You have to empower whatever character you get and you have to learn to play different roles. Like Udta Punjab, Alia was loved, even the Tommy Singh was the loudest character. So I think it is not like that. In Padmaavat, it was even tougher because of screen time wise it is very tight. I had this question in my mind but after the film released, I got so much that I realized that now I should do interviews and talk (laughs).
7. Like Padmaavat faced several protests from the different fringe groups. Do you think if you or any actor get such kind of role or cinema in the future, would you or they be open to do it since we have seen such a backlash now?
I think this was the most extreme version of a controversy that one could have witnessed. Padmaavat has become like a benchmark (laughs). We all will take some time to get out of it. It is worrisome and troublesome that before seeing something it is judged. The honest answer would be that we will all worry about what we are doing and how people will react.
8. How would you react to the charter to which always happens that for a hero it is very difficult to do a two-hero film? There’s a lot of discussions that way that an actor can’t do two hero films because people then compare both of them…
But who says that an actor can’t do two hero films? Your question is to the wrong actor. I am the one who did it. Everyone in Padmaavat did it. Go ask this question to the ones who are not doing it. Then I wouldn’t have done it. If your insecurities are driving you, they are taking you away from the opportunities that God gives to you. Every opportunity brings something new to an actor. You have to take the right opportunity and the right result will be defined over a period of time. Smart choices make good careers!
9. Taking a cue from the above question, in the 70s and 80s, it was a two-hero film era. And you are one of few actors who have done a two-hero film in the past. But do you think due to the high budget and high fees, we see less two hero films now?
Let me be honest, very few films that are being written today are worthy of two big actors doing them. When somebody has the ability to write the content of a certain quality, then actors will do it. When films like Udta Punjab and Padmaavat are written, roles are written, when filmmakers and writers have the ability to make a film which is not uni-dimensional, which has various characters…if you keep writing single dimensional films where there are only basic things happening. When films will get written which have that scope for an actor, why only a stupid actor would say no! When you say Sholay, we are talking about great cinema.
10. What’s the update on your next film?
Future is Batti Gul Aur Meter Chalu!
11. Is the Imtiaz Ali film an organic sequel to Jab We Met?
There’s nothing to do with Jab We Met!
12. How do you react to people who say that the Jauhar scene was glorified as it was shown in a very celebratory way?
What happened before the Jauhar scene? The king died, so how can it be a celebration when the kind has died. Firstly, we need to see the film in the context of the 13th century. We need to understand that there was a practice called Jauhar that was exercised then. Every practice happens for various reasons. Within this film, Padmavati believed that she would want to go into the fire than to handing herself to a man who is so evil that he is ready to kill the entire kingdom just to achieve one woman. Now you decide, whether it is a good thing or a bad thing!