Actor Ranbir Kapoor in his last few outings has managed to attain the Superstar status. Given that his films are vastly performance driven and content based, with YJHD he marked the beginning of commercial prowess as well by harnessing his star value. Koimoi caught up with Gen Y’s budding Superstar and spoke at length about him being Besharam, the media fabricated Salman animosity, his personal life and how risking coming out of his comfort zone helps him evolve as an actor!
Your last film ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ has been a super grosser at the box office. What do you hope for Besharam?
I have never expected anything from my films commercially. Honestly, what audiences like is something filmmakers will never know. In the end, if the story is good and appealing, people will flock in to watch the film. I have been very lucky for the commercial success and critical acclaim that has come my way.
How would you describe the journey of Besharam?
Films like Besharam belong to a very tough genre. You are expected to portray a larger than life role in such films. And as an actor I have challenged myself this time by picking a role which is so very different from me.
It is said that Abhinav Kashyap moulds the characters of his film based on personality of his actors. Did he do the same for you?
No I don’t think so. Abhinav first got in touch with when he congratulated me after Rockstar, for my performance. He had a script in his mind for me and then he came up with Besharam. I agreed to do the film because the character really pleased me. For me the character I am playing is very important.
Recently at an event actor Salman Khan praised you saying you are competing with superstars like SRK and him. What do you have to say on that?
It is the bigness of Salman sir to encourage new talent in such kind words. There is nothing like fostering healthy competition in the industry and I am so grateful for his words. I can’t even consider myself in their league. But yes, such compliments do make me feel proud of myself and at the same time inspire me.
But from the trailer of Besharam, a popular idea has grown that you are mocking SRK and Salman. What would you like to say on that?
Not at all. We are definitely not making fun of them. It is all said in good humor. When you see sarson ke khet, ‘Tujhe dekha toh’ is the first song that will invariably come to your mind. Shah Rukh sir himself has a very witty sense of humor so he’ll see where we are coming from. Coming to the scene where I tell my father that Chulbul naam se koi Dabangg nahi ban jata is actually pretty misconstrued. The name Chulbul post Dabangg has acquired this aura of something stellar in every household, and it was not meant in any rude manner at all.
Your character in Besharam is a great fan of Big B…
Oh yes. Babli is a crazy fan of Amitabh Bachchan. When Abhinav narrated the script of Besharam to me, there is only one thing he gave me as homework – to grow chest hair like Big B. It took me 4 months to grow this (shows his chest hair) and I don’t think I would ever let it go! I in fact met Mr Bachchan at KBC and I told him how huge a fan I am of his! He is such a gracious man and it is such an honor to meet him.
How was it working with your parents for the first time?
It was an overwhelming experience. I am in awe of my father. He is such an excited man when it comes to films and when on the sets of the film he completely becomes the character. That is what made me comfortable working with him. The character my mom plays in the film is so different from what she is in real life. Yet, there is so much conviction in the way she fashions her role. They are so excited to play their roles on screen and it is truly great to see the kind of effort they put to be effortless on screen.
What is the one thing that being an actor you think you should be Besharam about?
I am a very shy person in my personal space. And being an actor it is automatically expected of me to be unabashedly ‘Besharam’ about my emotions. I am supposed to bare my emotions completely.
Besharam is nothing like any of your previous roles, where you have been suave and polished. How did you manage to fit in into something so different?
All credit goes to Abhinav. I was expected to look loud for this film and he guided me very well. There is a certain repulsive quotient in the character I play and I had to be completely immersed in the shades of my character. Besharam will be a very loud film. I usually try to take risk with the characters I play by experimenting newer roles. The only characters that I have played which I can identify and feel were close to me are Wake Up Sid and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
How did you react to the name Babli given that it is a woman’s name?
Oh I love quirky names of my characters. Like Barfi! was great. So was Janardan or Jordan in Rockstar. I think audiences react well to unusual screen names. And personally such names get me very excited.
You are a terrific dancer, so how have you used it in this film?
I am actually not a good dancer. If you see the best dancers be it Shammi Kapoor or even Govinda, they used to have fun with the song and express the enjoyment with their eyes and smile. That’s what I do. Even if I get the steps wrong, I go and have a blast with the song!
How would you encapsulate your journey in the industry?
I was initially shadowed with the tag of being a star kid which made getting a break easier for me, but in the long run to sustain here one has to work hard. Just being a star kid doesn’t pay off for too long. I have greater passions and bigger aspirations, of which I have done only 2%. I have a long way to go.
What are your next projects?
I will begin shooting for Jagga Jaasoos in November. It will be produced by me and it is awesome working with someone like Anurag Basu who has such an indomitable flair. It is a musical with a detective concept and I will have scenes in which I will play a school boy too. It is a franchise that will be co-produced by Disney and I am very excited for it. I will begin working with Deepika on Imtiaz’s next early 2014. I play a supporting character for Roy which is directed by a dear friend of mine. Ayan Mukherji is scripting down a superhero film, which will be trilogy. So yes I have a great platter of brilliant roles lined up for me thankfully.
So much has been spoken about your personal life. Do you feel grossed out about the link up stories?
Not grossed out because I understand that being a star my life is out there for public scrutiny. It is commendable that people want to know about me and what I do. However, I am not that naive anymore like I was earlier in my career. I used to speak very freely about my relationships and somehow wherever I went that became a bigger topic of discussion than my work. I am not really being selfish just protective since in India, people are quick to judge when a relationship doesn’t culminate into a marriage and such value calls is what I wouldn’t want. I don’t want my life to become a reality show and this is a very Catch 22 situation for me! Oh and By the way I am not getting engaged on my Birthday.
Do you think Besharam will surpass the box office collections of YJHD?
Luckily for me, for the family I come from, I have never faced a dearth of anything – be it money or luxuries. Hence I am not doing the roles or films for money. By God’s grace, I have had enough monetary benevolence always. But yes, I do hope the audiences like my film and this can beat YJHD‘s box office numbers too.
What is your larger aim at being the Bollywood Superstar you are famed to be?
I want the best of all the stars – Aamir, Shah Rukh, Salman, Akshay and yet be me!
And what’s the last thing you want to say about Besharam?
Being Besharam is an attitude. Be very khulla and yet the message is simple – there can never be a wrong way to reach the right thing in life!
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