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Actor Anil Kapoor, basking in the success of his new film Mubarakan where his Sikh character Kartar Singh is being appreciated, says he has never run after instant success in his life.
Brushing off the claim to individual fame with Mubarakan, which also features his nephew Arjun Kapoor in a double role, he said, “I feel any film is a team effort. There are so many films with an ensemble cast featuring me where others have been liked more. After Slumdog Millionaire, all of us stood on that stage receiving that Oscar. That is the team spirit in which Mubarakan was made. Sure, my character was liked. And it contributed to the film’s success. But my nephew Arjun has also been liked. I was surprised by how dedicated and focused he is at his age.”
This is the first time Anil played a full-fledged Sikh character. “I loved getting into a turban. I really enjoyed my character. Kartar Singh is destined to be iconic just like my characters in Mr India, No Entry, Nayak, Ram Lakhan and my TV series 24. I played characters in these films who are remembered to this day. Even now people call me Lakhan from Ram Lakhan or Kishen from No Entry.”
Mubarakan is not the first film of Anil that had a low start at the box office. “My other films like Judaai, Taal and No Entry had a subdued start. They went on to become big successes. I’ve never looked for instant success. Nor have I ever craved to be the pivotal character in my films. Right from the beginning of my career in Woh Saat Din, I never played the conventional hero. I never feel threatened by any co-star because I don’t look anxiously at what others are doing. I focus on my own work.”
Prod him to name his favourite co-stars and Anil gets evasive. “Favourite, I don’t know. But I’ve done my maximum films with Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Amrish Puri and Jackie Shroff. And in many of the films with them, they had more footage than I did. There was more of Sridevi in Judaai and Mr India than me and more of Madhuri in Beta. But I never felt I’d be overshadowed.” Amrish Puri is one actor he misses.
“I don’t think Mr India or Nayak could be possible without Amrishji. He was one of my most formidable co-stars. I learnt so much from him. As for Jackie Shroff, we did so many films together we were buddies. We don’t meet that often any more. Our wives Sunita and Ayesha are more connected now than Jackie and I.”