The grandson of Raj Kapoor and Krishna Kapoor, the new YRF boy, Aadar Jain is respectful, passionate and down to earth. He is already being compared to Ranbir Kapoor, who is his superstar-cousin, and his brother Armaan Jain. In an interview with indianexpress.com, Aadar pours his heart out, talks about the excitement of preparing for the release of his first film Qaidi Band, his family, his take on the nepotism debate, and how Ranbir is the brother who plays football with him.
With your first film all set for a release, what is the feeling like?
Couldn’t ask for anything better. It is like a dream come true to work with Yash Raj Films (YRF), one of the most prestigious banners.
Being the new YRF boy, people are expecting a ‘Ranveer Singh’ out of you. What’s your reaction?
I don’t know about that, but I just want to do good work and hopefully create an identity for myself. I love watching all kinds of movies, there is no set genre as such, so I would like to do all kinds of films. If I am feeling so, I watch a comedy. If I am with my boys, I want an action film. If I go out with my girlfriend, I watch romantic comedies, so the kind of movies I like to watch are the kind of movies I would want to work in too. The best part about being an actor is being able to play characters, interesting characters or characters never seen before, I would love them all. There are so many actors who I think have great body of work, so there is no one specific inspiration I want to follow, I don’t want to follow anybody’s journey. I want to have my own journey, make my own identity, and do films that interest me.
Your brother Armaan also tried his luck in Bollywood, but couldn’t be as successful as he must have expected. Did he tell you what to do and what definitely not to do?
In the case of Armaan, he really worked very hard in his film, but sometimes films work, sometimes they don’t. You never really know the fate of a film, it is up to the audience and how they accept a film or an actor. When Armaan’s film didn’t do as we had expected it to do, of course it was a frustrating time in the family like how it would be if anybody’s film wouldn’t do well, but now he is back to talking to a lot of producers and he is going to be doing something very soon. Apart from Armaan, both my cousins Ranbir and Kareena had their first few films which didn’t work, but what I have learnt from them is that we need to pick ourselves up, you can’t let an unsuccessful start bog you down. You have to get up, understand that you are here for a long run and believe in your talent. So when you fall, you have to pick yourself up, and when you are successful you have to keep your head down, I have grown up observing that. Armaan being my brother told me to continue doing what I am doing and not let the passion fade, and to be honest to my work.
Your superstar-cousin Ranbir Kapoor launched you, and he had a ‘Lion King’ moment. What is your equation with him?
He is my brother at the end of the day, so he is going to say great things about me, but he was very honest when he presented me and spoke about me. He has taught me to be honest with work, with the media, and to myself. He initially thought that I wanted to act because I come from an actors’ family, but then he realized how inclined I was to the craft. He doesn’t really give me advice, when we are at home we are just a family. One thing he made clear to me is that as an actor my journey will be mine and nothing will change that fact. He has made it very clear that there is no method acting as such, I will have to trust the directors and the scripts that come my way. Ranbir assisted Mr Bhansali before getting his first break as an actor in Saawariya, and I did the same. I’ve had my apprehensions too before starting my journey in the Indian film industry, but now I am prepared for it. Ranbir was very proud of me because I never told him what my plan was, I told him about my first film after I got it, so he was proud of the fact that I trained myself in acting, went for auditions, and did all of it on my own. The only people who knew I was auditioning was my nani (Krishna Kapoor, grand mother), my parents and my brother. So he doesn’t give me advice, but of course as a brother he does look out for me, I know my brother will always be there for me. Whenever I have any questions or if I need a piece of advice I can go to him, or anyone in the family. But, it is rare, since I am under the wings of YRF, there is help always available, there are amazing people like Aadi sir (Aditya Chopra), director Maneesh Sharma, even the actors here are so supportive.
Coming from Bollywood’s first family, what does it mean being a Kapoor kid?
To be honest, when we all meet, it is a bit strange to say that as per popular belief that since we all come from a film family, all our conversations must be about films, but it is actually not. We speak about everything apart from films. Films is work for us, it is our bread and butter. But when the family is together we all are a normal family. Once we leave the film set, the work stays behind. My dad comes from a business background, we never discuss work. When we come together at the dinner table, it is our family time, we talk about food values, and culture, and life. Ranbir and I talk about football a lot, he is a big Barcelona fan and I am a big Manchester United fan, so there is so much to talk about, play video games, we do what brothers do. On Sundays we play football too.
The nepotism debate will haunt you, at least until you prove your worth. What is your take on that?
To be honest, the word nepotism means favouritism to relatives. Now if you see where I am coming from, I have auditioned for a movie and I auditioned for a person called Mr Aditya Chopra, who is such a prestigious magnetic man. He runs the YRF studios, it’s been so prolific over the years, I don’t think that man would invest in someone who is not talented. I auditioned with a lot of people, and I was chosen on my own merit. I don’t think nepotism applied to me in this case. Yes, I belong to a film family, therefore people might think that I got it easy, but it was not. Mr Chopra is not my relative. He took me in his movie probably because I suit the part, and he saw that I was worthy of the script. In this day and age, I don’t think, if I was a producer I wouldn’t waste my money over someone who is not talented. I don’t know what to say more on nepotism, I would like my work to talk for me. I know people will judge me, I know people will say things, I have read comments which are very personal, and these things of course hurt me, I am human. But then what can I say, I just have to work hard on my craft, and prove why I got the opportunity in the first place.
Aadar Jain’s Qaidi Band revolves around seven innocent under-trials, and their journey towards freedom. His co-star Anya Singh is also the new YRF girl. The film is all set to release on August 25.