Success also changes the way the trade and some people around you behave. But thats expected. People will want to keep a social relationship with you which just comprises of mandatory greetings,but the minute youre successful they want to work with you,and thats fine. These are just the rules of the business.
He walks into the FilmKraft office,flashes a big smile,and exudes charm which is far from the evil that he personifies in his upcoming film Krrish 3. Moreover,hes excited to essay Kaal,which obviously has been one of the most challenging roles of his career. Evidently,the actor is in a happy space with the birth of his son and the success of his previous offering,Grand Masti. This time though,the success is different,he says. How? Well,find out for yourself.
Firstly,talking about Grand Masti,did you anticipate this kind of success,considering it was an adult comedy?
I didnt imagine that in my dreams. Our director,Indra Kumar should become a fortune teller. From day one,he was confident that this will be a Rs.100 crore film,and we used to tell him,Sir,how is that possible,because this is an adult comedy. So far,the highest grossing adult comedy has been Delhi Belly,which stopped at Rs.54 crore. Even a film like The Dirty Picture which had such a wide appeal,earned Rs.82 crore.
An adult film has some limitations. But he was confident and said he wouldnt settle down for anything less than Rs.100 crore. In fact,I remember,he wanted to re-shoot the climax and wanted 15 more days from us. When we asked him why he wanted to re-shoot the climax,he said,Right now my film is a Rs.80 crore film,if I re-shoot the climax,it will cross Rs.100 crore. Hats off to him,because Riteish,Aftab and I would discuss that even if we get an opening of six-seven crore,it would be superb,but it opened at double of that. So,its just incredible.
And now,youre following it up with a film like Krrish 3. Did you have to prepare well in advance to get into the skin of Kaal?
I began preparing three and a half months in advance,because the look of the character was so important. Guddu uncle (Rakesh Roshan) asked my opinion regarding how Kaal should look so I started thinking about it and I felt that there should be some logic to how the character is portrayed. I realised that Kaal doesnt really go out into the world. He has created his own world,his own dome.
Hes never been out in the sunlight,so his skin should look pale,the way we have vampires and creatures of the night,and so we went into that zone. I sat with my make-up artist and we experimented with a whole bunch of looks. One day,I landed at Guddu uncles house dressed as Kaal. He looked at me,and said,whats this? I told him this look could work. He called Duggu (Hrithik) and they decided to get my pictures clicked. Both Guddu uncle and Duggu loved what they saw and decided to extend the look to the mutants,and the whole world around me,including Kangana.
Designing the look and getting it right was a good starting point. After that,theres a physical attribute in the film which needed a lot of hard work,and it needed to be flawless. I would be working on it for several hours every day,till I reached the set. I got a lot of support from the team. But,playing Kaal was mentally exhausting.
When youre expected to be evil as Kaal,which is a far cry from what you are as a person,how did you get it right?
Every time there was a shot,I used to zone in. I would be two inches away from the mirror,and just stare into my eyes,till I could feel the flicker of evil surging in my eyes. The moment I thought I could see the evil in my eyes,Id get up,walk to the set,and enact my scene,without greeting anybody.
What fuels Kaal is his thirst for vengeance. He wants somebody to be answerable for whats happened to him. He blames humanity for what theyve done to him. I used to work and focus on that anger,that feeling of revenge,which automatically made me think like Kaal. I wrote an entire autobiography on him before going on set,penning down notes on why he thinks the way he thinks. If you try and add some layer of logic to why a character is the way he is,it always gives you more conviction and belief. Many a times,Ive done films when in the middle of a scene,Ive thought,Why am I saying this? Why am I behaving like this? and Ive no answer to it. The advantage of working in Krrish 3 was that though the set up was huge,it functioned in a democratic way. Guddu uncle would ask my opinion on many things. Duggu and I would sit and discuss the scenes. It was a very inclusive,clear process,because I knew what I was doing,and I had a director to steer us in the right direction,and at the same time I could also voice my views.
As an actor,generally,how important is it for you to get those nuances of a character correct?
Normally people dont see these things,because those are the secondary layers. When I look at a character,my first priority are the primary layers,after which I look at the secondary ones. So primary layers are things that come off very obviously,things like the the way you speak,the way you look. Secondary layers are the gestures. There has to be a rhythm to a character. If you see Kaal,theres a rhythm to the way he speaks,and the way he looks. Hes always in control of himself,he always has that sense of power,and that aura around him. So to create that,you have to create a certain rhythm,create a certain way that a character moves. Theres a very royal aura to the character which I understand,and hence for me its important to know these details.
However,thats not the case for all the films. In a film like Grand Masti,the effort was to get into the rhythm and spontaneity of the other two actors and be within the same crazy mad space.
Success sometimes changes how people perceive you,or behave with you. What has been your experience,especially now that youve had a Grand Masti,after a few
not-so-successful films this year like Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story or Zila Ghaziabad?
Success makes you topical and you become the talk of the town. Despite the fact that I was appreciated for my performances,what happened to me,as an actor is that without a hit film,I went through a lean patch. While travelling,people at the airport would come up to me and discuss my past releases like Company or Saathiya or Shootout At Lokhandwala. But,the next question they would ask was,when are you doing your next film? Theyd forget that youve done films recently,although they havent fared well.
Now my fans talk about Grand Masti. So,success just makes you topical. People still respect you,and say hes a good actor,but when you have a hit film,it makes you topical and current,people are really excited about your work. And yes,success also changes the way the trade and some people around you behave. But thats expected. People will want to keep a social relationship with you which just comprises of mandatory greetings,but the minute youre successful they want to work with you,and thats fine. These are just the rules of the business,and you just have to play by those rules. Moreover,success is the outcome of opportunity,effort and good luck; you have a hit film with all three together. As an actor,Ive always been sincere with my effort,the rest is in the hands of fate.
And how has success changed you?
Ive seen success and when success is new and shiny,it kind of blinds you in the eyes. You dont realise youre being arrogant,or that youre taking people for granted. But when youve tasted success once again after a failure,you tend to respect it more. This success becomes very precious,and you value it as youve really worked hard for it,especially since it hasnt come easily to you. For me,post the success of Grand Masti,and hopefully,the success of Krrish 3,Ive become more cautious,more careful. Id rather not make a move,than make a wrong move. Id rather sit back,wait,pick the right film,take advice from my peers,seniors and from people whom I trust before taking the next step.
It would be intriguing to know that despite the not-so-good phases,how you have kept your positivity intact?
What choice do you have? You complain about it that youre unhappy with life. But,the way I look at it,is funny. Look at anybody whos successful right now,and then you see their struggle. Today,people look up to Ranbir Kapoor. We all love him,hes doing phenomenally well,and has a great success story,but he had such a difficult beginning when his film didnt take off. His growth and stardom that he has attained,has been gradual.
If you look at my career,it worked in the reverse. I started out with a huge bang,and after that there was a complete downhill story. We all go through our dark phases,the period of struggle. What keeps us going is our positive attitude,sincerity and hard work.
Are there any other films youve signed?
Im just committed to my TV show,Indias Best Dramebaaz Season 2. Im just going to sit and wait for the right roles to come,because I think Krrish 3 will give me that platform,that I havent had in a while,to be able to be in the process of picking the right films. So,Im hoping the right roles come my way.