Shahid Kapoor has been lying low after his last few films tanked.
With the release of Phata Poster Nikhla Hero and Rambo Rajkumar,Shahid Kapoor hopes to reclaim his box office stature. It helps that he’s signed Vishal Bhardwaj’s Hamlet adaptation,Hyder.
Question: Why just two film appearances in three years?
Shahid: I am making up for that by having two releases in three months now. And I have heard that from so many people that I promise to do three films a year hereon. The truth is even I was depressed when I wasnt in front of the camera for a long time. Mausam took a while to complete and then,after Teri Meri Kahaani,I was supposed to do Manish Sharmas Shuddh Desi Romance but it was delayed by six months and I had other films lined up. So I opted out of it. But I am now enjoying being at work. These two films,Phata Poster Nikhla Hero and Rambo Rajkumar are fun projects and the perfect way to get back to work.
Question: Phata Poster Nikhla Hero is a quirky title but it derives from a classic dialogue of Hero Hiralal?
Shahid: I love the title and remember the way Naseerji (Naseeruddin Shah) mouths the dialogue in the film. This was perhaps the most filmy leading part he ever played. In fact,theres a parallel,he was a rickshaw driver in the film but in his head,he was a hero. My character Vishwas Rao is also like that he thinks he is a hero.
Question: What is Vishwas Rao like?
Shahid: Hes a simple Maharashtrian boy who since childhood has been dreaming that hell become a hero one day and huge posters with his face on them will be all over the city. But his moms wish is that he becomes an honest cop. So you see him as a cop,but he is a fake cop. He makes these filmy entries,jumps out of posters,delivers cheesy lines but his agenda is not to fight because he might hurt his face in the process something he cannot afford since he wants to be an actor. Illeana DCruzs character is that of social worker who wants to set every wrong thing right. And she catches hold of Vishwas every time she wants to do that and he hates it because he is a fake cop.
Question: Cop characters are a raging trend in the industry at the moment.
Shahid: Its a spin-off on a cop that makes this role exciting. We have seen larger-than-life cops who are out there to bash up baddies but I play a cop who just wants to get out of such situations. This is where the humour comes from. He pole dances in the uniform,which is something no other cop has done. But there is a very clear end to the film,something that is also a correct culmination,given the title.
Question: Phata Poster Nikla Hero is an action-comedy. Then how different is it from Rambo Rajkumar?
Shahid: We are trying to release the promo of Rambo Rajkumar with Phata Poster Nikhla Hero and you will see they are not similar at all. This was also my concern. How will I make these two films in the same genre which are also releasing back-to-back look different? Rambo Rajkumar has hardcore action and some comedy but at the core its a love story. I play a mawwali in Prabhudhevas world so Im very rowdy. There is a lot of dancing,many one-liners and over-the-top dialogues. Rambo Rajkumar is nothing like Vishwas Rao the vibe,look,body language is different. Even though both are masala entertainers,the directors of the film,Prabhudeheva and Rajkumar Santoshi respectively,have different languages,style and takes.
Question: But youve done an almost-mawwali character in Kaminey too?
Shahid: Vishal Bhardwajs version of a mawwali is very different from Prabhudhevas,who likes his heroes to be rowdy. But playing Charlie in Kaminey was one of my favourite parts and most relevant for me as an actor. I’ve been asking Vishal to make a sequel of Kaminey,if people can come up with sequels of all kinds of films then Kaminey surely deserves one. Although I wonder if I can do the part again. It requires certain headspace. I hope it wont kill the novelty of the character for me. But meanwhile,I am glad Im teaming up with Vishal once again for Hyder,his adaptation of Shakespeares Hamlet.
Question: Your forthcoming films are all mass entertainers. Do you look at them as safe options since your last two films failed at the box-office?
Shahid: How can I tell if these films will bring me back? When I did Jab We Met,Imtiaz Ali was one-film old and I wasnt even the central character,but it proved to be a turning point in my career. Before Kaminey,I was told Vishal’s cinema is in the art house space. But its been the best film of my life. So I dont think like that when choosing films. I took up these comedies because when I started doing live shows a few years ago,people liked my spontaneity on stage. Friends started to say that they havent seen this side of me and I should try it on the big screen if I enjoy it so much. Thats how Phata Poster Nikhal Hero and Rambo Rajkumar happened.