Veteran actor Annu Kapoor, who will be seen next in Dream Girl, talks about his bittersweet journey spanning forty years in the Hindi film industry.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
In a recent interview, you said you are tired of acting now. Where does that come from, since you have had a long and successful career in the Hindi film industry?
Yes, it has been a long journey, but as a person starts getting older, they tend to get tired. That’s why I said that I am now tired of acting. Nothing wrong in it! ‘Thak gaya hoon, chukaa nahi hoon’ (I am tired but I am not finished)! Main chalte chalte thak gaya hoon, ab aur chal nahi sakta. Magar main Surya hoon, Sandhya se pehle dhal nahi sakta. (I am tired of walking, and now can’t walk more. But I am like the sun, I can’t set before the evening arrives).
Are you planning to helm a film?
I received my life’s first National Award not as an actor, but as a director (National Film Award for Best Children’s film for Abhay in 1994). I am at a phase in my life where if film direction works out, it would be great. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be acting. ‘Chalti dukaandaari ko kabhi bandh nahi karneka’ (Never shut down a running shop). Just as I have always been available for acting to good producers and directors, I will always continue to do so. I have worked on my terms and conditions, and that too I will continue.
You are appearing in a movie with Ayushmann Khurrana again. What do you have to say about his upward career graph?
Hasn’t it been a good journey for him? He started with the right people and see where he has reached today.
I don’t know what to say about his career graph because I hardly watch films. I don’t even discuss people’s career graphs because these things are about commercial and logistical aspects. I don’t have the time.
Since you have worked with Ayushmann before, how has it been this time? Has he changed as an actor?
He has changed from being a newcomer to now becoming a star. So that change is obvious, nothing new about it. But how has that change affected me, it hasn’t. What is important is if something has affected me or not. I am unaffected by anything. I don’t get affected by anyone changing.
From playing some very memorable comic roles, hosting iconic TV show Antakshari to now portraying very strong characters in films, how do you look back at your journey? Are you satisfied with it?
I have never been satisfied in my life. And a person like me can never even be satisfied because I am creatively very greedy. For me, creative satisfaction is a word of dreams. With the kind of roles I have got, it has been rare that I must have felt that ‘today I did something good’.
Artistes must be greedy. Because if an artiste becomes satisfied creatively, his growth will be stunted. That’s why if you notice, a lot of our stars become ‘ghatiya’ (rubbish) actors quickly. Stars delivering a few hundred crore films become creatively satisfied and think they have become great actors. They forget how important the role of their directors, writers and co-actors is. This generally happens, and that’s when the star starts falling.
Anyways, satisfaction is not something I aim or hope for. Whatever role I have got, I have tried playing it with full honesty and sincerity.
You are doing at least two-three films in a year. How happy are you with the roles being offered to you?
I am not very happy. To be happy, I first have to be creatively satisfied.