Do you think ‘R Rajkumar’ got you back from the brink?
Every story needs a headline. Many think that ‘R Rajkumar’ is a movie that got me back after my failure. So be it. There’s always much more than what meets the eye. Every actor’s journey is very different but the actors will always be pitted against each other. Look at Tom Cruise,Brad Pitt and Leonardo Di Caprio. Their career graph is unbelievable. All of them are phenomenal stars and we here pray that our graph also looks like them. But I know that my highs and lows are going to be different from everyone else’s. I am carving out a niche for myself as an actor. Let the people talk what they want to. It doesn’t affect my career.
I’m sure ‘Shanatics’ feature right at the top of your fans?
They do,don’t they? Shanatics have done something that’s unheard of – they kept a screening of ‘R Rajkumar’ for me. They are very dear to me. These lots are more organized. There are times when you feel a bit worried about your fans and don’t want to hurt them by ignoring them. There are a few fans who are too biased towards me. They even like the rubbish that I do. I can’t take their opinion seriously. But there are some who have a balanced perspective. But I appreciate both. I love the Shanatics,undoubtedly.
You have always mixed your film’s genres well.
Yes,thank you. My graph is versatile. If you see,my films – there’s an Ishq Vishq,Jab We Met,Vivaah and there is a Kaminey and ‘R Rajkumar’. All diverse genres. In between I did Mausam too. Honestly,all the roles that I’ve done that my fans and audience have liked me in,and where they’ve said – ‘this must’ve been easy for him’,are the ones in which I had to work the most. ‘R Rajkumar’ could’ve been easy on the eye but only I know how tiring it was,how challenging it was to do the dance and action that I’ve never done before.
Shahid Kapoor And it’s been an amazing year for your songs too – ‘Dhating Naach’,’Saree Ke Fall’ and ‘Gandi Baat’.
Yes,it’s been an awesome year for my songs. I’m sure Nargis will remember her steps for years to come (laughs). The best thing I’ve enjoyed about the music that I’ve done this year is that I’ve rediscovered myself in the space of songs. I’ve done something that I’ve not done before and have surprised my audiences. I was fortunate that both,Bosco-Caesar and Prabhu Dheva didn’t want me to do the usual steps I’ve done before.
When will we get over the obsession of 100 / 200 crore clubs?
Movies are getting pitched into 100 and 200 crores,which I think is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. It’s good for the industry and the market if films do that kind of business but we are also losing a bit of perspective on what’s good and what’s not as far as content is concerned. A film made at Rs. 85 crores doing a Rs. 105 crores business is a film that has recovered its cost. But a film made at 40 crores doing Rs. 100 crores is a hit film. It’s important to be bigger and bigger and reach out to more people. Kaminey,if released today in 2013,would’ve done a phenomenal business. I think it was way too ahead of its time. And then we had the whole swine flu ruling our country on the day of my movie’s release (laughs).
Are you concerned about your overseas market?
As a market,I don’t think I have cracked it big in the overseas yet. You become an overseas phenomenon on the basis of movies that you do. They have very set expectations from a Hindi film. They like to see Indian movies that have an Indian ethos. But honestly,the market that’s actually growing is India. It’s exploding.
Nearly every actor is turning producer now. When are you taking the plunge?
I am very bad with money. I think I will make a very bad producer. So if I find somebody who will be able to give me the guidance that I would need,maybe I will think of producing movies. It’s also a decision on the basis of the kind of cinema one believes in and the one that I would want to make. I still haven’t given a clear signal out to my audience,which is why one journalist very interestingly puts my career – “You’ve got a very curvy career” (laughs). Because I have always run away from the expected,the audience has been a bit confused sometimes on how to receive me and that’s something I’ve learnt over the last decade. In the short term it’s a very bad thing but in the long term it opens up a lot of avenues in acting. Today I feel that the offers I’m receiving are very varied from each other compared to the offers I got a few years ago – just the romantic types. I hated that. I didn’t want to be perceived as an image. I wanted to be perceived as an actor,which is larger than just a persona. Which is true also because the biggest of the stars sell their persona more than just playing characters. But with the changing times,I want to discover myself as an actor. Also,for many years,I looked like a kid and it took me a lot of years to break away from that image.