Actor Shahid Kapoor says he avoided taking half measures in Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Haider’, an adaptation of Hamlet, as he did not want to cheat the audience or himself while playing the famous Shakespearean tragic hero.
Shahid, 33, had to opt for a bald look in certain scenes of the movie that is set in Kashmir and the actor did not have a moment’s hesitation in shedding his hair.
“Prosthetics were an option but I felt it was not right to do it for ‘Haider’. There is a certain honesty and passion in this film. I have done it ‘dil se’. I did not want to cheat my audience or myself while playing this character. I wanted to do something different and shocking. There is a value in real,” Shahid told PTI.
It is Shahid’s second film with Bhardwaj after ‘Kaminey‘. The film completes the director’s trilogy of William Shakespeare’s three famous tragedies after ‘Maqbool’ (Macbeth) and ‘Omkara’ (Othello). The film will hit theatres on October 2.
“It is set against the backdrop of Kashmir and then it is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. I think Vishal sir has the ability to interpret it for today’s India,” said Shahid.
The actor feels ‘Haider’ would have a long term effect on his career the way ‘Kaminey’ did but does not want to predict its box office performance.
“There are some films you do for box office and some because you believe in them and you are passionate about cinema. But you don’t know what is going to do well. Till ‘R Rajkumar’, ‘Kaminey’ was the most successful film of my career.
“Lot of people told me that I was mad to do an art house film in ‘Kaminey’ but it has done so much to my career. Cinema has its own language and it is difficult to analyse which film will click. ‘Haider’ is a family revenge drama. It is about a son looking for his father and then there is a love story between Shraddha and me,” said Shahid.
He believes Shraddha Kapoor will benefit a lot from the movie as Bhardwaj is known to bring the best out of his actors.
“I told Shraddha this film will give another opportunity to filmmakers to view a different side of her as an actor. I got that opportunity four-five years back and this is Shraddha’s first opportunity. She is going to be great in this film.”
Shahid does not feel that an actor needs to suit a character to get a particular role.
“Directors usually say they take actors because they feel the actor suits the role or the film. I don’t understand this because the job of actor is to change himself and surprise the audience. Actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt have always rediscovered themselves with different films with the same filmmakers.
Vishal sir is one of the few directors who cast me in a film like ‘Kaminey’ which even I felt I couldn’t do as I had this sweet, boyish personality. But he made me do something different. The journey of an actor starts when you step out of your comfort zone,” he said.
The presence of performers like Irrfan, Tabu and Kay Kay Menon was another aspect that attracted Shahid to the project.
“I was very nervous to work with Tabu, Irrfan and Kay Kay as they are great actors. To share screen space with them is an amazing feeling. When I saw ‘Maqbool’ every character was so good. When you get to share frame with phenomenal actors like them it is scary but inspiring,” he said.