From being a Bandra boy to a Kashmiri artist, what kind of preparations did Fitoor demand?
Its script is so beautiful that after I read it, I just put it down for a couple of weeks. You need to do the right things to get into a space. After Daawat-e-Ishq (2014), I was 98 kilos. I’ve never let myself become that fat and I wasn’t in the public eye that time. I had to train. In nine months, I lost 18 kilos. Getting in shape was a challenge. My character in Fitoor, Noor Khan, is a painter and installation artist. I attended a lot of art classes to study the techniques and the body language of artists. Also, I speak fast and animatedly.
I had to get into a space where the pace of life is slow. I mingled with the residents of Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam to observe their traits.
Why does the trailer have this shot of a chiselled torso when you play an artist?
Gattu (director Abhishek Kapoor) asked me to be lean. But I got into a weight loss spree as I wanted to go the extra mile. I didn’t ask for the shirtless scenes in the film. That happened organically. Since I was going to take my shirt off, I wanted to feel and look good. For this, I opted for body sculpting methods. It is quite tough, but I was so obsessed with it that even if I had an extra spoon of sugar, I would become a maniac. However, I would never want to go through that process again.
Since your mother is a dancer, was it easier for you to do the dance sequences?
My mother is a professional dancer but I never went for classes. Looking at her teach dance, I have picked up certain things. We had two days to rehearse the Pashmina dance sequence. The choreography was such that I had to work hard on it. Katrina was more natural.
After being part of multi-starrers, including London Dreams and Action Replayy, are you enjoying playing lead roles?
Even when I was a video jockey, I never harboured the desire to be a Hindi film actor. I did London Dreams (2009) because I was getting to go to London and play the guitar. I told myself, why say no to the experience of going abroad to make a film and miss the chance to act. And before I knew it, I was in two more films.
Are you more sure about being an actor today?
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) released within a month of Aashiqui 2. Both changed my perception about my profession and made me realise this is what I want to do. Aashiqui 2 (2013) gave me the confidence that I can be a Hindi film hero and carry a film on my shoulders. It has been a journey of self-discovery.
How much help and guidance have you got from your brothers?
I always turn to them for advice. One of them (Kunal Roy Kapur) is a director-actor and the other (Siddharth Roy Kapur) is a producer. They don’t take decisions for me but give their point of view. We are all in the same industry but have our own paths.
Had you not been an actor what career would you have chosen?
If not an actor, I would have been a cricketer. I used to bowl left arm over the wicket. Unfortunately, I was not doing well in studies so I had to stop playing cricket. I could also have been a musician or singer. I am a self-taught guitarist. I write songs and jam with friends. I was the lead vocalist for a band in St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Since I failed in college, I lost touch with the band. I would like to make an album some day.