Youth has always been Anil Kapoor’s middle name. He will be touching 60 in December this year but his appearance and infectious enthusiasm belie his age which is perhaps the reason why the actor seamlessly fits his cop avatar in 24. Back with season 2 now, Anil spoke to us about the new season, Hollywood and why Indian actors are yet to make a mark in Hollywood despite the exploits of Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone.
Ques: Be it the cool father of Dil Dhadakne Do or the tough cop from 24, you seamlessly ease yourself into these myriad characters. How do you do that?
Anil: You are making me emotional. So good to hear that. I think it is only possible if you put your heart and soul into your work. When you believe in something, you have do it to the best of your abilities. I love what I do. The seamlessness is because I love my work. With 24, I absolutely love the format, the way my character moves and everything else about this series.
Ques: Who did you meet to prepare for your role in season 2 of 24?
Anil: There is a gentleman called Suhas from whom I take inputs. Also, I got the opportunity to meet officials from the cyber cell. Cyber crime has grown a lot in our country and meeting the people who keep a track of these activities was a learning experience. I was lucky enough to have met them. I learnt a lot about hacking and other stuff. I was also the chief guest at one of their conferences where all the heads were present.
Ques: The trailer of season 2 shows you as an anti-hero. Are you one in it?
Anil: Jai Singh Rathore has shades of grey. He is not James Bond. He is very flawed. He makes mistakes and in this season he is much more darker.
Ques: You have pushed the envelope this time by sharing a kiss with Surveen Chawla in the trailer?
Anil: I should have had a few more kissing scenes with her(smiles). But yes, we have pushed the envelope and tried to keep everything as real as possible.
Ques: Tabu was supposed to be a part of season 2. What went wrong?
Anil: Tabu is a great actress. I am a huge fan of her work. Money was never a problem. It was the time commitment and availability which I wanted from her. She has promised me that she would be there in future. It will be an honour for me to work with Tabu. If she says yes, I will pay her 10 times more money.
Ques: In an industry, where actors are easily stereotyped, you are one who has never really had a particular image. How have you stayed away from it?
Anil: Longevity was something I considered important right from the beginning of my career. What is the fun in being a star only for 10 years? So I did things that helped me work for a longer time. That’s the reason I started doing different genres. Even when I did Ram Lakhan, I would do an Eeshwar. So taking those risks in my career helped.
Ques: So there were never inhibitions in playing a father to someone on screen?
Anil: I have played a grandfather too. I am ready to play any role but film should revolve around me(smiles).
Ques: You said you were offered many Hollywood projects in the past but you declined them. Why?
Because of lack of time. If you have to do work there, you have to devote your entire time to do some good work. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself. You can’t keep everyone happy, When you try to please a dozen of people someone or the other is bound to be unhappy. So let me please myself at least.
Ques: Don’t you think Indian actors have been getting great roles in Hollywood lately especially actors like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra who headlined a show like Quantico?
Anil: The stuff you are seeing now is nothing. Yeh kuch bhi nahi hai. This is nothing, You mark my words. I said this seven years back and nobody took me seriously and I am telling you again now. You are happy seeing this? This is nothing. The real deal would be when a young guy or a young girl gets a role and becomes a huge star. Am I making sense? When someone who has just started her career and her first film happens to be a Hollywood one. It will happen. Someone will definitely become a huge star.
Ques: So that’s success for you in Hollywood?
Anil: That’s success for me. This is nothing. Kya hai yeh? You just wait and see what is going to happen. It is great what is happening right now but it is going to get better and better.