Shekhar Gupta: Hello and welcome to walk the talk. I am shekhar gupta and my guest this week is a film star who is not just an evergreen filmstar but who actually gets younger with age. And almost at my age anil kapoor romances teenagers
Anil Kapoor: I think I am elder to you
Shekhar Gupta: Just a little bit. But Ill take that,if I could look like you and get away with it
Anil Kapoor: Well,its wonderful to meet you,shekhar saab and great to be in delhi
Wonderful to chat with you and .I know theres big excitement now with Slumdog and etc,etc and all youve done. But you know meanwhile we cant let this forget people that anil kapoor is the one of the most durable stars in the last 20 years or so,in fact almost 30 years now
You made your debut in 1979 at the age of 18.
Seventeen,seventeen. Yeah 79. that was I started with bit role in little bit of south Indian films and then I became,you know,by mistake I became a reel man,by mistake I became a hero
By mistake you became a funny man,by mistake you became a quiz master
Galti se. I never really seeked for anything.
You became a quiz master where someone else missed it .shah rukh didnt take that role .
Aamir ne bhola bhaiyya you know whenever you refuse any films shah rukh,aamir, .tho sab mere paas bejo .
Kuch faida ho jaaye
Kuch faida ho jaaye
So more than 30 years in cinema how do you keep redefining yourself.
Well,I think from the time I started my career,you know like for example….us waqt sab guitar aur jeans and motorbikes wagera karte the .us waqt bhi maine aisi filme ki you know which were unconventional ..my first film was with Satyu,then I worked with Mani Ratnam,I worked with Baapu saab,and my first commercially mainstream film was Wo Saat Din where I played music director,I wanted to be a music director,Prem Pratap Patiala ho jaaye which was completely unconventional so Ive always done these kind of films which are completely out of the box and I didnt want I had a Kapoor surname Mein bole yaar,isse kaise hatte hum?
But you were in no relation with kapoors,no second cousins,no third cousins
No,no not even fifith and sixth man. Daboo always says we are relatives through satellite but we are friends,we are very close friends
Its like in the hotel industry. If you are Oberoi you are in trouble,because everybody presumes you are related,you are part of the Oberoi family
In movies,if you are a Kapoor
And if in politics,you are Gandhi
Youll not be in trouble,you may do well actually
So thats it,you know. Thats the way Ive been
But you know a lot of people confuse you with just another,one more Kapoor
No,I saw to it that doesnt happen I was that was done very very you know thought . Ive really thought about it,thats the reason I started my career with these kind of films and these kind of directors,and I said,so that people know that .
And you never thought of dropping your second name or changing it
No no no. Nahin,maine wo bhi khoshish kiyi thi. Maine apni pehle telugu film kiyi thi,tho maine naam rakha tha A K Rao
Yeah yeah,A K Rao. If you see that film Monso Raksham which I did in telugu. Us waqt waha N T Rao bhi bahut famous the,I was trying to be,kuch bhi hoke,inki luck se shayad mein bhi hero ban jaon,star ban jaon. So thats the reason I tried Rao,but then I came back here and
But in Hindi I think Kapoor would work better than Rao
Would work better. And now Khan
Now Khan.You do never try that
Internationally try kar letha hoon
Haan,who bhi try karke dekiye. Age is still on your side. So,tell us about your evolution,because people tell me that you,Jackie Shroff,Sunny Deol,Sanjay Dutt,are like the same vintage. Those of you who have tried to redefine themselves have succeeded and are still around,namely you and Sanjay Dutt. But youve done it in your different ways. So how does a star redefine himself without being a father or uncle in every movie
Well,you know,like ..I feel,I think,its basically,physically sabse pehle tho youve to maintain yourself. You know,you have to look fit. People dont mind if you have wrinkles,they dont mind whatever the way you change. But you should look fit and fresh. You know,they dont mind. And you should look lean. This is what I feel. And then the roles that you do. The kind of directors that you want to work with and constantly you cant keep on thinking that you want to become a bigger and a bigger and a bigger star. What you have to think,how you excel yourself as an actor. And thats what I have done,you know,constantly there were times when a lot of money was offered to me but I didnt accept that money. You know,I did the film for a much lower price,so that I could get a good role
Give me an example of a film that you did for a less price
I think all the films that Ive done for a less price have worked
I think,Slumdog,in particular
Yes,Slumdog was You know,man in fact,whatever I Ive almost taken nothing absolutely and as a gesture the producer has given me a ..I am the only actor who has got a bank end point (???) perpetually,with all the profits which is great .because I didnt ask for it
How does it work
Whatever the profits will be,Ill get a certain kind of,you know,little bit of money
But Slumdog has given you almost what more than any other movie has given you,already
Can you believe this,can you believe this,I cant believe this myself I feel I am still dreaming,absolutely. Its given me a certain kind of exposure and an audience which I couldve never dreamt
Also in so many ways youve become a spokesman for Slumdog
Yes,in a way,Danny did say that I am like the brand ambassador of Slumdog in India especially and you know,because I was the face which you know,they felt, .I did it I really got along with the entire unit. You know,it was a wonderful experience working with all the people involved
And so many bachaas
So many bachaas. Absolutely. They were wonderful.
Did it remind you of your childhood? Because I believe you spent your childhood in a chawl
Yeah,its not ..you can call it a chawl,you can call,it was in Chembur a kind of a colony in which you had only one room and
And a shared toilet
Yeah,yeah,yeah .we had to share the toilet,we had to stand in line
With a queue outside
Queue outside so,Ive got lot of memories about .I think those were the best years of my life,you know,first 12 years,12-15 years in Chembur were fantastic actually. I always go back,I go there every year and it was wonderful
That was your School of Hard Nox
Absolutely that was a school .obviously,and then I went and stayed in I think I stayed in Chembur and sayin coleva (???) .that was also one of the suburbs of Bombay. You know,Ive seen a lot of Mumbai evolving
And the family had dreams of cinema .
No,no not my family
Your father tried
My father tried
. And it didnt work. He tried to produce
You see,he worked. He definitely,you cant say it didnt work because he was a popular man. He was very very popular. People really respected him and that really helped me and you know whatever I .
Your mom and Mrs. Raj Kapoor are friends
Yeah,very close friends. My mom and Mrs Raj Kapoor are inseperable,absolutely,for almost 60 years now. Absolutely,they are really really very close and thats the reason,you know,I am you know very close to the Kapoor family
Without being one of those Kapoors
Yeah yeah absolutely
And yet your daughter makes a debut with a Kapoor
Yes,its all coincidence. Can you believe this,its like a script,you know,kabhi sochi nahi sakte ki hum ki meri beti,my daughter would work with Rishis son
Rishi and Neetus son
Raj Kapoors grandson..you know,because we used to look up .we still look up to the Kapoor family and you know,for example,Prithvi raj Kapoor the great Prithviraj Kapoor actually got my father to the Indian film industry to Mumbai and he worked as an assistant to K Asaf in Mugh e azam and then he became Shammi Kapoors secretary and then he did his first film
So not the family,but had always something to do with the Kapoors
Does your father talk about those days being Shammi Kapoors secretary mustve been something if the man is as crazy as he seems to be
Great stories great great stories
Whats your favourite
Every story is like you know,every night there would be a huge party and he used to be a very large hearted person
And the last person as well
Last person as well lot of stories in Kashmir when they used to go to shoot in Kashmir and fantastic stories and sometimes they had these open convertible car and they used to start from sayen san (???) with a bottle of whisky and by the time they would reach town they would finish the whole bottle of whisky,you know,that kind of thing,just the drive and there wouldnt be much traffic and they would finish the bottle and those kind of stories..great stories .and basically about food and drinking only
I know .All the things youve denied yourself all these years
I think thats one of the reason is liye shaayad I dont drink,I dont smoke,Ive tried,but
And whats the reason you never gave gossip magazines anything to talk about
Well,I tried my best,really I tried my best
30 years no affairs,no kahaanis
Shekhar,Ive tried my best ki mere bhi kuch controversies ho,mere bhi naam chappe,mein bhi premier pe jaaon ek girlfriend ke saath,you know Anil Kapoor with his girlfriend and all
Baat nahin bane mere
Iske matlab,you were so clever nobody caught you
Yeah,I am very clever. Absolutely. I tried my best
In stardom,thats not the idea. In stardom the idea is to get caught once in a while
Yeah,but,I think Ill do that in Hollywood..wahaan koshish kar lo
As I say,you still have age on your side unlike the rest of us. Tell us about how you evolved into a funny man. For example the recent ones,No Entry for instance I saw it on a flight
You found it funny? Lots of people found it funny I think Baapu Saab was responsible for this. Mr Baapu,the director of my first film,Woh Saat din. Hes a great director and I really learnt a lot from him and the timing .the timing of comedy I think he just gave me that confidence. If you see Woh Saat din also,theres a lot of scenes which are funny,very very funny,without trying to be funny
And then Mr India of course and Jawed saab also was of great help. His writing is so funny
But comedy comes naturally to you
Comedy kaisi cheez aap kisi ko sikha nahin sakti. Director cannot tell you ki aisa karo
Even in my business,in writing,nothing is more disastrous than an attempt at humour gone wrong
Yes,yes,yes. Absolutely. I dont want to name anyone
Since you read,I know,you better not. I am telling in my business,you are telling in yours
You make fun of people in your business,not in mine
Yeah,yeah. But these days there is a ban. Nobody is going to make any fun of anyone
No award functions,nothing,after this Screen Awards
Suddenly everybody becomes serious
It went so well,sometimes you can ask me if this was set up,a whole conspiracy for TRPs
Its sad there wont be no funny scenes on the .
So tell me,what talk happens in your household you romancing the same young women your daughter could be having coffee with
and exchanging gossip with
Obviously my children are fed up of me. My family,my wife and everybody is fed up of me. So,they are very embarrassed sometimes,you know. They dont let me wear certain kinds of clothes which I want to wear,they dont want me to do films I want to do father ko chod,they want me to straight away do grandfathers role father tho dhoor ki baat hein
So are they embarrassed their dad start looking their age,start acting your age
No,no no not that way. For example,I did Slumdog Millionaire. Its thanks to my son. Obviously its a fact. Hes the one who you know,I didnt know who Danny Boyle was he read the script and he said you have to do it my children are very very
Very aware and the kind of films they want me to do
And your daughter. Tell us some conversation youve had with her
Daughter because I havent seen Delhi-6 yet. I have to see it I am seeing it tonight
But tell me,did you tell her any dos and donts when she was getting into cinema
Yeah,yeah what I said ki yahaan jo hein sabse pehle tho yeh hein ki .you have to be very thick skinned,ok completely,jo bole log,bolne do .aapko criticize karke,tho karne dho you should know where you stand and what else I said,your nerves have to be completely of steel
Thick skinned ..
Thick skinned,completely thick skinned, .therell be times when unnecessarily people will try to you know tho aapko ekdum completely,jo bolte hein na moti chamdi completely thick skinned,you have to be like that and just keep on working,doing good,good work and you should excel yourself. Thats all Ive told her absolutely
And did she come back and tell you something,some experiences shes had in the movie .and I need to ask you how you handled with such things
Well,there are times obviously,there are certain things which are written and she gets slightly perturbed,and upset
The Shoba De article I keep reading about in city supplements ..Shoba De said she and Deepika Padukone are not nice looking or something or not glamourous enough
She was very upset. And then I tried to explain to her. You should not react,isme kya ho gaya,jab taareef karte hein log tho kabhi kabhi criticize bhi karte hein,thodi aapki taareef hoti. Slowly slowly she understands now. Shes a kid,obviously. Shell understand. But shes got a mind of her own. I cant tell her
You think shes a kid,as if youre a grown up.
No,no,Im worse than her sometimes actors have to be kids
But tell me one more thing about .Thats a good line actors have to be kids,why?
I feel that excitement,that childlike quality you know,you dont get excited about everything in life .
If you dont have the innocence,you cant become another person in a movie
Wo shakal pe aa jaatha hein thing is..
Thats what I say about someone like Jack Nicholson,whatever role he plays,he looks like that person
You dont immediately say thats Jack Nicholson
Hes a phenomenal actor,absolutely fantastic. I love his films,I love his works. I would love to be a Jack Nicholson. I would love to be a Shawn Connerey. I would love to a Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood is someone I look up to now. Hes 78 years old and hes still doing great films
You have a quarter century to yourself.
Haan,pacheez saal ho rahe hein,choodenge thodi
Tell me one more thing. One more thing that you and I have in common,that weve never shaved off our moustache for anything
You know,ek bath bathaavo aapko. I remember when I started my careet,Manmohan Desai whom I admire a lot,I wish I could work with him mooche waale jo hero kabhi star nahin ban sakte
He said so?
He said so and he compared me to some actors and all whom I also admire. I said I am going to prove him wrong and you know,then when Ishwar released and I had a spate of successes one by one about 13-14 releases and all were super hits and I remember after Ishwar,he called me up and said hats off to you,I take my words back,you are the hero with the moustache
You shaved it off twice
Both the films have flopped
Lamhe and Salaam-e-ishq,dhono nahin chale
Salaam-e-ishq I wont blame you for the flop
But Lamhe is till today,one of my favourite films,its one of Yashjis favourite films. Overseas it did pretty well,it was a
Another movie I saw on a flight. I liked it
You liked it? Thank you
I think the only thing missing was the moustache
Moustache,yeah,yeah everybody hated me without the moustache. I dont know why. They just want me to be with the moustache
So whats next now theres Slumdog and Slumdogs a high,so when theres high ends
Well,I think everthings gonna be this whole journey is going to get over,because,you know,Ill be leaving for the States,LA and the Oscars and uske baadh ek hafta thoda rahega,and uske baadh,we have to look out for different jobs
You produced a wonderful film,Gandhi My Father
In fact,you did a special showing for us. It was a wonderful movie. Do we see some more of that from you
Definitely,100 per cent
Because Slumdog will make profits and part of that will come to you. Will some of that go into good cinema
100 per cent. We,in fact,my whole family weve never thought of amassing wealth and bank balances or bank balances abhi bhi kaali kaali hein usme kuch zyaada paisa tha yi nahin
Abhi bank bhi dhoobh rahe hein. Whats the point?
Our lives have completely been with films make films and you know,I think thats what I am going to do till my you know,till I am they say .Ill die with my…kya bolte hein who..kya kahwat hein ki angreezi ki you know,till my last breath .I am going to make films
Till your last breath,youll breathe movies I know
Absolutely,Ill breathe movies
And as we said throughout this conversation,youve got time. So youve got time to catch up with Clint Eastwood,youve got time to catch up with more younger women and you try to act in wonderful movies and redefine yourself and in fact,make brilliant movies
Thank you Shekhar,thank you so much.
All the very best
And I hope I can live upto everybodys expectations and what I want,I want to constantly enjoy my work. Thats what I feel and I tell everyone,and I tell my children
I suppose thats the key to eternal youth if you are enjoying your work,you dont age
I love my work,absolutely
Thank you very much on that note,Anil. Very inspiring for people of your age group
I am elder to you
Ill take that