By Devansh Patel, Bollywood Hungama News Network
It's near impossible to think of a more talented character in Bollywood than Anil Kapoor. He's excelled in so many characters since his Woh Saat Din days it's almost unbelievable. Once considered to be the Casanova of Indian cinema, he still is growing stronger day by day and year by year, and for anyone fearing that life after 40 is a slow and mortifying descent towards death, the story of Anil Kapoor must be a real heart-warmer. Anil's career has been long, remarkably varied, and marked by a loyalty to the Indian Film Industry that made him what he is today - the Yuvvraaj. In this Bollywood Hungama exclusive, the actor gets candid and canny with London correspondent Devansh Patel about his upcoming film Yuvvraaj, his co-star Salman Khan, Bollywood's lucky mascot Katrina Kaif and the director whom he says has given him the best and the most number of hits in his career, Subhash Ghai.
The promos of Yuvvraaj remind me of your Eeshwar days. How different is your character you play in Yuvvraaj then?
For me to say that both my Eeswar role and Yuvvraaj role is the same is not true. Both are different. If I humorously quote then here he is rich and lives in Europe (laughs). He loves music and is a special child of the Yuvvraaj family even though he is the eldest of the three brothers. The only similarity is that both are innocent and autistic.
It's evident that you are Subhash Ghai's favourite after having done 7 films with him so far.
Well, if you say so, but you'll have to ask him why he considers me in many of his films. Subhash Ghai is such a filmmaker that he considers his films as life and death. He works like that and you'll only come to know that once you work with him or know him personally. He gives his best to his films. He is an all-rounder and does not collaborate. He does everything on his own and hats off to him. Today's filmmaking has changed a lot. You get the best people on board and make a film. Subhash doesn't believe in that. He is glued on to every department of filmmaking, be it the script, the editing, etc. No wonder he always comes out with flying colours. He is the real Yuvvraaj.
From a fun filled comic role in No Entry with Salman, you're now doing a seriously serious role in Yuvvraaj with him. How was the experience?
Working with Salman is always a pleasure. You seem to be in a happy and a joyous mood when you're working with him. You're undoubtedly having a ball while acting. He is a kind of an actor who looks disinterested when off the sets. But when the camera rolls, he is right there, focused and comes out with a stunning performance. You tend to look at the monitor and think he is so young, good looking and awesome.
So who looks young on screen, Anil or Salman?
(laughs) Good question. You see, me and Salman discuss the same question when we are together. Jabhi aapko koi apni umar puche, toh use bees saal zyaada bataon. We both have now decided that when anybody asks us our age, we will say that we are 55 to 60 year olds.
Eros International marketed and distributed your baby Gandhi My Father, are you happy that Yuvvraaj is too in their hands?
I definitely agree that in today's time, marketing and distribution has become as important as the filmmaking itself. But you'll have to wait and watch how Yuvvraaj is marketed. Eros and Kishore Lulla are one of the top most distributors for Bollywood films. They are the best and I'm sure they will give it their best shot when it comes to distribution. So far, it's been a success and in days to come, it will only double up. So let's wait and watch how Yuvvraaj's fate is decided by marketing.
How was it to be working with the young talent like Zayed Khan for the first time?
He is a great looking guy and a lovely human being. I am very fond of their family and get along very well with his sister and mother. They are wonderful people. Zayed's family has been with me since my early days in the industry. Their entire response towards me has been consistent till date and Zayed's warmth, attitude and loving nature comes from this upbringing of his. Zayed has acted very well in the film and I think it's his best role ever.
How do you rate the music of the film?
Do we need to mention it when it's A.R.Rahman's music? All the songs are simply superb. Giving an unusual music is a tough job but Rahman knows it best. My favourite song in Yuvvraaj is 'Dost'. It's got a beautiful melody and is very beautifully shot. It is difficult to judge which is Rahman's best, Taal or Yuvvraaj. I think both stand out given the subject of the film.
Katrina is being termed the lucky mascot for Yuvvraaj. It's welcoming, isn't it?
(laughs) Yes, you got it right. She has been lucky ever since she has moved in Bollywood and its only doing good for our industry and for her personally. Our last film together, Welcome, grossed the best ever collections for a comic caper. It had Katrina too. So we hope Yuvvraaj to be a blockbuster too. Actually, all of us are banking on Katrina's luck for this film.
All the roles you've played recently have been very different, right from Tashan to Welcome and now Yuvvraaj and next year comes Slumdog Millionaire. Critics are loving you more day by day.
Thanks to them but even though Tashan failed at the box office, my role was well received by one and all. Even Welcome was a welcome change. Acting is a commercial business and you have to keep that in mind. I may have done several similar roles but my directors were different. It's art and commerce. These decisions are taken instinctively sometimes. There are no set rules to what I do and what I don't do. If my roles were different and people and the critics have loved it, it's good for them. For me, it's my job and there is no escape. My whole approach is very unpredictable. I will choose my role in a split second.
I hear that you're also going to be seen singing in the film?
The most difficult part in the film is the singing I've done. All of it is classical. It was one of the most stressful yet one of the most memorable moments of my life. You have to see the film to know further.
Did you do a bit of research for your role or was it script bound?
I went through a book titled 'A Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat'. It's a book about these kinds of characters, autistic and special children. This book was really helpful when it came to my acting in Yuvvraaj. That book gave my character the strength.
Is Lakhan missing his Ram?
Always. I always miss him. In fact, I miss my Sita too, Madhuri (laughs). Jackie is a brother to me. We have given Indian Film Industry some of its finest films and all directed by Subhash Ghai.
Any message for your fans?
I am awaiting their feedback this year for Yuvvraaj and do watch Slumdog Millionaire next year. It's a hell of a good film. Ditto with Yuvvraaj. It's my best ever role in a Subhash Ghai film.