By Devansh Patel, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Last Diwali when Ranbir Kapoor was feted worldwide for his performance in his debut, most reviewers expressed surprise that the young Kapoor protege was capable of such stirring efforts. After all, wasn't he just the pretty boy who'd sung, dance and smirked his way through Saawariya? Perhaps the reviewers should not have been so taken aback. Moreover, hugely adventurous and artistically ambitious, he'd proved from an early age to be a fledgling Renaissance Man (aakhir beta kiska hai), a cultural sponge, sucking up the wisdom of those older and more experienced than himself (Bipasha Basu), and he'd continued this practice in his film career, drawing on the likes of his great grandfather, grandfather and father. In this Bollywood Hungama exclusive the actor spoke to Devansh Patel about his Saawariya days, why working with Minissha was special, his lucky girl Bipasha Basu, his friend John Abraham, his Independence Day message and his hard hitting answer to the question - Why Yash Raj Films should shut down?
You've been quite busy promoting Bachna Ae Haseeno…
I know man! It's been really crazy yaar, running up and down.
While Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya kept you in the closet right till the end. Here Yash Rajs way of working and promoting is a complete contrast. How different was it then?
Well, I think in today's day and age, promoting a film is really important. Marketing has a huge impact towards the film because it makes all aware of that particular film and that's what we are doing for Bachna Ae Haseeno. I am going through the same emotions, nervousness and the anxiety which I went in Saawariya. It's all coming back to me now. So I hope that people like and enjoy Bachna Ae Haseeno and hopefully I will taste my first commercial success.
The first thing I noticed when I called you up was that your caller tune has 'Jab Se Tere Naina' song playing. Don't you think you should have 'Khuda Jaane' playing instead?
Saawariya was my debut film and 'Jab Se Tere Naina' is always going to be a special song to me because that song gave a lot to me. People liked the song and really appreciated it a lot. I am not being biased here but I have no second thoughts of changing the song right now.
You are working with your real life Saawariya, Deepika. Is that a good enough reason for Bachna Ae Haseeno to be a hit?
I don't think so. I don't think that if a real life couple does a film together, it'll be a hit. Yes, it does garner more attention as far as the media is concerned but I don't think anything beyond that makes or breaks the film. Both me and Deepika can't gaze our chemistry on screen but it's our audiences who know better whether or not our chemistry works and we are right now awaiting their response.
How was it like singing the same song which your father, Mr Rishi Kapoor, sung in 'Hum Kissi Se Kum Nahin'?
Singing 'Bachna Ae Haseeno' song was scary and at the same time it was quite heart warming because you can't compare yourself to the legends like Kishore Kumar, R.D.Burman and Rishi Kapoor. As the title of the film was Bachna Ae Haseeno, we couldn't resist ourselves from using that particular number. The title track will not be seen in the movie as it's a promotional track. It was great fun filming the evergreen song. It was our own sweet representation on the song and it has again caught on a lot with the youth of today's day and age.
Moving on to 'Khuda Jaane', we hear that the song is very near and dear to both you and Deepika. Plus the picturesque locations of Italy with your white outfit makes the perfect icing.
Well, it's a wonderful song and the first song of the album and obviously our main song. The song means a lot to us because it's my first romantic duet in the movie and I think it's been picturised on beautiful locations. Akki Narula did a great job with the costumes, Ahmed Khan choreographed the song and Siddharth Anand, the director, had this wonderful vision to the song. I hope the audiences like it when they see it on big screen.
Are you also scared of heights?
Yes, I'm petrified of heights but I did overcome my fear while shooting 'Khuda Jaane'. When Ahmed and Siddharth put me on top of an approximately 100 ft rock type sculpture and I had to stand on top of it to sing 'Khuda Jaane' with different hand movements, it was really scary. But when I saw it on the big screen I felt proud that I managed to keep my nerve and do that shot. It has come out wonderfully well.
It's also your debut with all three leading ladies in Bachna Ae Haseeno. So tell me, who's the good, better and the best?
(Laughs). I was comfortable with everyone but the chapter with Minissha was the most fun because we both are shown as seventeen year olds in the film. We got to do some really fun stuff like bike around Switzerland, ride on the huskies, on the glaciers, roller coasters, etc. Honestly, I've had a great time shooting with both Deepika and Minissha. Both are beautiful to work with and highly talented.
Share with us your experiences of working with your onscreen lucky girl Bipasha Basu.
When I started working on Bachna Ae Haseeno, Bipasha was the first person I started off the film with. I was in complete awe of her and much of the fact that she was my first major big co-star. So I was a bit nervous to be working with her initially. Apart from being hot and all that she has achieved over the years, she is a great human being and never made me feel as if I was a ranked new comer. I have now made a good friend for life. I'm really friendly with Bipasha and hope that I get to work with her again in the near future.
Your father too has been a part of Yash Raj Films and now you carry on the tradition. Any tips from Kapoor senior given to Kapoor junior?
There is nothing about taking an advice. Yash Raj is a very big banner. They make beautiful movies. Off late, yes, their movies haven't been really successful but that doesn't take away the fact that they've given such amazing phenomenal films to the Indian cinema. I just feel privileged and honoured to be a part of such a production. Hopefully, if this film does well then I'll be doing more movies with Yash Raj. My father lets me take my own decisions and learn from them.
From a sincere lover in Saawariya to a playboy in BAH. Correct me if I've got it wrong.
Let me correct you (laughs). I am not playing a casanova or a playboy. It's a role of a guy next door with whom you and every other person can identify with. It's a journey of Raj from 17 years to 30 years, different relationships he has and different phases of those relationships and what these relationships teach him about love and life.
Part of the world media strongly recommends Yash Raj Films to shut down. Do you want to comment on this statement?
I am absolutely appalled by this behaviour. People only judge actors and directors by their failures but do not take into consideration their successful films. Look at the kind of movies Yash Raj has given to Indian cinema over the past forty years. We should be proud of that. Movies run and don't run is not in the hands of the director or the producer. The fact that Yash Raj makes movies passionately and spoil their actors, they make you part of the Yash Raj family and to work with them in only my second film is a big achievement. I feel sad when I hear such bizzare statements, that too coming from the media.
Why should one go and watch Bachna Ae Haseeno on India's Independence Day?
India has tri colours and Bachna Ae Haseeno has the beautiful trio - Bipasha, Minissha and Deepika. Primarily that's the best I can think of what syncs with the Independence Day. Secondly, because of the story, the music and a little bit of me. So everything put together makes a good enough reason to go and watch this film.
I know I might be in trouble if I ask you this but in good humour, did you call John Abraham up telling him that he is no longer Bipasha's lucky boy?
(laughs) Oh no. Not at all. I don't think anybody can be a lucky boy except John. I respect John a lot and Bipasha is such a great girl. I am really happy for both of them. But I'm also happy for the fact that I got to play her lucky boy in the film.
We are also hearing that you are going to be a part of an R.K. Banner film pretty soon. What's the latest buzz on that?
That's absolutely true. That's been my top priority. We're doing a film for the R.K. Banner and right now we are on the scripting stage. Hopefully, by sometime late next year, after I'm finished with my other film commitments, I will start my film with my home production. We still haven't yet decided who will direct the film but a few names are still in the pipeline.