By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Nov 7 (IANS) Ranbir Kapoor has a lot riding over his shoulder. As the release date of his debut film "Saawariya" approaches, the newcomer has huge butterflies in his stomach. He however says he won't let down his mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
"I don't know where I go from here. But I'll certainly not let down Mr. Bhansali after the high standards he has set for me. Right now all I'm thinking of is 'Saawariya'," Ranbir told IANS.
His film is clashing with friend Deepika Padukone's debut vehicle "Om Shanti Om", but Ranbir is unperturbed and says that he is looking forward to it."Not just Deepika, I'm also looking forward to 'Om Shanti Om' because of Shah Rukh Khan. He is a source of inspiration for all the actors who've come after him. Deepika is a friend of mine, though I haven't been in touch with her for some months. I'm sure she's going to do very well for herself."
He denies that Bhansali prevented him from continuing his friendship with Deepika.
"Sir is like my parents. They never interfere with my life. Neither does he. Sir allowed me to grow as a human being."
Asked about his romantic linkups, he said: "Honestly, I used to feel really bad. I do cringe when something embarrassing is written about me."
Q: Mukesh's grandson Neil made his debut recently in "Johnny Gaddar". The competition looks tough.
A: Neil is a dear family friend. He's extremely talented. I'm hoping we will work together some time. Every year there's exciting new talent coming in. The competition is getting really tough. The call of the day is to be focused on your work. Every time I am compared with someone else I get a bit thrown off.
Q: Are you insecure about the competition?
A: Right now I'm too nervous to even think about the competition. I'm aware many newcomers are coming in. I've worked hard on "Saawariya". Hope people like it.
Q: How do you intend to maintain the high standards set by Sanjay Bhansali?
A: I don't know where I go from here. But I'll certainly not let down Mr. Bhansali after the high standards he has set for me. Right now all I'm thinking of is "Saawariya".
Q: How do you react to all the stories linking you with various women?
A: Honestly, I used to feel really bad. I got really scared of stepping out to even go to the gym. I'd wondered the guy they were writing about who misbehaved in public...was that really me? Call me ugly if you want. But please don't judge my morals and my behaviour because you don't know me. My mom and dad make it a point to talk to me and explain all this is part of the game. But, still, I do cringe when something embarrassing is written about me.
Q: You think they've got a wrong image of you?
A: I am not portraying myself as Jesus Christ. But let them judge me as an actor before getting into my personal life.
Q: What are your flaws?
A: I'm very self-critical. There's a lack of self-confidence. I'm always groping to be correct. I've set very high standards for myself. I've Mr. Raj Kapoor as my idol. I'm such a fan of Mr. Raj Kapoor's film. I aspire to be like him. I want to achieve everything he has achieved. I actually feel Mr. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the inheritor of the RK mantle. It's not just a coincidence that Raj Kapoor's grandson is being launched by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Q: Your mother says there's a filmmaker lurking in you?
A: Oh yes, I'm very interested in making a film. I don't know when I'll do it. But I'm jotting down my ideas all the time, though I'm not much of a writer.
Q: If you had to be in one of your father's remakes, which one would it be?
A: It'd have to be Nasir Husain's "Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai". That's the first time I saw his comic timing. "Karz"? I'm too much in awe of "Karz". I don't think anyone can equal his performance there.
Q: You're coming on the same day when Deepika Padukone makes her debut?
A: Not just Deepika, I'm also looking forward to "Om Shanti Om" because of Shah Rukh Khan. He is a source of inspiration for all the actors who've come after him. Deepika is a friend of mine, though I haven't been in touch with her for some months. I'm sure she's going to do very well for herself.
Q: Why have you lost touch with Deepika?
A: We met a number of times, then we got busy with our respective careers. People blew our friendship out of proportion, linking us together and stuff. That made us self-conscious.
Q: It was said that Bhansali prevented your rapport with Deepika from developing.
A: Sir is like my parents. They never interfere with my life. Neither does he. Sir allowed me to grow as a human being.
Q: What else are you doing?
A: We're trying to work out a project for my home banner. Hopefully, we'll come up with a film very soon. I don't now whether dad will direct.
Q: Do you take inspiration from your father?
A: I'm a big fan of my dad and my uncle Rajiv Kapoor. I'm very close to him. He's worth a lot more than 'Prem Granth'. And one day he'll prove it.
Q: Whom would you like to work with?
A: Hrithik Roshan, Akshaye Khanna, my father and mother. Salman Khan has been really encouraging from day one. He took me under his wings. And Abhishek (Bachchan) has been very supportive. He always sends encouraging messages.