Rishi Kapoor: Thankful that I'm still getting great scripts

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By HT

Mumbai, Aug. 27 -- Not one to mince his words, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor remains equally unperturbed by what people say about his films, roles and the controversies that come along. 

Thankful that he's still getting great scripts, the actor hopes to continue doing good work. In a candid chat, Kapoor talks about his 46-year career in Bollywood, his latest film Mulk and why he doesn't regret anything in life.

Are you enjoying the kind of roles you are getting in your second innings in Bollywood?

I enjoy whatever I did in whichever period. I have no regrets about romancing, singing songs or dancing around trees. I made my name and earned money and reputation in the first 25 years of my career. Even now, God has been kind to give me good work, and the strength to imbibe these characters and portray them. I'm delighted and indebted for this opportunity, and hope that I can get more roles like these.

How has it been to work with the younger crop of actors?

They're hard working and good, but at the same time, these are more relaxed actors. They do one or two films. In our times, we used to work in 10 films at a time.

Why didn't you direct again after Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999)?

I just can't do it. Time bhi nahi aur bandwidth bhi nahi. It needs a lot of patience, and my passion is acting, not direction. It was a passing phase, but I'm no longer interested in it.

Your latest film, Mulk, ran into controversies around its release. Do you think today's audience has become too sensitive?

It's a commercial film and we took cinematic liberties to make it engrossing. I think we're taking the perspective of trolls too seriously. That's bulls**t. Our population is so huge, what percentage of India is that [trolls] a reflection? Their outlook hardly matters.

Do you feel film-makers are taking it upon themselves to make films that send a message?

Aisa toh nahi hai, but we do look for newer subjects. Films are basically a reflection of society. A subject of rape has been shown in films since the time Raj Kapoor made Prem Rog (1982), BR Chopra made Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980), and Rajkumar Santoshi made Damini (1993). So, it's not new.

Is it unfair on the audience's part to expect that Bollywood should touch upon all social issues?

What's wrong with that? If one can serve the society through cinema, they must. But you can't distort facts.

The Delhi High Court recently said that actors can't be held liable for dialogues they say on-screen. Your views?

If the censor [board] allows the film, how can you challenge that? How can one take some objection after a film has been censored?