'Award ceremonies have become TV events': Ranbir Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor is sweeping Best Actor Awards at all major award functions for the last two years - if last year it was Rockstar, this year it's Barfi. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu in conversation with the actor in Mumbai.
The award season has started and you have already bagged two Best Actor awards. But with so many shows around, do you think awards are losing their flavour?
When I was growing up, I was always thinking of the award I will get as a debut actor and how the feeling would be. Bu today, award ceremonies have become television events and that kind of takes away the joy of winning. There are more than 12 award shows every year and the number is growing! It feels great to be awarded, get a pat on my back; but the joy has gone. To be honest, when I win a Best Actor Award, of course it feels great, my parents feel proud of me, I get a chance to thank the people I have worked with. But I do hope award ceremonies find some dignity and become more reciprocating towards good work and maintain a more honest outlook towards it.
Do you think the scenario will change?
I am quite optimistic about it. I am sure it will change because otherwise awards shows will die; nobody will be interested in attending these award ceremonies.
Do you remember your first shot?
Yes. My first shot was actually as a duplicate of Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan in Black (2005). If you saw the first shot of the film, the man who was sitting by the fountain with Alzheimer's (disease) was me with lots of padding and Rani Mukherji comes and jumps on me.
How was the experience?
I was just too excited that Rani Mukherji was coming and jumping on me!
Can you pick one film where you could identify yourself with the character you played?
Out of all the films I have done so far, I think I was decent enough in Rockstar (2011) and Wake Up Sid (2009). Rest of the films, I didn't like me on screen, be it Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009) or Rajneeti (2010). For example, in Rajneeti, I had no idea what was happening. I was working on a world of politics with actors like Manoj Bajpai, Ajay Devgn and Nana Patekar. It was when I was dubbing the film, I was like: "Oh, so it means this!" I was lucky that I was backed with a good character, great supporting cast and the drama was very strong. In Rocket Singh, I remember Shimit Amin (director) told me that he doesn't want me to play and authentic Sardar, who becomes the talking point of the film, but he wanted me to bring out the goodness of the character. I didn't know what homework to do. Superficially, I researched on what salesmen do. But what really helped me was going to the Golden Temple where I stayed for two nights.
You are the only younger generation star who has probably worked with the maximum number of newcomers.
I have worked with more than five newcomers so far and honestly, I have no problem working with newcomers. My father (actor Rishi Kapoor) worked all his life with newcomers as he always had a baby face and all the actors at that time were older than him. It is actually great as newcomers come with no pre-conceived notion; but with a lot of passion and ambition about doing well, and seeing new faces on the film sets, charges you up as well because it shows you another aspect of acting.
But isn't there a kind of pressure on you when you are working with a newcomer given that not many can match up to your acting skills?
It's not a pressure on me, but it's the director's job. My responsibility is to do my work. I try to be as helpful as I can towards my co-actors. But somewhere I want to do so well for myself that I only want to concentrate in my work and also want to my co-actor to do well so that I can give my performance the way I want to. Today's directors are intelligent enough and there is so much talent and competition around that they select the right people. It's not that a very beautiful lady has come from somewhere and a director thinks let's cast her and make her a star. It's talent that matters and today talented people are getting opportunities in the industry.
Of the younger generation actors, whose work do you like?
I like Ranveer Singh's work. Arjun Kapoor did a great work in Ishaqzaade (2012). Ayushman (Khurana) did very well in Vicky Donor (2012). I like Imran's (Khan) work in certain films like Delhi Belly (2011).
What would you have done had you not been an actor?
If I would not have been an actor, the cliched answer would be, a struggling actor. On a serious note, I would have been a karate instructor or may be a football coach, I am really very passionate about the game.
Being one of the busiest actors of today, how much 'me' time do you get for yourself?
It's a misconception. I don't work too much. I worked on Barfi over a period of one year, while we shot the film for only 110 days. So rest of the time, I was sitting at home only. Also, at the moment, we have only four-five big actresses and they do three-four films a year. And when they are offered a film by any Khan or Akshay Kumar, people like me don't get dates and I keep waiting. So I get a lot of time to do things I like in my personal life, like playing football and video games; I also read a lot. Reading is a good exercise for your mind and helps you think of certain characters and nuances when you work in movies. --IBNS