Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor has enjoyed pushing his boundaries with roles that have brought to fore his versatility every time.
Right after Kabir Singh, the actor jumped onto the OTT platform, investing a lot of time in his first show, while being deeply involved in the Hindi adaptation of Nani’s Telugu hit, Jersey, which releases this week.
While the actor's fans are waiting to watch their favourite star back in theatres, in an interview with a news portal, Shahid Kapoor talked about being a part of two remakes in his 20-year-long career, and more. Excerpts…
Close on the heels of a hit like Kabir Singh, you chose to swing towards a web series. Of course, Jersey was in the works, too. And now, you have a line-up of some really challenging roles for 2022. What’s been driving your choices lately?
The film choices I make today are based largely on instinct. The first thing you feel from deep down inside is an amalgamation of all that you have experienced in life. And the first voice you hear is the purest; I am trying to listen to that. Of course, there are other factors that you have to account for. It’s been two years since Kabir Singh released. I feel like kiske pair chooke thank you bolu that I again have a film releasing in theatres. It’s a blessing that we had taken for granted. At a young age, you take many things for granted, and with time, and ups and downs, you learn to respect everything in front of you. I am going through that time in life. I felt at ease after doing Kabir Singh. That was not the feeling I thought I would have after the film. Everyone wants a film with big numbers, right? If I have that big-number film, I thought, I probably will become more self-assured, but it turned into a more humbling experience. I have been just as hardworking When something has to happen, it will happen at the right time. You learn to appreciate the energies of the universe and stop having ownership over it. I think that is a big realisation everyone must hopefully have in their life. After Kabir Singh, it was only a matter of months before we went into a lockdown which was an uncertain period.
Jersey was only halfway done with its shoot at that time, right?
We had half of Jersey to shoot. Shooting movies, which we took for granted, suddenly felt like a privilege. The circumstances were insecure, tentative and we were unsure as as to how we would make movies or and how would we find that atmosphere to make a movie like Jersey, which is personal, emotional, and not some sort of an itemised story. It needed to feel palpable and believable. After that phase, one has learned to appreciate everything that one took for grantedI always worked hard, but at times, I did things that I didn’t understand although everyone felt that was just the thing to do, so I went along. I came into the industry at a time when films were in a certain space which I didn’t connect with. They were not story or character-driven. I wanted to do films of the kind that I had grown up watching. I was doing things that were not me, but today, I am working on things that are closer to my sensibilities.
After spending about 15 years in the business, Arjun Reddy and Jersey remakes became two exceptions that you made in quick succession. What is drawing you to remakes?
Why not do a remake? Art is very fluid. People who critique art create certain boundaries for themselves. We all do, actually. We create boundaries which are limiting. I think the most interesting thing about art is that it’s limitless. As far as you are able to make it your own, and be honest, you can try anything. Shakespeare had said that there is no story that has not been told before. It’s not like I am looking out for remakes. It was an opportunity that came my way. Arjun Reddy was the first remake I did. Mira (Rajput, his wife) had seen it and said that I’d be a fool to let it go. I was tempted and yet, unsure. But I did it. And I enjoyed myself. I have a lot of respect for the fact that it is not that easy to do remakes or adaptations.
Meanwhile, on the work front, the actor is promoting his new film Jersey, which is a remake of the same-named film by actor Nani. The film follows a talented but struggling cricketer who decides to return to the game in order to represent India and satisfy his son's wish for a jersey as a gift