Another scion of the illustrious Kapoor clan is all set to debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Saawariya". Even before the film's release, Ranbir Kapoor, son of Rishi and Neetu Kapoor, has won over a huge female fan following with his innocent looks and sweet smile. The industry has high expectations of him given his background. What needs to be seen is whether this star son would turn out to be as impressive with his acting skills as well. The youngster is quite confident he would.Q: Are you nervous about your Bollywood debut in "Saawariya"?
A: Honestly, I am not a bit nervous. I was anxious when the promos of the film started showing on television. I received a range of reactions from people I know and that made me both nervous and excited (laughs). I am happy that I am getting so much attention in my very first film.
Q: Are you happy that you are being launched in "Saawariya"?
A: Absolutely, we all have worked very hard for this film. When we completed it, I watched it as one in the audience. Not only did I like the movie but I also liked the character I have portrayed. Right from the time the film went on the floors, I tried to give my best in every shot. I knew that bagging a film like "Saawariya" and working with a director like Sanjay sir would have been difficult even if I had spent 10 years in this industry now. I hope I get to work with him again.
Q: You have assisted Sanjay in film-making and now you have worked
as an actor with him. What was the difference between the two
A: Nothing much. I learned a lot from both the experiences. Not only was Sanjay sir affectionate towards Sonam and me, he also taught us a lot about cinema. Working with such a reputed director was a dream come true. I had never thought he would launch us in such a grand way. I am grateful to him. I hope he loves me the same way in the future too.
Q: Does the character you play in this film resemble you in any way?
A: Oh yes, the role I play is much like the real me. My character has been named Ranvir Raj, in dedication to my grandfather Raj Kapoor. I am grateful to Sanjay sir for the way he has paid a tribute to my grandfather and my family through this film. I love my character in the film, who is inspired by the legendary Charlie Chaplin and the role my grandfather Raj Kapoor played in "Shree 420".
Q: Your parents have been great actors. What tips did you get from them as you step into Bollywood?
A: I haven't received any special tips from them for "Saawariya". They have never made me sit down and take notes from them. They have been teaching me a lot gradually right from my childhood. I have always taken my own decisions but they have been by my side to encourage and guide me. They have never stopped me from doing anything, instead they have just made me foresee the benefits and the drawbacks of my decisions. I can recall how nervous I was for the shoot of my first song "Masha Allah". I just didn't know what to do so I sent across an sms to my father telling him about my state. He replied via an sms that I shouldn't be foolish. He reminded me that I belong to the Kapoor family, he told me that instead of just acting I should sing along and emote with all my heart. His words gave me a lot of strength.
A: I didn't take that decision in a day or two. I am from a family where acting runs in the genes. I was in America when I watched Sanjay sir's "Devdas". I had then decided that I would debut only with him. I was already getting many acting offers then but not from Sanjay sir. I was wondering whether he knows about me at all. So I decided to take the first step and go and meet him, assist him in film-making and then work in his film as an actor. Fortunately, this dream of mine has come true.
Q: How was the experience of working with Sonam?
A: I am very happy that I have worked with her in my very first film. We knew each other since childhood. Sonam is very intelligent and straightforward, she talks from her heart. If she doesn't approve of something she would go ahead and speak out. Our friendship has grown stronger during the shooting of this film since as newcomers both of us were going through the same emotions. We have shared a lot of feelings.
Q: Are you under any kind of pressure to perform since you are from the illustrious Kapoor clan?
A: No, not at all. At this point of time, I don't want to think that people would compare me with other members of my family who have been or are into acting. I don't want to think whether I would stand up to their expectations or not. I am responsible for what I am doing. I want to work very hard so that people don't write me off as worthless. I don't want to let anybody down.
Q: Did you join this profession because you are from the Kapoor family or do you genuinely love acting?
A: I wouldn't say that I was mentally prepared to play a hero on reel. I just wanted to be part of cinema, I didn't know whether as an actor, or director or producer or as someone else. At the same time, it is true that I am where I am because of my parents and grandfather. As of now, I want to add to their reputation.
Q: Now that you have worked with Sanjay in a such a big production, what are your expectations from yourself and the industry?
A: Oh, it's scary when I think about this. Had my third or fourth film been with Sanjay sir, things would have been different. After working with him, I feel like I have been fed with a golden spoon. It would be a big achievement for me if I live up to his expectations. Right now, I want to work with many directors. I am just praying that my journey is steady.
A: "Saawariya" is more than just a film for me. I was assisting him even as a hero. I took interest in everything from direction to costume selection. This was my golden chance to learn and I enjoyed every moment being part of the film.
Q: How's Sanjay as a director?
A: He is not only an excellent director but also a good human being. He is a rare gem you won't find everywhere. Many people say he is very lucky but the truth is he has sweated out a lot to achieve the top place in the industry.
Q: In the promos of "Saawariya", you are spotted in a cap and with a guitar in hand, just like your father. Whose idea was this?
A: Every bit of the movie is Sanjay sir's concept and idea. If I am resembling my father in any scene then that's very good. We have received very good response to our first promo though I have not been intentionally made to look like my father. I have just acted out what the character demanded.
Q: The RK banner is going to be revived soon. Would you like to work under it?
A: Of course, that would be my first priority. I am going to bring back the golden days of the RK banner. We are going to start work in this direction very soon. I can't reveal any more now but I promise you will get to watch a film under the RK banner in the coming two years.
Q: You are a big competition to other newcomers in the industry. What's your take on that?
A: Come on, it's not like that. Most of the newcomers in the industry are my childhood friends. They are all working hard the way I am, so my best wishes to all of them. Neil, Harman, Sikandar, Imaad and Imran are all like my brothers. I want them to wish me well the way I wish them well.
-Rajnee Gupta (Sampurn)