Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar is special for Ranbir Kapoor for several reasons. It is his first film with grand-uncle Shammi Kapoor (also the last film of India’s Elvis Presley), and then, of course his off-screen buzz with American model-turned-actor Nargis Fakhri.
How much of Ranbir Kapoor do we see in Rockstar?
Janardhan Jakhar is not a cool guy. I won’t say it was the toughest role for me to play, but it was a great experience. Being on the journey of the film itself, I have learnt a lot and grown as an actor. When people see this character, they can see me somewhere in him.
You had said that you will not work with the same director twice. Then how you agreed to work with Ayan Mukerji for Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani again after Wake Up Sid?
Not at all…wrong reporting by media. I have never said anything like that. At the same time, as an actor, it’s better for me to work with maximum number of directors. When an actor and a director work together, they grow a relationship between them. Then, aage chalke, that director writes a script for you, creates a character that will suit your personality. So, when he comes up with a script, you say ‘yes’ if you like it…you want to do the film for yourself.
You were seen promoting Rockstar at recently-held Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Is it important for you to visit God before release of a film (like most actors do these days)?
My father (actor Rishi Kapoor) is really religious. I am both God-loving and God-fearing. He passed on his belief to his children. However I don’t regularly go to a gurdwara or dargah or a temple. I don’t visit God every time before release of a film. Whenever I feel like…while driving somewhere… I visit God. Like, if I am in Amritsar, I visit the Golden Temple just for positive vibes. You can pray to a God even sitting in a car or bathroom, you don’t specially need to go to a temple.
Your character in the film goes through a heart-break. So have you in real life undergone a similar experience?
Wow; it would be a worth. There is a dialogue in Rockstar that to break in life, you need to keep your heart breaking. The pain, dukh, dard, aanso…these are very important in life. Only when you undergo such experience, an artist is born of you. You grow BIG in life. Janardhan Jakhar takes this too seriously and his journey begins from there. I am very intelligently diverting the question so that it doesn’t come on me directly (laughs). But in my personal life, if you ask me if I want a heartbeak…I don’t know. I mean, you have bad days, you have good days…it’s not that I have become a Devdas or like my character in Rockstar. I am young, I have a sporting life, I am keen to date women. So let’s hope…now I know…I am looking for a heartbreak.
So, you think that will help you as an actor?
With every relationship, you grow in life. You learn a lot about life and all that stuff that gets inside you…pain and happiness…finally comes out in your work. These are the references you have when you undergo a heartbreak. So it’s important for an actor to undergo the whole emotion.
How was it working with Nargis Fakhri?
Nargis? I can say this with a lot of confidence…please don’t take this in a wrong way…but she is by far the best actor I have worked with (male, female everyone included). She came into this film without any baggage, any backdrop of acting, without knowing the language; she was not that much interested in doing Hindi films. But then, she worked so hard, she was so dedicated. She used to work for six hours a day on her Hindi. I can say she is one actor who will take the industry by storm with her dedication, talent and passion.
You shared the screen for the first time with your grand-uncle and veteran actor Shammi Kapoor in Rockstar, which incidentally was his last film too…
It was our good luck that we could work with him. He has a small but important role in the film. It was a great experience…his energy, positivity…he used to flirt with all assistant directors on the sets. He used to sing songs in happier mood; given that the physical problem he had, he never let it show. The amount of dignity he has given to this film, we will remain indebted to him for that.
– Sreya Basu