Rishi Kapoor on Chintuji and more
Rishi Kapoor, the Bollywood actor talks about his Chintuji and more. Read the intimate interview with Rishi Kapoor at Calcutta Tube.
On the eve of the release of his latest film Chintuji, RISHI KAPOOR takes out time to tell JYOTHI VENKATESH, who he knows since he had made his debut with Bobby, that as an actor, he has always gone against the tide…
What is your role in the film Chintuji?
I play an ageing actor who is entering politics for all the wrong reasons to make money and not to serve the people. The entertainment quotient of the film comes out of me being a brat. Of course, in the end he is shown to undergo a transformation.
Tell me something about the director of the film?
Ranjit Kapoor who is making his debut as a director in a film after spending several years in directing plays has done a brilliant job as a director by blending fact and fiction beautifully. Ranjit also happens to be the elder brother of actor Annu Kapoor and the father of actress Grusha Kapoor.
Were you narcissist enough to suggest a title like Chintuji for the film?
Let me make it very clear, I did not at all suggest that the title of the film should be Chintuji. Chintuji was not the original title of the film. The original title was Hadbahedi Yahan Sab Teek Hai. We felt that it was a tongue twister. On the contrary, I was scared that the new title might affect the goodwill that I have earned over the years, if the film did not turn out well at the end.
In what way do you think you suit the title role?
I have been cast in the film, in the title role because they needed an actor who happens to be the son of Raj Kapoor to play the role. It was quite flattering for me to be told that the film did not need a young hero. It was definitely more interesting to note that a producer was ready to put money on someone who is no longer a saleable star.
What is Chintuji all about?
The film has a story that is part fiction and part fact. It is more of fiction because I am not a conniving man who wants to join politics or a brat in real life. The USP of the film is that it is autobiographical and has a dramatic screenplay.
Why is the Russian actress Sana Ksenirabinkina, who acted in Mera Naam Joker roped in for playing a key role in Chintuji?
The joker plays a very important part in a very crucial junction of the film Chintuji. It was hence very important to have Sana Ksenirabinkina stage her comeback in Hindi films after a hiatus of around 40 years, after she had acted in my father’s film Mera Naam Joker. Sana plays an old lady who is the wife of the ambassador of Uzbekistan in Chintuji.
How was the experience of acting in Chintuji?
I enjoyed acting in the film. I should say, it was flattering to play the title role, because I do not think any other actor has ever done a similar role in his career. To tell you the truth, it was not tough at all playing myself because playing a brat comes easy to me. It is totally me, and Ranjeet helped me by creating situations in the film keeping in mind my total persona. I just enacted his vision. I am confident that the film would earn me great critical acclaim.
What do you feel when you look back at your career over the last four decades?
As far as my career is concerned, God has indeed been very kind to me. I have always gone against the tide as an actor. I was never the conventional hero. For the first twenty years, I was the wrong hero- a romantic hero who was pitted in action films. I was always a loser who was winning in the circumstances. When again my time came, the younger heroes came to do romantic roles. It was unfair. Tell me how many actors of today have worked with Raj Kapoor in as many as three films? I worked in Mera Naam Joker, Bobby and Prem Rog with my father.
Why did Neetu Singh stage her comeback with a small appearance in Love Aaj Tak?
It is a wrong notion that Neetu has staged her comeback with Love Aaj Kal. When we realized that we needed an important figure to play the character of Harleen in Love Aaj Tak, when she becomes a senior. I told Neetu that God has been kind to us. Riddhima has settled down and Ranbir is doing well for himself, as far as his career is concerned and now since she did not have to shoulder the burden of rearing the kids like before, she could very well afford to take up acting if she likes any script. I explained to Neetu that we needed her for just one shot, which was the last scene in the film.
Did Neetu agree instantly to do the role?
Yes. She agreed to do the part immediately. We did not do it for monetary reasons or critical acclaim. Neetu did it for a lark. Frankly we did not even imagine that the film would turn out to be such a big hit and give us a lot of mileage.
Okay tell me with which film is Neetu now all set to stage her comeback in a full-fledged role?
Neetu is actually staging her comeback after a long period with Habib Faizal’s Do Dooni Char in which both Neetu and I are then main protagonists. We have a great responsibility on our shoulders, because we are not stars who can guarantee an opening or a hit.
After Aa Ab Laut Chale, why did you decide not to direct any film?
I can concentrate on only one creative side at a time. Today, I am acting and earning with dignity. I want to concentrate on acting now. If I change my track, I am afraid I may lose my spontaneity and become a ham and take my work for granted and that will be the end of Rishi Kapoor.
How happy are you with the way Ranbir’s career has shaped?
I am happy with the way Ranbir has managed his career. He is only two films old and is passionate about his work. Hits or flops may continue to come in an actor’s career, but what is important is that an actor should have the fire in him to achieve, like Ranbir. It is a trait that has been inherited by him from his father and his grand father. To gauge his work is difficult. It is the same with me too. It has always been a joy, passion for me to work as an actor. I have not been there just as a flash in the pan for the last forty years.