Siddhant Kapoor isn't well known to the general public, he's got unconventional looks, just like his father Shakti Kapoor had when he started in B-town, and at 29, this protege is older than most debutants on the verge of movie stardom. His mission? To carry the legacy forward and to prove that he's here to stay for good. And in the able hands of Sanjay Gupta and Ekta Kapoor, this Kapoor can't really go wrong. The first time I met this protege was in London on the film he was assisting as a director - Priyadarshan's Bhagam Bhaag. Getting the on-set experience as much as he could, Siddhant's only dream to become an actor never went out of focus and it was that particular vision you see in his eyes when you bump into him. The second time I met Siddhant was at Shazahn Padamsee's birthday bash at her house. Muscular and smartly dressed in a dark brown shirt sporting a beard, he walked past me in a jiffy. He came across like an enigma. A common friend introduced us. For an actor like Siddhant, Shootout At Wadala was a demanding storyline. It required him to learn how to shoot with guns of the yesteryears - heavy and rusted I guess. And that's what a shooter would do, right? Not only that, it also asks him to share screen space with John Abraham. The problem is that men who can carry serious films and still look good and grunge are in short supply. So here's the question I've been fielding a lot - If Bollywood has a problem, will Siddhant Kapoor be the answer?
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Siddhant Kapoor!
Feeling blessed that you are to debut with Balaji Motion Pictures and Sanjay Gupta?
I would never think with which production house I'd make my debut or which studio. Of course, it couldn't have been better that I am being backed by Ekta Kapoor and Sanjay Gupta. I feel blessed of course. The thing is, I always wanted to work with Sanjay sir after watching all his films in the past, especially Shootout At Lokhandwala. I really liked the characters. So I approached him and here I am doing Shootout At Wadala. I am not an action buff but I like grounded and more rustic performances. I like it real. I love action movies. I love comedy and drama too. Shootout At Wadala is all this and much more.
Why did you start as an assistant director with Priyadarshan?
The only reason I started assisting Priyadarshan sir is because I wanted to get all the on-set experience, the technical aspects, the editing, etc. I've assisted on Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Bhagam Bhaag, Dhol and a few commercials. It helps an actor like me to gain confidence before embarking on my career.
Your father, Mr Shakti Kapoor is a great actor. Was it intimidating to prove your talent?
For a son who knows that his father has done more than 700 films and then to match up to him in regards to sheer acting prowess is quite intimidating. He is a brilliant actor, no doubt about that. But I didn't think all this. I wanted to put in my talent, my confidence. His era was different. Today, the way we think about movies is different.
Being the youngest male actor in the cast of Shootout At Wadala, did you feel like a student?
Yes, I am the youngest actor in the ensemble of Shootout At Wadala. It's a learning process. Students have no option but to learn. That's how I look at it. Just looking at these men is a learning experience. Manoj sir, Kangna, Anil sir, John, etc, these are power house of actors. It's so good to be on sets and they all were always helping. Each and everyone of them is great.
How you wished your father would've been in Shootout At Wadala too, isn't it? But more importantly, is he still a work-a-holic that he used to be?
Yea! But I gave the first clap for my father in Bhagam Bhaag. Yes, I wished I had made my debut with him in Shootout At Wadala. Dad is completely opposite of what he is on screen. Yes, he is a work-a-holic. He doesn't like to sit idle. He has to do something or the other. He is very hard working. He will do shows, films, events, Bhojpuri films, etc. He just wants to keep working.
Before your first shot, did your father give you any 'what to do' and 'what not to' tips?
Before my first shot in Shootout At Wadala, my dad just told me to be confident and to give my best in whatever I was to do on the sets. Look at Ranbir, he is so confident in himself and that's why he is able to deliver the best roles in the recent years. I take him as my idol. First you get an opportunity, and then you get the confidence. I am here to earn my space.
What's your favorite Sanjay Gupta movie?
My favorite Sanjay Gupta film has to be Aatish, any day. I keep liking it every time I see it. Every character in that film is epic. Right from my dad to Sanjay Dutt to Atul Agnihotri who gave his most memorable role in the film, everyone was superb. Even Aditya Panscholi was at his best. The dialogues of the film, the script, everything was so well done. It's a very good film to study for writers, actors and aspiring directors.
What role do you essay in Shootout At Wadala?
I play the role of a sharp shooter from Manya Surve's (John Abraham's) gang. I had to prepare a lot. The guns at that time were quite heavy and different. So I had to learn how to handle the guns and shoot them. It has a bit of a comic touch too and I hope I show-off a little (laughs).
What films have influenced you to become an actor?
I have grown up on a few of my dad's films like Aatish, Maha Sangram, etc, where he played bad guy. I think watching those films left a lasting impression on me to join the industry and I too wanted to be an actor. I liked everything raw and unpolished. I started doing plays and theatre too. Later on I saw Anurag Kashyap's first film Paanch, that never released, and I decided this is what I seriously wanted to pursue for the rest of my life - acting.