Despite Gunday being his third film, Arjun Kapoor is being touted as the
rising star of Bollywood and is already juggling with his tight shooting schedules. In this part
of the interview, Arjun talks about endorsements, his mentor Salman Khan, and his way of dealing
with rumours and the experience of doing a film with his father for the first time.
Being in the limelight is a tough jobâ€¦ Tell us your way of dealing with unwanted rumours and
the rising speculations about your link-up with Alia Bhatt?
I was always prepared for these kinds of rumours since I have been a part
of the industry since childhood. It’s a very small price to pay for the kind of love and
admiration we get. For me, it should not be as bad as ‘hitting below the belt’. If you don’t
like me as an actor, don’t use that as a means to put rubbish about me. And I don’t take a stand
as I don’t feel any need to justify it in the first place. Let’s see it practically. Me and Alia
have done a film together and have been shooting together for 90 days. Keeping all that is being
said apart, we obviously share a bond of acting together. We are friends and we hang out
together and how do I explain that to anyone? For example, when we were spotted for Yeh
Jawaani Hai Deewani, the news was wrong because we saw the film at Yash Raj studios and not
at PVR unlike the news article. We were shooting for 2 States and later I saved a seat
for her while watching the film – a simple friendly gesture. How am I supposed to explain any of
that? Moreover, the audience does not really believe all of it. For me, as far as, they aren’t
vindictive, I am fine with it.
Salman Khan is your mentorâ€¦ What have you learnt from him about dealing with this kind of
I believe that observation is
the most important technique for this kind of profession – We need to observe and imbibe
qualities from these people who have been successful. The fact is that no matter what anybody
says, Salman is never affected by these rumours. He doesn’t justify beyond a point, he is closed
about his personal life after a point and he doesn’t care about rumours. That’s why the audience
loves him for who he is. You need to retain who you are. That’s what I have learnt from him.
While actors are in a race to bag endorsements we do not see much of Arjun Kapoor in that
space? Why is that?
I am very choosy about
endorsements. I believe that I have a long race to run and it’s not about the number of
endorsements I do. The offers that came my way weren’t exciting enough and did not match up to
my expectations financially. So, I am willing to wait. Endorsements are all about what you do
and when you do it. I don’t think endorsements are a gauge of stardom since the number of films
you do doesn’t get affected by them. It’s just another way of making money.
While a lot of star kids have debuted with their father’s films, why didn’t
you debut with your father’s film then and decided to do it post four films?
I think that this is a cliched
way of debuting. Hum achche se achche picture banate but that wouldn’t have had the
effect. I chose to work harder because I want to give a film that my father can make. I wanted
you to look at me as an actor before I could make a film with my father. Now people know me for
the past three years and by the time Tevar releases, there will be three other films
coming. So you will see two identities coming together for the film. You will not see it as a
Boney Kapoor or Sanjay Kapoor film only. People should not feel that yeh family hai, saath
mein picture banayi hai. They get into the nitty-gritty of the film. So, I waited for the
right opportunity because we have taken a commercial film which is to be directed by an ad
filmmaker where we are trying to make something new out of it. That takes time too and we wanted
it to be with the right people and it happened now.
Did you sign the film as per your terms and conditions?
Do you lay down your terms and conditions to your
parents? The only thing I requested him to make is his kind of films. I didn’t want him to make
a film to fit me into it. I wanted him to make a story that he wanted to tell. All I can do as a
son is to give him happiness and excitement by making a film with me. So there are no terms and
conditions. I didn’t want him to have a half hearted approach. For this film, he has been on set
every day, getting himself involved into all aspects. And I don’t think my father will listen to
any of my terms and conditions per say.
What is Tevar all about?
Tevar is produced
by Sanjay Kapoor and Eros International. My father is equally involved in it. Sonakshi Sinha and
Manoj Bajpayee are there in the film. It is been directed by Amit Sharma of the Google Reunion
Ad fame. He also directed the Oreo commercial with Ranbir Kapoor and the Idea ads starring
Abhishek Bachchan. He is from the North. The film is set in Andhra. The film is about two people
who don’t know each other are stuck together in a situation and on a run. I cannot reveal too
many details since we have just begun shooting for it. We finished eight days of the schedule. I
have even cut my hair and colored it, sporting balis and heavy stubble for it. My friend Kunal
Rawal is doing the styling for the film. We will soon start shooting in Agra too.
Do two successful films make you more relaxed in terms of choosing films?
I wouldn’t know because I don’t see Ishaqzaade as my own
success alone but as a film’s success. And I had already started shooting for Gunday, Finding
Fanny and 2 States by the time Aurangzeb released, so I haven’t made any
choices after that. Dad’s film was already in the pipeline and we were finding the co-stars and
director for that. I will be able to answer this question only after I hopefully sign a film
post the success of Gunday. I haven’t gone through that feeling as yet. But I am not too
sure if success and failure defines your choice of cinema. I think it’s a lot more personal.
It’s actually tougher post the success, may be because it makes you think of the consequences
but failure makes you go with the conventional stuff which you had said no to earlier. But I am
talking about this hypothetically. I will be able to answer only after signing another film.
here to read Part 1