After a year of embarrassing controversies and incredible setbacks Kapil Sharma is all set to make a comeback with his feature film Firangi which features him as an innocent villager grappling with the Colonial Raj. It is a charming performance in an endearing film. Kapil discusses his career plans and some personal decisions.
Kapil, that’s quite a departure in Firangi from your first film Kiss Kisko Pyar Karoon and from your image as a stand-up comic?
You liked it? Thanks. My friend Rajiev Dhingra who directed Firangi sat down with me for one and a half year. We exchanged ideas on what we would do together. We decided we would do a period film for sure. But we didn’t want to do the usual Evil Colonisers and Innocent Peasants movie. We wanted to do a fresh take on the Raj. I think we succeeded in doing that.
Yes, Rajiev has ensured that your fans get what they want from your—innocence—but he has also ensured a new avatar from your comicality.
Haan, mera character bholepann mein hi bahot kuch kar jaata hai (my character does a lot of things without knowing the repercussions). I think Rajiev knows me better than almost anyone else. We’ve been friends for years. Kayee baar aisa hota hai ki kuch log itne kareeb hote hain ke woh aapko khud se behtar jaane hain (some people are so close to you that they know you better than you know yourself). Rajiev knows me well enough to know what I can do and can’t do. He directed my accordingly. Sometimes I’d go over-the-top. But he’d bring me back to normalcy. He knew that the audience wanted to see me playing a normal guy who can make others laugh.
Do you like pushing the envelope?
It will be boring for me and the audience if I don’t. That’s why I am planning a radical change in the Kapil Sharma Show. As far as feature films go, I will try to do something different each time. I already have an idea for my next film. Audiences are open to all kinds of experiences now. I saw Newton. It was so different yet successful
The film is too long, though?
Oh, you’ll be surprised at how much we left out. There was this scene where my character asks the British officer what financial constraints bring his people to India because normally poor Indians go to Kolkata. They came all the way from England to India.
Have you shown Firangi to your friends from the film industry like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar?
Not yet. We had a screening for the cast and crew and family on Thursday. Woh toh achcha hi bolenge na (they will say only nice things). Very often we actors and entertainers get cut off from reality because we surround ourselves with yes-men. It’s very important to listen to people who don’t flatter you and who correct you when you’re wrong. Rajiev Dhingra is one such friend. He tells when I go wrong.