It’s pretty strange but I am going to reveal a lot more in the lines to come. So read in between them. Be patient, just observe and remember Saawariya, for a bit. So, out of the ordinary, the moment I reach my 6th floor apartment at 11.25pm India time, I look at my watch. Its five minutes to go before I call the actor (Prague time) for the interview. Just when I am about to change, my phone rings. It’s an unknown number. I rush like a desperate housewife to pick up because I knew it could’ve been Ranbir. And Ranbir it was. In a lot of mess up, I tell him to hold the line as I change my tape. The interview begins, and till it reaches its fifteenth minute, I realise that Ranbir was slipping into long answers to my questions. In doing that, what I didn’t realise was that something else was slipping too. Phone in one hand, my Dictaphone in the other and the towel which I had wrapped around does the disappearing act (Saawariya anyone?). It was strange. It was Anjaana Anjaani and it was Ranbir Kapoor on the other side. So many co-incidences in so little time. The towel act was consuming. As for Ranbir, it’s his acting that consumes him, defines him even. I’ve often compared him to a young Al Pacino – all hooked-nose, hollow-eyed intensity and commitment to his ‘craft’ but he has also carved out his own, unique niche. People today call him India’s finest actor of his generation. Being a movie star can get into the way of acting. But not for Ranbir. Ranbir – the actor looses himself in every role he plays. So we can discover a man named Raj from Saawariya, Sid from Wake Up Sid, Rocket Singh‘s Harpreet Singh and Raajneeti‘s Samar Pratap. An actor with a vast repertoire, Ranbir is always in the lead, be it acting or in numbers. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent brings you part one of this two part exclusive with a man who had once dropped his towel, the days when he was actually called an ‘Anjaana’.
“I don’t think you make a film with the objectivity of changing the way love stories are made”
Anjaana Anjaani is just a simple love story. I don’t think you make a film with the objectivity of changing the way love stories are made. You like a story, you like two characters and a love story is set. This is a story about two strangers who meet on the bridge, one committing suicide coincidently and they decide not to. From there on, they discover life, love and responsibility. There are so many people who commit suicide because of their college failures, financial issues, love life heart breaks, etc. but that doesn’t mean you take your life away. Life is worth living for and that’s what Anjaana Anjaani is all about.
“Priyanka Chopra surrenders herself to the character and that’s when the film blossoms”
You’ve used too heavy words to describe Priyanka and Ranbir’s talent I should say (laughs). In fact, this is how I’d answer your question- when two of Indian Film Industry’s finest actors meet it puts more pressure on the film. Priyanka is such an established actress. She just sinks into the role so much so that she forgets herself and starts becoming Kiara, the character she plays in the film. That’s important for the film. When an actor kills his or her stardom and surrenders to the character is when the film blossoms. Priyanka has this great quality.
“Music of Anjaana Anjaani has a lot of heart”
What Vishal, Shekhar, Anvita and Siddharth Anand together have brought to the songs is unimaginable. Music of Anjaana Anjaani has a lot of heart. It’s not just a music that one listens to for a month and dies out. The entire soundtrack, their thought and their compositions took the movie forward. That was the prime concern. ‘Hairat‘ is playing like a hurricane at the radio stations right now.
“I am not a method actor. I turn up on the sets and don’t take my job so seriously. I have fun instead”
When you hear a script, it’s your gut feeling which first counts, then it’s your instinct. When I finish reading a script, I try and answer questions which go: What did I like in this script? Did I like the whole film? Did I like my character? Something should attract me towards reading the screenplay too. I am not a method actor. I turn up on the sets and don’t take my job so seriously that I immerse myself into the character. But I do take my job seriously. I have a lot of fun with my role; try to bring out something intelligent in my role and of course, with a lot of help from my director, costars, and my entire crew, everything falls in place. Acting for me is quite organic. It is never planned.
“Siddharth Anand doesn’t make movies to make a point”
Siddharth knows what is right and what is wrong and that’s a must for any director. He is really cool. He has got good exposure to life and world cinema. He doesn’t make movies to make a point. He just makes feel good films and that’s his nature. If you hang out with Siddharth, you’ll see that he loves food, places, good life and all that reflects in his stories. Apart from that, his good sense of story and dialogues of characters and dynamics between them makes him a good director to work with. He doesn’t try and make movies of different genre. He sticks to what he knows best and tweaks it a little. His genre is a rom-com genre, not action or thrillers.
“The destinations shown in the film are quite exotic”
We’ve shot in the downtown side of each city this time around. It’s not the bridges and the landscapes and all. We’ve tried to go into the heartland of certain cities. The audiences should feel that they are a part of that city. I really don’t know if it’s going to pay off or not but the destination which Siddharth has to offer this time around is going to be quite exotic.
“Box office figures give me the opportunity to do bigger and better things”
Of course I feel good after a shower when I sit down and think about the box office figures. That’s what encourages you, that’s what sustains you and gives you the opportunity to do better and bigger stuff. Honestly, every day after the shoot when I go home and think what I did on that day, it often happens that I think more about my days on the sets rather than the final result. That’s what brings out the best in me.