BizAsia in conversation with Ranbir Kapoor about ‘YJHD’

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From the moment he enters the room, it’s hard not to be totally bowled over by his charm and ability to put you at ease. Ranbir Kapoor, arguably the most promising male actor of today’s generation, has won many accolades for the variety of roles he has managed to play in his career so far. Although having many expectations associated with his family name, Kapoor has created a niche for himself in an industry which one imagines it is quite easy to get lost in.

<strong>BizAsia</strong> meets Ranbir Kapoor (scroll down for more pics)
BizAsia meets Ranbir Kapoor (scroll down for more pics)

Whilst in London earlier this month for the promotions of his forthcoming film ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, BizAsia were lucky enough to speak to Kapoor in what was an in-depth and exhilarating conversation in which he revealed a little slice of him. Dressed smart and slick, he sat down and asked whether we had been waiting long and his inner charm oozed out from that point onwards. Read on to find out some more about ‘Yeh ��Jawaani Hai Deewani’.

First of all, big congratulations on the success of ‘Barfi!’ (2012) and the very many awards and nominations you have received for the film.

Thank you.

How does it feel to have gotten appreciation for ‘Barfi!’ after ‘Rockstar’ (2011)?

It feels great. It’s a good reassurance of the hard work I’m putting in. However, having said that, I don’t credit myself too much because it’s an amalgamation of so many people’s work behind me from the director, the writer, the cinematographer, my make-up artist, my hairstylist. Actors always get credit for no reason and we walk away with all the credit once a film does well. I always give myself a reality check and I’m only as good as my director or my character or my film. I’m also very grateful for the opportunities that are coming my way, the kind of filmmakers I’m working with and the kinds of stories they want to tell through me. I hope that I can sustain that and not typecast myself. I want to continue working in different genres, working in different films with different co-stars. That’s what I endeavour.

‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ seems to be a very youthful film in comparison to a ‘Barfi!’ or a ‘Rockstar’. How did you feel working on a light-hearted film?

You know, to be honest it’s the opposite. Jordan from ‘Rockstar’ or Murphy from ‘Barfi!’ were characters and it’s easier to put in work to understand those characters; it’s a prototype. But a film like ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ in the contemporary space, you have to come and reflect your own personality, you have to be yourself and you have to be engaging and that’s really hard to do because how much can you pose yourself as a person on screen? It’s a harder genre and it’s a genre I’m really scared of. There are certain actors who have that engaging personality off-screen for it to reflect on-screen. Ayan Mukerji is very close friend of mine; we did a film together called ‘Wake Up Sid’. He has very sensitively and very intelligently hidden all of my flaws and written a character with me in mind. He’s taken my traits from real life and tried to show them in reel life. The only hope is that the audience connects with it and I don’t come off looking like a fool.

You play the character of Bunny which you have explained has a few subtle similarities to yourself. Tell us what the audiences will like about him.

Well, Bunny is detached. The philosophy of the whole film is that happiness is real only when it’s shared. When people of a certain age are starting a new life after college, they have a burning desire, they have ambitions and dreams and in that process you tend to forget your loved ones and those who care for you. You may attain however much money, success, fame but if you don’t have people to share it with then what’s the point?��Subconsciously,��even I learnt to take some time off to spend with the parents, friends and loved ones because that’s what matters. You’ll die sooner or later and success and money won’t matter.

This is your second film with Deepika Padukone. What, in your words, would you describe is the success of your chemistry on screen?

I think the chemistry is only as good as the characters, the scenes written by the writer and how the director directs it. Deepika and I are working together again after four years and I’ve followed her career very closely. I’m really very amazed at her growth and I think after a long time another actor intimidated me while acting. I don’t get intimidated very easily by a male or female performer but Deepika was so organic and surprising me constantly with what she was doing on screen in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. I truly believe she is the performance of the film. However, where chemistry is concerned, that’s just how the characters are written. I think we look good together on screen and that adds to it.

In the song Badtameez Dil, you have been compared with the legendary Shammi Kapoor. How does that feel?

To be honest, that was never the starting point of that song. I guess I’m from the same family so people tend to make a connection somewhere. The mood of the song was swing dance and a lot of jibberish and a little bit of freestyle – some of that kind of reminds you of Shammi Kapoor. Remo has choreographed the song and Ayan has worked really hard on it. What the song is trying to say is that we’re all going to get old some day but while we’re young right now, we might as well do something foolish. Youth is a defect which will get corrected with time so don’t worry. That’s what the song embodies I guess.

As you mentioned, this is your second film with Ayan Mukerji as director. How would you say that his style or him as a visionary has changed since ‘Wake Up Sid’ (2009)?

Oh he’s evolved so much. ‘Wake Up Sid’ was a much more narrower film and ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ is a wider film – in content, in nuances, in characters, in dances. I think ‘Wake Up Sid’ was an easier film for Ayan to make and this is a much harder film. It seems very glamorous in the way we’re projecting it but the heart of the story is still very unadulterated. It’s new and it’s original. I think Ayan Mukerji is definitely a talent to watch out for. He’s definitely one of the best filmmakers that I’ve worked with.

We have had various interactions with your very many fans on Twitter and most wanted to ask why you are not on Twitter?

There are many reasons. Firstly, I am too shy. Secondly, I feel that the mystery of an actor is dying out because of the Internet, television and the amount of movies we’re doing now; we promote films and we travel around. People will get bored really soon and I really have nothing intelligent to say. I really don’t think anyone would be interested in me taking a walk on a street and me tweeting about it. The most important reason is that, as an actor, you lose the reality check of who you really are. For instance, if you have 1000 followers; 800 are your fans and 200 are haters; everything you do, the people who love you will always say nice things. You kind of lose the balance of who loves you and who hates you and what’s going well and what’s not going so well. You lose out on that. To keep my sanity, I think it’s better to keep away and concentrate on my movies.

There has been a rumour that you might be doing a film with your cousin Kareena. Can you tell us a little about that?

Yes, sure. Zoya was writing something but she hasn’t offered it to us yet. I would love to work with Kareena, she’s such an incredible talent. She’s achieved so much. I guess I can’t be romantically linked with her so if somebody makes a brother-sister movie then that’s the only way I could work with her.

What do you think will be the appeal to the international audience of ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’?

I guess the heart of it is very original. It’s very new and it’s a coming of age love story. It’s about friendship and it’s honest. You can make a film on war and shoot for 500 days and spend 500 dollars or you could make a movie in one room. If the heart is pure and the story is honest then that’s what really matters.

Well his charm is definitely in his very down-to-earth persona and raw talent. ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ will hit the screens on 31st May.

Pics courtesy: Shyama Sudra

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