He�۪s conquered the big screen for over three decades and now Anil Kapoor is conquering the small screen too. With his hit TV series ��24�۪ getting underway with it�۪s second season, making waves with Indian audiences and internationally, the actor-turned-producer was recently in the UK promoting the show.
BizAsia‘s Shyama Sudra��had the opportunity to meet Kapoor during his time in London.
Congratulations on the incredible success of ��24�۪. How has the whole experience been with producing the series?
Exhilarating, unforgettable and something which I will always cherish. So it�۪s been fantastic, I�۪ve met a lot of actors, directors and writers, it�۪s a very collaborative affair. It�۪s team work in its true sense. I�۪ve met some really passionate people during the show and people have been very supportive, especially the channel Colors, so it�۪s been fun. It�۪s something that we�۪re doing that is out of the box, something nobody has ever done, which makes things even more challenging and exciting.
As this is the first time you�۪re producing a TV show, how does it compare to producing a film?
See the way we make ��24�۪ we don�۪t differentiate between TV or film because of the way the TV show is shot. A lot of people who are involved in films are involved in the show, like the directors, the writer and so on. They are either film-makers or in films, and I�۪m a film actor, so I�۪ve always been working for the screen. So this is a shift for me in doing television. But the idea for me to be a part of it was because I wanted it to be as good or better than what we do in films. Yes of course it�۪s more relentless, it�۪s more hard work, more longer hours of work, and of course television works differently. The storytelling is slightly different because it�۪s 24 episodes, with each beginning there�۪s a cliffhanger at the end, so there�۪s no culmination as such. So the actual culmination comes in the 24th episode and you have to wait for it.
In doing this TV series, how have you been able to put your creativity forward?
See it was a huge responsibility to do such an iconic show, which is very well respected and loved. So doing it again in a different language for the first time, from being first made by the Americans and now we are doing it, I knew I had this responsibility. Also, I also had this in mind because of social media today, and the availability of everything at the tip of your finger, so it became much more critical for us to make something special with new twists and turns so that the people who have watched it before at least have something interesting to watch, and of course the people who have never watched ��24�۪ need to obviously feel that it�۪s completely new for them. So keeping all these things in mind it became very challenging and very exciting for us to put this show together and get it for people all over the world to watch.
Within the Indian TV industry, you could say ��24′ is a niche in relation to the other programmes?
Yes, to be honest with you it is, for India of course it�۪s a niche, it�۪s like single screens in a multiplex. So this is multiplex show (laughs).
The show is in its second season and bringing it to the UK proves how well it�۪s doing. Did you expect to have such a great response on such a large scale or were there doubts that it may not have worked with the audiences?
You can�۪t get into thinking about this show and how people are going to react. You just go for it, because you believe in it. You like it, you love it, you the love the story, the content. You go for it in full blast, which is what I did and then I leave it to the audience to decide what they feel about it.
Having been so supported by your audiences, who have watched both the US series and the Indian series, how were you able to adapt ��24 India�۪ from the US version?
It is an adaptation. It�۪s a collaborative effort, there�۪s a lot of writers, a lot of creative minds were involved in it, including the channel. They have their own creative team which gets involved. Of course we are all learning from each other, in how to make it work. We�۪re taking baby steps, it�۪s a gradual shift from what they�۪re used to, and trying to do something which is exciting, challenging, interesting and fun. I mean you have to see the show in a different filter (from the US version), because the benefits are immense. Besides the number of people who watch it – of course that�۪s important – but the more than that there are other benefits also. It�۪s a cool show, people are talking about it, people are interested, the media is interested, creatives are interested, actors are interested to be a part of it. So I think that makes it very interesting and exciting, which are the advantages that the show has got.
What other international series would you consider reprising?
My focus at the moment is ��24�۪. The immediate show that I have in mind is ��Modern Family�۪, so once I get down with ��24�۪, I�۪m going to get head on with that. I�۪m looking forward to it, I�۪m very very excited about it.
��24�۪ Season 2 is currently showing on Colors TV.