From an actor I’ve been turned into a pin-up boy: Shahid
Shahid Kapoor tells us why he is hungry for some action now
In your next film Teri Meri Kahaani, we get to see you in three avatars. And also for the first time as a Muslim man Javed Qadri...
It all happened rather casually. Kunal (Kohli) had a few completed scripts. He told me about this idea and I loved it. People talk about Janam Janam Ka Saath, this film depicted it. I however had reservations against doing a reincarnation film. Kunal assured me that it would be a romcom. I found that interesting. (pauses) And yes, I play a Muslim character for the first time in my career. The story is set in pre-independence India. It’s the year 1910, in a village outside Lahore. Javed Qadri is a badtameez, ladkibaaz and besharam man. He uses his sher-o-shayari as pick-up lines. It was exciting. Also, I wanted to play a Muslim character for the longest time since I my mother is Muslim.
There were stories about Priyanka Chopra and you refusing to work together in the film. Also, once the film started there were rumours about friction on the sets… (Thinks) But Priyanka was the best person for the role. I was already doing the film and Kunal felt that she suits the character perfectly. She liked it and came on board. During the making of the film we never really had any awkward moment either. During Kaminey, we had a lot of fun. And we had just eight scenes together in that film. In this, it’s just us. I am glad we did it.
You are an extremely involved actor…
Yaar main Mausam mein bhi bahut involved tha. Ab nahi involve hona. (Laughs) Well, I am passionate about my work. There had been times when I have not enjoyed a film since people have not put enough effort. God has given me so much. Mehnat karna is the least I can do.
Is there stiff competition between Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and you?
I like both of them. And though we are the same age, I came in the industry three years before them. They are fortunate enough to have the kind of background they do. My dad is a part of the industry but he had never been mainstream. Coming back to Ranbir and Imran, it’s good to see their films and go back and work harder.
Your current unemployment have been the talk of the town…
After Mausam, I decided to do three films in a year. I completed Teri Meri Kahaani and found out that my director Maneesh Sharma has broken his back. So now, that film will go on floors only in July – August. I realised I was unemployed. But the good part is that I have met a lot of people and am lining up my next projects.
So which films are you planning next?
There’s two – Yash Raj Films’ project to be directed by Maneesh Sharma and Bejoy Nambiar’s film to be produced by Mubbian Rattonsey, the co-producer of Kaminey. Prabhu Deva and you have been discussing an action film…
Prabhu Sir and I are still talking. It will be a hard core action film but we haven’t locked on anything concrete.
And Siddharth Anand’s film?
We’re good friends and meet twice a week. We are keen on working together but haven’t decided on anything as of now.
Your birthday party made a lot of noise
There is one man to blame – Atul Kasbekar. He turned me into a calendar boy. It was a pool party and everyone wore swimsuits. But the pictures went viral and that made the entire thing look quite different. It was all in fun. There were 30 people in the pool at midnight. And I cut my cake in the pool.
Then you were linked with Nargis Fakhri.
Honestly, I don’t know what to do. Just because I hang out with someone doesn’t mean I am dating her. I barely know Nargis. It’s wrong to just link her up with me.
Ever since your break up with Kareena you’ve been linked with a string of heroines. How does that make you feel?
Being a guy, I feel that I can deal with it. But it is embarrassing for the girls. I have never spoken about these since I only talk when I am in a relationship.
People used to call you arrogant. But you seem to have changed…
I was shy. My friends used to tell me that I should talk to people or else they will think I am arrogant. I made an effort. And now, people have started understanding me.
Were you skeptical about Kunal’s film since his last project didn’t do well? Meri bhi last film nahi chali yaar. I may work with a filmmaker who has made a blockbuster. But his next two projects may flop. I work with people because I believe in their ability. Relationships shouldn’t be based on success or failure. Just have faith. Hits or flops will happen.