Chit Chat

Am a restless soul: Anil Kapoor

Being on his feet all the time keeps him going, says Anil Kapoor

Anil Kapoor hardly ever kicks back or puts his feet up during an interview. He’s usually breezing in and out of them during promotions in a sharp suit, keeping himself and everyone else on their toes. This one, in fact, he preferred to give standing up. The actor, who looks much younger than his years and refuses to slow down, explains why both restlessness and appearances are important to him.

Why are you standing up?
It keeps me feeling alert and alive… I sit down, I feel sleepy. I just want to be standing on my feet, it keeps me going.

Are you always like this?
Yeah, I’m a restless soul. My children always say, chill dad, calm down. Abhi nahin, hamesha se bolte hain, even when they were little, even my wife. Physically, they say – sit down, calm down, why are you always running around, walking, working? But I love to be on the move, meeting people…

Do you do it deliberately, to stay fit?
Yes, I think it helps – work helps keep you young and alert, and gives you energy. Work is worship; I believe that.

What do you do for exercise?
Lately, I’ve been into yoga, which I’m enjoying thoroughly. I’m doing Bikram hot yoga, which is being in a sauna and doing 27 asanas in the heat, sweating it out for an hour and a half, four days a week. We all discovered it together – except for my younger daughter and my son – Sonam, my wife and I practice it. My son is in America, and Rhea is a lazy one, she doesn’t exercise. She is slim, yes, she’s lucky that way, but she has to now otherwise she’ll become fat (laughs).

Are appearances important to you?
Yes, for me it’s important. Of course, the intellect, the depth, education, humour etc are very important, but in today’s world, appearances are also important. Even today, a politician or a banker or a CEO or the president of a country, if he has the presence or appearance, he can grab eyeballs or votes. It’s an asset to his overall persona.

But these days, it’s all about being correct, not judging people by their appearances…
It’s not a question of judging, it just adds to your personality. You can’t ignore it. You don’t have to be handsome or good-looking or have great features. I’m talking about being fit. You might be looking the way you look, you can’t change that, that’s your genes, that’s what God wanted you to be. But at least being fit is in your hands. Health is as important as anything else.

Do you form an opinion about people based on how they present themselves?
I don’t form an opinion, but it makes me happy to see others take care of themselves. I think the person who takes care of himself or herself has enough energy to take care of others. Of course, they’re more professional and that means that person is conscious enough and has the kind of energy to look after the family, to look after the work he does.

Speaking of work, your production company is now producing the Indian version of the TV series “24”. What was the thought behind starting the company in the first place?
I just started with “Gandhi My Father”. I loved the script and wanted to make the film, it wasn’t that I wanted to form a company. And now I’m enjoying it, so I want to make it grow. Now that I’ve started it, I have to take it where it should be.

How have producers changed since when you started out as an actor?

There were many kinds of producers – one kind was like my father, who just arranged for the money and left everything else to the creative people. There were others like NN Sippy, who’d take creative decisions. Now, there are more producers who are active in all departments. It started with Vinod Chopra, in a way, and earlier also; Boney (his brother, Boney Kapoor) was one of the first of that kind – he started as an AD, an editor, assistant editor, then became a producer, so he had that creative… his inputs would be phenomenal. His knowledge, instinct for subjects, knowledge in music – he’d participate in everything. Now there are many producers who take part in all departments and can drive a film.

Was production Rhea’s own choice (she was the producer for “Aisha”, and is now working on “Herogiri”)?
Yes. She again has the capacity to be one of those producers whom you can definitely call a creative producer. Like for “Aisha”, she was involved in every department, from music to costumes to script to art direction, marketing…

Would Sonam be as good at taking control of a project as Rhea?
No no, they’re two different people. Sonam is an actress.

What does that mean?
Well… it’s difficult to describe. You know how actors are, in their own world, slightly… space cadets, pampered to a certain extent.

You’re an actor too.
It took me time to be what I am today. All of us, actors who’ve become producers, we’ve been successful for so many years, and now we have the experience of watching so many producers and directors. We have a kind of headstart when we start a production company, but it’s not easy. You still start from scratch.


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