Shahid Kapoor is a charming and heartthrob Bollywood actor, starting his career as a back dancer to album song (aankhon mein) and further to play amazing roles in films. Give him any role and he turns it to an amazing one and a loved character. He has delivered many films to the industry and audience, to name few are Ishq Vishq, Vivaah, Jab We Met, Haider, Udta Punjab and now next in the list is Kabir Singh. Despite his fluctuating career he still maintains his popularity amongst the India cinema by achieving several awards. He was also initially recognized for portraying romantic roles but he also is seen taking on parts in action films & thrillers. He believes that the script has the potential for an actor to give out the best or worst character. Shahid talks candidly how he transformed and prepared himself for Kabir Singh and how his children motivated him to come out of the character and be normal.
Q. You don’t drink in real life so how difficult was it to play Kabir Singh?
Shahid- Well it is the most challenging thing. Isn’t it? when you have never done something yourself and you don’t know how it feels to do so than that becomes the biggest challenge and that’s why this role was challenging for me. As an actor, I have never really experienced it. It takes a lot more work to try and understand how to internalize it because I might have seen people like that. I might have seen them how they behave but that’s just externalizing it, but if you want to internalize you need to connect with their feeling and how they are being.
Q. How is the process of getting out of intense characters like Kabir Singh?
Shahid- My children helped me. I had no choice but convert in that one hour when I was traveling back home because I definitely didn’t want them to experience Kabir Singh so I had to learn to completely disconnect and go back to normal.
Q. What was the primary reason you accepted this character?
Shahid- I loved the film. When I watched Arjun Reddy I loved the film, I felt it was so real the way it was made, I could totally connect with it. I felt the character had great potential. As an actor, I was fortunate that it has come on the way. I loved the tonality of the filmmaker. I felt that the film was very raw, real, unapologetic and exciting. The screenplay of the film felt really nice and the character didn’t shy away from any emotions, love, depression, dark moments, and also beautiful moments. So it gave me complete experience as an audience. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed the film and I felt like I need to take it to the Hindi film audience.
Q. What you think that you have done to distinguish your role from that of Arjun Reddy?
Shahid- I am an Arjun Reddy fan and I loved whatever is there in the film but once when we started doing Kabir Singh in my head Arjun Reddy didn’t exist. I had to create a new character.
Q. What preparation did you do to get into the skin of the character?
Shahid- You know the preparation is very mental. People say that we had locked ourselves in room and all. I think people find it difficult to explain so they talk something like this. It was a physical transformation that was the obvious part that I had to put on weight for one portion, I had to grow my beard but all that is an easy part. The difficult part was to get into the head of the character and that happens to spend a period of time with the filmmaker. Once you do the scene you start connecting with the character. Its like relationship you know… the more you need somebody the more you understand. So the more you play the character the more you understand the character.
Q. Are there some changes in hindi version?
Shahid – Yes there are some changes. Nothing massive but there are some changes.
Q. How convincing it was to play the role of a college student which you already did in your debut film?
Shahid- I was very scared whether I will be convincing. It was a risk but I loved the character a lot and I worked really hard.
Q. Further down the line also you can pull off a college student?
Shahid- Jab karunga tab pata chalega (laughs) How do I know? I don’t know. I am not stuck on anything. You know the problem is that over years the kind of attitude people have, every actor start feeling the need to be younger, look younger and behave younger than the natural age because the job is like that. the is to look as young as you can. So you feel the need to keep doing that but you need to get over it at some point in time. If a character requires to be older, younger, natural age then you should mold yourself into the characters need as far as the character is exciting you and you somewhere feel that maybe you can pull it off.
Q. You are one of the few big stars in this country. Probably you and Akshay Kumar who very convincingly collaborate with hit vine Ashish Chanchlani and got huge appreciation so what is your take on it?
Shahid – It was really fun with Ashish. He is very humble and sweet. We had a really good time. One hit that came out of Batti Gul Meter Chalu. (Grins)
Q. How was your experience at Modi’s swearing?
Shahid- Wonderful! Its a privilege to be called for the Prime Minister’s swearing.
Q. You have played many characters so how do you transform yourself into any character so flawlessly every time?
Shahid- You can’t do it without a great character on paper you know… It has to come from the script. If the script has the potential for you to be able to sink your teeth in it, if the filmmaker has that need to present you in a different light, only then you can do it otherwise it is not possible.
Interview by Rupal Purohit