This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
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USA: Oye! Times readers Get FREE $30 to spend on Amazon, Walmart… For a regular obese guy born in a film family who becomes an overnight sensation after his debut movie and now works hard to maintain that image of the same regular guy, without obesity, wrapped in stardom – the attention must be nerve-wrecking. But in my half an hour spent in his company last week, I really searched for that boyish Arjun, the mischievous Arjun, the cheesy Arjun, the humorous Arjun. But day before yesterday when Aurangzeb's trailer released, I met all the Arjuns I was searching for. It was his voice – boyish, mischievous, a bit cheesy and humorous. The trailer has received huge response on the internet. Arjun Kapoor has films on his mind, it's on his mind a lot these days. He's smart enough to know the trappings of a leading man, to know when to prove a point and to shrug off his success in characteristic nice-guy fashion, as our afternoon together turned into an examination of his film roles, script writing and binge eating. Part 2 of my special interview with Arjun Kapoor continues.
The trailer of Aurangzeb kicked a** – how are you receiving the praises?
Like I've said in the past, the underworld in movies was shown mercilessly by Ram Gopal Varma but we've moved on. Today people have started using white money to wash their dirty linen. So it's become all the more complex. I mean, gangster isn't taking a gun out and killing people. There's much more to the gangster than meets the eye. They play the power game. The film is based in today's day and age yet it has the family values intact that we've been seeing in films like Deewar, Trishul, etc. So Aurangzeb has a good mix of old school charm and new age understanding. The trailer is loved by all. Hope the movie is received in similar fashion.
In times when the word 'solo hero' was so popular and it still is, do you see yourself paired opposite your friends – Varun, Ranbir, etc?
I'd love to work with Ranbir Kapoor and Varun Dhawan. Why wouldn't I? Ranveer Singh and I used to sit in the Yash Raj foyer and joke that we will work together one day. I've grown up with Ranveer and Varun. I'm sure it's vice-versa. People haven't written good enough scripts to make three leading man face each other. In Gunday, we were given a joint narration with each and every dialogue. The director knew how he wanted me to play it and Ranveer Singh to play it. There weren't any signs of being biased towards anyone. We were treated as respected co-actors. This was in August 2012 few days before I started Aurangzeb.
But do you think scripts are written keeping the above in mind?
There was a phase when scripts were written on the sets and it became more difficult for an actor, then there were remakes happening, etc. An actor lost out on material. Now it's a different scenario. We are given everything on paper and we as actors can improvise off the sets with other actors. That's fun. Me, Ranveer, Priyanka and Irrfan are having great fun. My first film had all new comers and my second is with thespians of the film industry. I was so glad that I had done my preparation and went on the sets. The dynamics have changed and the value of good acting is coming back, thanks to good scripting.
Steven Spielberg said that the best writing today is seen on American television. How do you see our future of writing in B-town?
I love 'The Newsroom' by Aaron Sorkin, I just finished watching 'House of Cards' again that's produced by David Fincher. I am a big fan of Fincher. I love espionage. I love 'Homeland'. Our country has so much scope for espionage but it's sad no one's tapping into it. The writing down West is supreme. Out here it's not the same but having said that, it'd be interesting to know how many actors would say 'yes' to interesting, quirky, high concept stories. I don't think many actors would've said 'yes' to Barfi. That's the beauty of Ranbir Kapoor. So the writers are motivated to write something different. The actors are willing to take that risk. If I narrate to you ZNMD, it may sound like a basic film but Zoya as a director has weaved in great moments and camaraderie between the actors. Now actors are agreeing to do different films that'll allow the writers to dream beyond. We should face the fact that this country has two kinds of cinema – potboilers, masala entertaining movies and high concept movies with great writing. 'There is an audience out there for new cinema, there are actors who are willing to take a chance and so we shall write', that's what script writers should be thinking.
Lincoln, The Iron Lady, Frost Nixon, Gandhi, Paan Singh Tomar, Aurangzeb. You've re-written history.
(Laughs) I have played Aurangzeb. But now that you've asked me, let me tell you that Aurangzeb was a very interesting man. I would've loved to play Aurangzeb in his era. There is a dialogue from our film 'Kingship knows no kinship'. I loved playing the cold blooded emperor.
How well do you see books being adapted into movies? You are doing 2 States written by Chetan Bhagat.
I hope people make more movies by adapting good books. I haven't personally read the book. I don't read books. I read scripts. I watch a lot of movies. I've never been a reader. I chose the movie after meeting Karan Johar. He said not to confuse myself. But I am clearly treating this as a film. There is a pressure and it's already in existence. We'd rather bring in some freshness into the film. Hopefully the people who've read the book and liked it will like the film too. I think in such cases the director's view point is integral. I absolutely loved 3 Idiots. I haven't seen Kai Po Che but have heard a lot of good things about the film. 2 States is a pretty much romantic film and it's a Dharma speciality.
You've worked with all freshers – What newness do these hot-from-the-pot actresses bring?
Today's actresses, the young and fresh ones like Parineeti, Alia and Sasha are very clear in their vision. Alia is so unassuming. There is no pretence. Alia will never say – Why? She'll say – Why not? With Parineeti we got along like house on fire and Sasha has pulled off a difficult role by creating a niche in a male dominated movie. There are so many layers to her performance. She had the understanding.
Do you have a Gippi in you?
Gippi is a content driven movie and if I am putting my face to it by promoting it, why not? I know Gippi better than anybody else does. I was like her once upon a time. I saw the trailer and I really liked it. It's my duty to put out a film that has a good message. And yes, I do binge eat. I take my one day off to eat every three weeks. I am staying at The Taj in Kolkata. I took my trainer to eat the Lebanese food. I tried all the food. I trained for three weeks for this day (laughs).
Article written by staff at Bollywood Hungama. Read more