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… Despite Gunday being his third film, Arjun Kapoor is being touted as the rising star of Bollywood and is already juggling with his tight shooting schedules. In this part of the interview, Arjun talks about endorsements, his mentor Salman Khan, and his way of dealing with rumours and the experience of doing a film with his father for the first time.
Being in the limelight is a tough job… Tell us your way of dealing with unwanted rumours and the rising speculations about your link-up with Alia Bhatt?
I was always prepared for these kinds of rumours since I have been a part of the industry since childhood. It's a very small price to pay for the kind of love and admiration we get. For me, it should not be as bad as 'hitting below the belt'. If you don't like me as an actor, don't use that as a means to put rubbish about me. And I don't take a stand as I don't feel any need to justify it in the first place. Let's see it practically. Me and Alia have done a film together and have been shooting together for 90 days. Keeping all that is being said apart, we obviously share a bond of acting together. We are friends and we hang out together and how do I explain that to anyone? For example, when we were spotted for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the news was wrong because we saw the film at Yash Raj studios and not at PVR unlike the news article. We were shooting for 2 States and later I saved a seat for her while watching the film – a simple friendly gesture. How am I supposed to explain any of that? Moreover, the audience does not really believe all of it. For me, as far as, they aren't vindictive, I am fine with it.
Salman Khan is your mentor… What have you learnt from him about dealing with this kind of crisis situations?
I believe that observation is the most important technique for this kind of profession – We need to observe and imbibe qualities from these people who have been successful. The fact is that no matter what anybody says, Salman is never affected by these rumours. He doesn't justify beyond a point, he is closed about his personal life after a point and he doesn't care about rumours. That's why the audience loves him for who he is. You need to retain who you are. That's what I have learnt from him.
While actors are in a race to bag endorsements we do not see much of Arjun Kapoor in that space? Why is that?
I am very choosy about endorsements. I believe that I have a long race to run and it's not about the number of endorsements I do. The offers that came my way weren't exciting enough and did not match up to my expectations financially. So, I am willing to wait. Endorsements are all about what you do and when you do it. I don't think endorsements are a gauge of stardom since the number of films you do doesn't get affected by them. It's just another way of making money.
While a lot of star kids have debuted with their father's films, why didn't you debut with your father's film then and decided to do it post four films?
I think that this is a cliched way of debuting. Hum achche se achche picture banate but that wouldn't have had the effect. I chose to work harder because I want to give a film that my father can make. I wanted you to look at me as an actor before I could make a film with my father. Now people know me for the past three years and by the time Tevar releases, there will be three other films coming. So you will see two identities coming together for the film. You will not see it as a Boney Kapoor or Sanjay Kapoor film only. People should not feel that yeh family hai, saath mein picture banayi hai. They get into the nitty-gritty of the film. So, I waited for the right opportunity because we have taken a commercial film which is to be directed by an ad filmmaker where we are trying to make something new out of it. That takes time too and we wanted it to be with the right people and it happened now.
Did you sign the film as per your terms and conditions?
Do you lay down your terms and conditions to your parents? The only thing I requested him to make is his kind of films. I didn't want him to make a film to fit me into it. I wanted him to make a story that he wanted to tell. All I can do as a son is to give him happiness and excitement by making a film with me. So there are no terms and conditions. I didn't want him to have a half hearted approach. For this film, he has been on set every day, getting himself involved into all aspects. And I don't think my father will listen to any of my terms and conditions per say.
What is Tevar all about?
Tevar is produced by Sanjay Kapoor and Eros International. My father is equally involved in it. Sonakshi Sinha and Manoj Bajpayee are there in the film. It is been directed by Amit Sharma of the Google Reunion Ad fame. He also directed the Oreo commercial with Ranbir Kapoor and the Idea ads starring Abhishek Bachchan. He is from the North. The film is set in Andhra. The film is about two people who don't know each other are stuck together in a situation and on a run. I cannot reveal too many details since we have just begun shooting for it. We finished eight days of the schedule. I have even cut my hair and colored it, sporting balis and heavy stubble for it. My friend Kunal Rawal is doing the styling for the film. We will soon start shooting in Agra too.
Do two successful films make you more relaxed in terms of choosing films?
I wouldn't know because I don't see Ishaqzaade as my own success alone but as a film's success. And I had already started shooting for Gunday, Finding Fanny and 2 States by the time Aurangzeb released, so I haven't made any choices after that. Dad's film was already in the pipeline and we were finding the co-stars and director for that. I will be able to answer this question only after I hopefully sign a film post the success of Gunday. I haven't gone through that feeling as yet. But I am not too sure if success and failure defines your choice of cinema. I think it's a lot more personal. It's actually tougher post the success, may be because it makes you think of the consequences but failure makes you go with the conventional stuff which you had said no to earlier. But I am talking about this hypothetically. I will be able to answer only after signing another film.