Shahid Kapur on Dil Bole Haddipa and playing cricket with Rani Mukherjee. Following the success of Kaminey, Shahid tries to scale newer peaks. Excerpts from an interview with the actor.
Finally, you have been initiated into Yash Raj Films with Dil Bole Hadippa. How did it happen?
I got a call from Yash Raj one day. They wanted me to play a role in a film opposite Rani Mukherjee. I was introduced to the director and the writer. I love playing cricket and they offered me the role of a cricketer. I thought it would be a good film in my career. Also, I had not worked with Rani earlier.
How would you define the film?
It is a commercial film. Jab We Met became commercial after it was released. Before it released, Imtiaz, Kareena and I had a very theek-thak record. Hadippa is a different role; not as different as Kaminey but different from Jab We Met.
How well do you play cricket in real life?
I'm a big cricket buff. I have been playing cricket ever since I was three. I played for my school; I would open the innings for them sometimes. I played cricket in college too.
How would you describe your character Rohan?
He has two parts - for most of the film he is this normal 28-year-old guy, but he becomes very serious when he is on the field to play cricket. He has to coach his dad's team.
Rani has worked out a lot to get into shape. What was your first reaction when you saw her?
She has worked really hard on her figure. But the first time I saw her, she was in her Sardar avtaar, and I was like 'Lag gayee. Dadhiwali heroine ke saath kam karva rahe hai'.
After seeing the promo of Dil Bole Hadippa, I wrote that Shahid and Rani have come together 10 years after their Pepsi ad.
(Laughs out loud) Yaar tu mujhe bada boodha feel karva raha hai, aise mat kar (You make me feel like an old man, don't do that). I would tease Rani that I was her fan; I did an ad with her. It was also one of her earliest ads. She tells me, 'Ab tu mera hero ban gaya hai, ab hero ke tarah baat kar' (Now, you have become my hero. So talk like one).
How is it working with actors whom you once idolised?
I was a fan of Shah Rukh, Kajol and Rani. And for the ad, I was standing with the three stars. It was a very surreal experience.
How was it playing cricket with Rani?
Before shooting began for the film, I was busy with an assignment, while Rani had been practising cricket for five-six months. She was very nervous about the fact that I may not know how to play cricket though I had claimed otherwise. She called me one day and insisted I leave everything I was doing and come to Juhu, immediately.
I reached Juhu, and saw Rani in cricket gear. She smiled and showed me her cricketing prowess. She was playing really well. She asked me also to play. I did, and she was convinced I knew the game. She told me, 'Ab tu jaa' (Now you can go). We shot at Barkatullah Khan Stadium in Rajasthan for 8 days and 16 nights.
So, who scored more?
Can I ever score more than Rani? A hero always loses to the heroine, yeh rule number one hai (This is rule No. 1).
Which games do you play with your siblings?
These days, kids are into video games more than anything else. At the age of 16, I was a video game junkie. One day I just outgrew it. I would rather do something more constructive. I enjoy cricket, carrom, badminton and table tennis occasionally.
Bollywood News Service