Anil Kapoor turns to the small screen with his first show 24
Anil Kapoor’s current obsession is his first TV show, 24. Unlike the Anil I knew two decades ago, the star I meet now is more mature and he actually listens to questions before answering. But his enthusiasm brings back memories of the Anil at 24.
Indian TV leans heavily on soaps. As its producer-actor, what gives you the confidence that an action-packed show like 24 will find an audience?
24 can’t be dubbed purely as an action show. It’s a hybrid mix of action, thrill, fiction and drama. The challenge is in adapting it to Indian sensibilities. Ritesh (Sidhwani) from Excel, and Ashutosh (Gowariker) discussed the pros and cons of TV shows with me and I told them it is a great medium to be into right now.
Almost every other star has already ventured into TV. What took you so long?
I felt that the offers were not right for me. There were others who could do that stuff better. People would reason with me, ‘Do the shows; jo dikhta hai, wohi bikta hai (what you see, is what sells).’ But I went with my instinct, like I have done by endorsing only Mont Blanc pens and no other product. My instinct has brought me so far, and I am happy following it. When I was doing 24 (the international version), I instinctively knew that it would make for good TV here too, and I pursued it. The real hard work starts now.
When should one expect another film as a producer from you?
After 24, my daughter is ready with three bound scripts! Now, the three scripts are being cast, and they will happen one after the other.
International attention can be very overwhelming. What has it done to you?
When one meets people from varied walks of life, countries and work cultures, one’s mind opens up. It has been a learning curve.
You have been acting for almost three decades. How has your approach to acting changed over the years, and is it different when you are doing a Hollywood film?
I started my career in 1978-79 and you keep improving the craft, you keep on learning. And I have never enjoyed my work as much as I have in the last 10 years. I have found the right way to grow as an actor — I am more receptive and a great listener now. But it’s not about going international; this whole process started here (in Bollywood) itself. When I do international projects, I am able to use my accumulated emotional memory, physicality and intellect to the optimum.
Unlike the current trend of franchise films in the Indian film industry, Race 2 looks like a proper sequel.
Saif and my characters, and Sonia, which is Bipasha’s character, are from the original. Race 2 begins from where the first film ended. My character is the same, but I am richer. However, I am the same RD. He is basically a fun guy. It was a fun film, we enjoyed making it.
How responsible do you feel about your children’s success?
I let them find their own way. All three of them are very strong and individualistic. Sonam and Rhea have already started making a niche for themselves.
What about your son, Harshvardhan? Has he been cast in a film opposite Katrina Kaif’s sister.
My son is too young. That was just a student film which another student wanted to make when they were in school. It was supposed to be shot in New York.
bollywood news service