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Updated: May 18, 2013 19:35 IST

‘I can’t dance’

KSHAMA RAO
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Ranbir Kapoor Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.
The Hindu Ranbir Kapoor Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

Ranbir Kapoor talks about his upcoming films, sharing screen space with Deepika Padukone and his parents and being a bad dancer

Ranbir Kapoor has a pimple on his forehead (which co-star Deepika Padukone gleefully points out) but that makes the star all the more one among us. Ranbir is a megastar today though his recent choice of films — Raajneeti, Rockstar, Barfi — have hardly been ‘commercial’. He tells us why he would rather be an actor than a star.

“In today’s day and age, an actor will be the new star. I have grown up watching Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Sunny Deol on the big screen — there is an aura to them, they have stardom. In those days, there was no media. We are lucky; today, the media has helped put us on a pedestal and we are ‘created’ stars. So it’s important for people like me to use the time we have here to build a body of work that will give us our little space in the industry.”

He modestly insists that stars like the Khans must be embarrassed to be even compared to the younger crop. “They have been around for 20 years, while I am just five years and 10-films old. So I don’t take any tags seriously.”

Considering his Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani song ‘Badtameez dil’ has become all the rage, one wonders on which occasion did his dil become badtameez? There is a mischievous twinkle in his eyes as he looks at Deepika sitting next to him and says, “When you have beautiful costars like her, you do become badtameez! But of course, there is a limit to doing badtameezi.”

His dance moves in ‘Badtameez dil’ remind one of his late grand-uncle Shammi Kapoor’s inimitable dancing style. “But I will let you in on a secret,” says Ranbir. “Neither he nor I are trained dancers. Technically, I am not a good dancer. If you watch carefully, my legs go somewhere and my hands elsewhere. But if you have a sense of rhythm and a smile it reaches the audience.”

On co-star Deepika

In Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Ranbir reteams with ex-girlfriend Deepika — over the last couple of years, the two have charted their own professional course and grown to be friends too. “I had always expected Deepika to grow into a fine actress but didn’t realise it would happen so soon. When I worked with her this time, for the first time I felt intimidated by her. I know her strengths and weaknesses too well, but she surprised me.”

Ask how he deals with life under scrutiny and he jokes: “When they write about others, I feel good! Khud pe aati hai, toh band bajti hai.” On a more serious note, he adds, “I do understand that people are curious about our lives and there is a demand for such news today — who is dating whom, who is marrying whom or not…but one has to be focused. It’s a glamorous job and when your film releases on a Friday, people forget what has been written about you and only look at your work. So I guess we have to take it with a pinch of salt.”

Up next for the actor is Abhinav Kashyap’s Besharam in which he gets to work with his famous parents, Neetu and Rishi Kapoor. “The film is almost complete — its releasing on October 2. I was overwhelmed about working with my parents. But then I thought of them as co-stars and it became easy. Dad loves to bully everyone around while mum is the calming force.”

With a torrent of newcomers invading Bollywood, is the atmosphere today more cut-throat? No, says Ranbir. “I wish well for all my colleagues. From Ranveer Singh to Siddharth Malhotra to Varun Dhawan to Arjun Kapoor, Sushant Singh to Amit Sadh — I could just go on and on. We may not meet each other socially except at film parties or award ceremonies but we do look out for each other. Yes, I do get both happy and jealous when I see a good performance but that doesn’t stop me from texting them a ‘well done’ message.

So, no insecurities? “I am 30 and I think age helps you settle in your own good space. I was never an insecure person. Money has never been the drive. I am not just competing with actors of my generation but everyone from Amitabh Bachchan to Darsheel Safary. As long as I am on a movie set and getting films and meeting people who seem to like my performances, I am set.”

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