Arjun Kapoor on playing an outlaw in Gunday, having fun on the sets with Ranveer and working with dad Boney Kapoor
It’s the fag end of the day but not yet for Arjun Kapoor. He manages to smile as I approach for an interview, knowing he has tided over the sea of mediapersons and can now head for the sets of a reality show! There really is no slowing down for today’s actors, is there? “Not really, but no one’s complaining. We work hard during the making of the film and given the high stakes associated with films nowadays, we’d better work harder to promote them,” he says. The actor and his male co-star Ranveer Singh are on every conceivable media front, promoting their Valentine’s Day release, Gunday.
Rough stubble covers a face that looks deadpan but lights up whenever he is in character. Arjun shows signs of change since his first feature Ishaqzaade. Confidence, which can be easily mistaken for arrogance, is part of his demeanour now. Ask him if the cold response to his Atul Sabharwal film Aurangzeb has dampened his spirit, and he says, “I am very proud of that film in my repertoire, everyone associated with it is. But unlike what we thought, that the combination of YashRaj with action will work wonders, it turned out to be the opposite. The film wasn’t exciting enough. People were wondering why YashRaj has made a no-song, no-heroine film.”Loads of action
With Gunday, YashRaj and even Arjun is going the full-blown, masala entertainer way. This is director Ali Abbas Zafar’s second film with the film studio (after the hit Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) and while it is based in the 1970s-80s Bengal and tells the story of two refugees-turned-coal bandits, the execution is in formulaic Bollywood style, complete with peppy songs, stylish action, a love story and a cabaret dancer. “Gunday is, in that sense, mindless. But it also has a lot of genuine emotion because Bikram and Bala are outlaws created by society. They do the most outrageous things and get away with it. It’s a good combination of story and formula,” says Arjun. The chemistry between the two male actors is taking precedence over any other promotion for the film as is evident by their regular appearances together at award shows/reality shows/Koffee With Karan. Ask him if he shares Ranveer’s exuberance, and he says, “I even surpass him at times. In fact, I found a partner in crime when I walked into the sets of the film.” Ask him if being a producer’s son is any advantage in present times and pat comes the reply, “Yes it is.” With a tinge of sarcasm, he adds, “One knows how hapless and thankless a producer’s job can be. The producer can be squarely blamed for everything that goes wrong, right from the unit’s lunch to the screen car that gets damaged.” Arjun who is currently working with his father Boney Kapoor on Tevar, the Hindi remake of the 2003 Telugu film Okkadu, says he likes to keep out of his father’s way though. “I have assisted several directors and can claim to know a thing or two about the process of filmmaking. With dad, I don’t like to call the shots. I prep myself to be only an actor on his sets unless he asks me for any input. Also, it shouldn’t come across like I am interfering in his work. That’s his space out there,” says the man who doesn’t mince words and has once famously referred to Sridevi as his “father’s wife”. Ask him about voicing his opinions on public platforms, and he says, “If you have no opinion, you are as good as dead.”