High on the success of “Agneepath”, when actor Rishi Kapoor was in the capital recently, he told an amused audience that it’d be better for his rooh if they call him romantic instead of chocolaty, though he preferred the term ‘whisky role’.
On ‘Agneepath’ Main pehle yeh picture nahi kar raha tha. Par shukar karein ki humari film toh chali aur humari izzat bach gayi. I told Sanju you’re the main villain and I’m your sidekick. Picture zarur chalni chahiye. We’re very glad that the film is doing so well. The thing is, you have worked in a film in which people didn’t expect that you could do such a role. People are shocked ki Rishi Kapoor ne aisa kaam kiya. We are happy ki main aur Sanju kharab aadmi hain, lekin picture achchi hai.
Somebody asked me online that this Rauf Lala in “Agneepath” is a Muslim bad man, isn’t that casteist? But I told them that the main antagonist of the film is a Hindu who recites shlokas from the Gita, so there’s nothing like being casteist. We are very secular in our thinking.
On his role being chopped There was a scene that even I felt shouldn’t have been there. I play a kasai in the film jo bakri ke daant dikha ke bechta hai. Aur ek scene mein main ek ladki ke daant dikha ke usko bechta hoon, which was, I think, very derogatory. I’m glad the censor board cut it out. So isme maine hasi-mazak kar diya ki ek toh role chota sa hai, usme bhi tumne aur chota kar diya.
On doing a negative role when he was young Jaise bachcha ma ka kajal laga ke daadhi mooch bana ke darane ki koshish karta hai, waise lagta main. Main jab chocolaty tha, toh kaise daraata Rauf Lala ke role mein?
On remaking PrithviRaj Kapoor’s films Meri tauba, we can’t do what he’s already done before. We cannot make such legendary epics. What he has done should be kept for posterity.
On remakes Apna apna nazariya hai. Karan made “Agneepath” because his father had made it 22 years back, and it didn’t work that well. It was a cult film, but he was very disheartened that it didn’t work. After so many years, a new director gave him his version of the film, and he wanted to fulfill his father’s dream. Remakes don’t mean an exact copy. Even this film was moulded, like my character wasn’t there in the original film. So I had no reference point. See, world mein kahaniyan toh saath-aath hi hain, problems toh woh hi hain. Humein banana toh wahi padta hai, so I don’t think there’s any harm if you can dabble with remakes.
On Bollywood not doing well internationally Perhaps when we design our films we keep in mind the mathematics of the film. Meaning humein gaane bhi chahiye, romance bhi chahiye. Ab woh zamaana chala gaya jahaan villain hote the, maar dhaad hoti thi, comedian hota tha. So when you design a film to incorporate all these things, the story gets lost on an international platform. Hum desion ko ye bahut pasand hai. Humari sabhyata mein naach gaana hai. It’s part of our ethos. Gaana to humare maran janam, har jagah mein hai. So we Indians want to live by that. To compete internationally we have to alienate ourselves from this, and this we cannot do. We basically pitch our films for the Indian audience.
Being a character actor Because of many socio-economic reasons, our films are changing. Earlier we wanted to make films that reached out to the autowalas, to paanwalas. But now because of the multiplexes mushrooming everywhere, where tickets are so expensive, people who are expected to buy them are expected to like a different kind of cinema.
So when you don’t make the routine stuff, senior actors are wielded into the plots to appeal to a wider audience. Jaise pehle zamane mein har actor ke paas do-teen films hoti thi. Bachpan mein bichde, climax mein mile. But those things have changed now. Aur meri journey toh abhi shuru hui as far as being a character actor goes. I’m a very big optimist. Isse better time kya hoga? You cannot rest on your past laurels. Kaam to ab achcha hone wala hai.Agneepath Interviews Rishi Kapoor Sanjay Dutt