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The Indian adaptation of the action series 24 is not even out and the makers have already made plans for a second season which will be about the Mumbai attacks. “All hopes are on the first season,” says Anil Kapoor, leading actor and producer of 24, scheduled to premiere on Colors next week. The 24-part series will mark the first time a Bollywood mainstream actor is venturing into fiction on Indian television. Written by Rensil D’Silva and directed by Abhinay Deo of Delhi Belly fame, the series features a few of the well known names from Bollywood—Shabana Azmi, Anupam Kher and Mandira Bedi. Kapoor tells us more:
The surname Kapoor is more a disadvantage than an advantage. When you have a last name like that people expect certain kind of acting from you. But if I tried to ape Rishi Kapoor I would have fallen flat. So I have always tried to do out of the box things throughout my career.  My first film was in Telugu.Then I did serious cinema with Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaya, back in the ’80s.
I expect 24 to be as entertaining as a film. Its canvas and scale is like a film. Mostly, we have seen  actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan in top reality shows like KBC and Big Boss. But fiction needs time and is a different ball game.
The shadow of Jack Bauer (original character played by Kiefer Sutherland) is always there. You can’t get away with that. It’s like James Bond movies. You have actors like Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig playing Bond. But in the back of your mind there is always Sean Connery.

When I was filming for 24 in the US,  I realised India needs a show like this. The content is much more relevant here than anywhere else in the world. I was fortunate to get the rights to make the show. Coming to the adaptation, the blood flesh and soul of 24 is Indian. The plot tracks 24 hours of  Anti Terrorist Unit chief Jay Singh Rathod  in real time over 24 episodes.
Direction is a full time job. You have to wear so many hats simultaneously, especially in India. Here people have a tendency to control everything. Whereas in Hollywood you have a specialised department for everything, right from writing to casting. I have tried to do that with 24.
Every step was a challenge right from convincing the international channel (to get the rights) to getting the team on board.
Acting gives me more satisfaction, especially if I have a great director. When you are producing it’s your own content and you have more control over it.
During my flight I spend my time learning lines. When I was doing 24 I would write down and rehearse my lines.  I have found new ways of fighting jet lag. When I have to fly to LA, I adapt my body to their timings, three days before I leave. I also workout and yoga also helps me. I also take an organic sleeping pill called Melatonin.
My favourite series is Homeland. I’m patriotic by nature and Homeland is about dynamics of country’s security.
24 will premiere on October 4, Colors at 10 pm
— Madhuwanti Saha


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