Rumours of iconic actor Rishi Kapoor’s fiery temperament precedes his arrival. However, we are pleasantly surprised as the Karz actor manages to charm us with his candid answers during his visit to Bengaluru for a charity event. Calm and composed as he sits at the lobby lounge of the Shangri La Hotel, the actor has his plate full with the launch of his autobiography Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored, reminiscent of the popular song from his 1975 flick Khel Khel Mein.
“There aren’t any scandals or sensational affairs. It’s just the truth,” he says about the book that has been three years in the making. The 64-year-old will be seen promoting his book, co-written by journalist Meena Iyer, at all major literary festivals from Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi to Dubai and Singapore, among other places.
For the people
Invited by Rotary District 3190, Bengaluru for a concert, A Musical Extravaganza with Rishi Kapoor, The Eternal Lover Boy, the event will see the star sharing the stage with a 30-piece orchestra to help raise funds for the various medical aid services of the Rotary Foundation. “We do a lot of work in Mumbai, but this is our first time in Bengaluru,” he says.
With this concert, Kapoor is making an attempt to show his philanthropic side. But the 1.4 million and counting followers on Twitter validate how his status as a film star has only become larger than life. Ask him about the impact of a strong social media footprint, Twitter particularly, on public image, and he begs to differ. “You have to take social media with a pinch of salt. Twitter is like a new toy for children today, that’s it.” What about Facebook, we ask, and he says, “My account was hacked two times, so I moved to Twitter.”
Tending to the bloodline
His son, Ranbir, went through a rough patch before ending the year on a high with Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. “Since his debut, Ranbir was very clear about the roles he wanted to play. He didn’t want to be the young, chocolate boy with a twisted baseball cap, holding a basketball. I admire him for his courage,” says the doting father.
However, he is impressively objective as he points out that Ranbir’s lover-boy image is not a sure shot at the box office. “Look at what happened with Besharam (2013). Neetu (Kapoor) and I were in the film too. Despite a huge opening, it was a flop. If it was any other hero, I am sure the film would have done well. But his fans expect a lot more and Ranbir has created this monster-like persona for himself,” he adds.
The road ahead
Kapoor senior is picky when choosing roles. “Producers keep coming with offers, but I don’t want to be seen in such roles. I have created a Frankenstein for myself. Fortunately, Ranbir and I are not falling for money, so we can afford to be choosy,” says the actor. While he hasn’t signed any films yet for the new year, he will be keeping busy promoting his book.
He will also be seen enacting his biography on stage. “This will be one of the most challenging projects that I have taken up. It’s a different kind of adrenaline rush, because I don’t have a script,” he says, adding with a smile that these shows will be on an invite-only basis.
2016 saw the actor raking in accolades with Kapoor & Sons bagging two awards — the Stardust and Star Screen Best Actor Award in a Supporting role. At the latter, the Chandni actor confessed that squabbling with director Shakun Batra was a daily affair. “I was annoyed with so many layers of makeup. Our makeup artists, Greg (Cannom) and his assistant Logan (Long) would take close to five hours to complete makeup (for his character; in pic). I had seven pieces of prosthetics on my face, which was quite irritating, and to top it, Shakun would insist on taking multiple angles of a single shot, and I didn’t agree with his execution. Taking off the makeup would take another 55 minutes,” he confides.
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