“Bigger the star, bigger the gamble”
Now that Tamasha is up for release, it is pretty much on the cards that a classy act with mass appeal would be on display. Considering the fact that he is working with Imtiaz Ali, Deepika Padukone and Sajid Nadiadwala again after Rockstar, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Anjaana Anjaani, it is the return of a formidable team. All eyes are on the film and the team knows that it has to deliver big, and deliver strong.
Whenever a film of yours arrives, it comes with a heap of expectations. You must be conscious of that?
Of course. After all, a lot of money is invested in films. This is not a playing ground after all. You are not making movies for yourself; you are making them for the audience. Being indulgent is one thing and being engaging is another. I believe in taking risks but then also making films that are engaging enough to be audience friendly. When you make a film worth many crore then everyone should be happy, right from the producers to distributors to exhibitors.
You are one of the few youngsters who keeps taking risks film after film while attempting different genres and setups.
Well, I find greatest happiness in acting. I am happy to have found successes in films like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Barfi!, Rockstar, Raajneeti. These are the films where I didn’t think business. As long as I am doing films which are original and come from a good place in the heart, I am content. I don’t sit down and think that industry mein 8-9 saal ho gaye toh ab kya hoga. I am getting all the love, support and opportunities.
How are you adapting to the functioning of the industry after being around for almost a decade?
The way things have progressed, I guess it is a wake-up call for all to sit down and analyze why some of the films have not worked. Number of times, industry shows its herd mentality. When a Dabangg is made then five more of the same kind are made. But then one has to understand that a Dabangg worked because before that there was no such film that was made. You need not follow anyone anymore but instead bring something new yourself. Good films do make money; this is what I think. Of course bigger the star, bigger the gamble. We have made just a couple of great films in the recent past and look at the business.
The footfalls though have seen a decline in this year when compared to the last.
I know. Woh kabhi kabhi log bol dete hain ki industry mein bura time chal raha hai but jab ek baar ek achchi picture aa jaaye tab audience aa hi jaati hai. Moreover, one more reason why it has become all the more tough to pull in audience is due to number of other mediums that have opened up which fetch their attention. There is politics, cricket, internet and other forms of entertainment. I would still like to be optimistic and say that if you give a good film then it would work.
I am sure you must be carrying such expectations for your future films.
Yes, films are an expensive medium and sometimes there is a fear in the industry that people are not going to theaters and that they are only going for event films. Well, I always believe that if you give them a good story then nothing can stop them from visiting theaters. There is nothing like a safe film. Risk is important. I don’t sit back and think that kya Tamasha aur Jagga Jasoos hit hogi. Aisa kuch nahi hai. Every film has its own destiny. As long as your work is good, it would work.
So what does your dad (Rishi Kapoor) has to say in the middle of this all?
(Smiles) You know, before Barfi! he called and said that ‘arrey yaar acting toh theek thi but ye arty-warty filmein mat kar. See what the larger audience wants’. I understand where he is coming from. He has grown up on cinema which is massy and he expects me to do that also. He likes my work in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Raajneeti. I am lucky to have him as he gives me a reality check. It is a good incentive to have him around. Guess I would have to work for 15-20 years to make him happy until then he will keep saying that I need to improve (smiles).