His brilliant performance in his last release made him the talk of the town and got him several deserving accolades. Stepping out from the shadows of Vishal Bhardwaj and his dark role in Haider, Shahid Kapoor is back to being a romantic heartthrob in Vikas Bahl’s Shaandaar. Paired opposite Alia Bhatt in this much anticipated wedding film, Shahid is happy with the transition in his recent characters. The actor spills the beans on his latest film, working with his family and more.

Shahid Kapoor

Shahid Kapoor

From Haider to Jagjinder Joginder in Shaandaar, how has the transition been?

It (transition) is something that I try to do in all my films; sometimes it translates, sometimes it doesn’t. The worlds in Haider and Shaandaar are starkly different – the look, atmosphere, person etc, and I really enjoy that. I actually like the transition instead of not having to change. I would not like it if I had to repeat myself. It was a welcome change and I have also moved from Vishal Bhardwaj to Vikas Behl, which I have loved. It’s been a while since I did a love story, Jab We Met was the last and the entire journey from a dark story to a quirky love story has been great. After watching Queen I was convinced that Vikas has a new take on anything that he attempts.


Did you have any apprehensions to work with Vikas Behl?

Vikas showed me Queen six months before it released and even though it was just the first edit sans background score, I loved it. More so, I loved Vikas’s ability to give a simple story a relatively quirky take. We had a loose conversation during that time around Shaandaar. Some time later he came back with the same idea and I was kicked about it too. That is how it happened and honestly I am the kind of actor that simply goes with the vibe. And I felt positive about Vikas.

Since Haider, Highway for Alia and Queen for Vikas have all been big, the expectations from Shaandaar are sky high. Is it making you nervous?

It does not matter what people expect from Shaandaar. It is a fun film and honestly it does not come at a time when we are all struggling in our careers. It is all about the passion for acting and the joy of working with the people you like. In fact one of my biggest learnings in these years has been that more than being a result-oriented actor, I want to be a process-oriented actor.  Because frankly, nobody really knows the result. So for me it is all about enjoying the journey. I have been doing this for 12 years now and have given so much to it, so I better enjoy it. (smiles)


Shaandaar also stars your father, Pankaj Kapur and sister Sanah. How was it working with family?

Working with my father and sister was a great experience. I was very proud to see my sister from behind the tents as she had given clear instructions that we should not intrude her shots. Only her director will guide her. But it was a great feeling to watch her act and share screen space.

In a still from Shaandaar with Alia Bhatt

In a still from Shaandaar with Alia Bhatt

As actors, how different are you from your father Pankaj Kapur? 

I really think my father is the finest actor in the country. But I believe more in adapting and I think that is what acting is all about – the process of adapting not just on-screen but also off-screen. Method and natural acting are in fact broad generalizations.

Now that acting takes up a lot of your time, do you miss dancing?

Dancing for me is like cycling or running. And five years ago I took a stand that I wanted dancing to take a backseat and let acting become my primary job. So in a way I am happy, but I’m also complaining that I am not able to dance a lot these days. I sure do watch a lot of people dancing, my favorites being the French dancers Les Twins. But yes I miss being able to practice dance and hone my skills because every performer needs to practice to get better.


You have proven yourself as an actor with Haider. What next lies in store?

I would not say that the journey is over. I think I am still struggling and finding myself. I have learnt that as an actor it is necessary to enjoy what one is doing. My search is not outside anymore. It is about challenging myself constantly and enjoying it. I simply followed my heart with Haider and it went well. It is all about doing what you love.

 -Mili Semlani