Dubai: Shahid Kapoor certainly lives up to his on-screen charming chocolate boy image in real life.
“I believe you have a deadline to meet and they are making you wait,” he asked as we met him, an hour after being promised an interview during last Thursday’s delayed Teri Meri Kahaani press junket. “Tell me who I should speak to so you don’t get into trouble.”
After eight years and 18 films – some of them huge hits (Kaminey, Jab We Met and Vivah) – Kapoor has been facing a low phase since his last big hit Badmaash Company in 2010. Both his father Pankaj Kapoor’s Mausam and Milenge Milenge with former girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, both romances, failed to set the box office alight. Teri Meri Kahaani (TMK) wasn’t buzzing at the ticket windows either, though it did slightly better than Gangs of Wasseypur, which also opened last weekend.
Ahead of the release, Kapoor seemed unfazed. He had been promoting the film like “mad people” for almost a month when we met him.
“Some of my movies – Vivah and Jab We Met – were love stories and blockbusters. You cannot define or only do movies of a certain kind that are making 150 crores,” Kapoor said when asked why he is doing another romance when drama and mystery films such as Kahaani and The Dirty Picture have been ruling the roost this year. “We can’t do that because we are actors, we have to do different kinds of films and I’m going to do what excites me. At the moment I’m doing three films one of which is with Prabhu Deva, who’s just given the hit Rowdy Rathore, an entertaining masala film.
“Some of the biggest stars we’ve had have done romantic films all through their career and just because four-five films of a certain type do well, then everybody starts saying ‘oh, everybody should do those kind of films’. Then, when everybody starts doing those films, people say ‘arre yaar, only this kind of films are being made’. Then, one new film will come which will break the mould and everyone will say ‘let’s do that kind of film’. So, you know, that’s herd mentality. I don’t think in a creative field that’s a healthy way of thinking.”
As for Priyanka Chopra, his TMK co-star, Kapoor has only praise. So what took them so long to come together on the big screen after Kaminey, where they were applauded as a couple?
“You never plan these things. This was a script I really liked and Kunal wanted Priyanka because he felt she’d be the best actor to do those roles and she also really liked it.
“Priyanka and I debuted in the same year – 2003 – but we never worked together till 2007. She is a very fine talent, very intelligent, positively driven and focused in her work and we get along very well. We always have a lot of fun”.
The time of Shahid’s life
The film being about time zones, what have Shahid Kapoor’s favourite phases of life been?
“You know I’ll have to write a book to answer this question because it pretty much covers up my whole life,” Kapoor laughs. “I remember having a lot of fun during my school days in Delhi. I remember playing a lot of cricket there. I had fun when I was at Shiamak Davar’s dance troupe. Those are actually some of my most fond memories. I’m very happy with where I am right now. I’ve been in the industry for about eight years and done 18 films. I’m happy that people have accepted me in different spaces as an actor and I’m looking forward to doing a lot of work because the last two years I’ve just done one film and that’s not fair on everybody and myself and so I look forward to, maybe, do three films a year”.