On a good day, a Bollywood trailer launch has actors praising their co-stars and directors to great heights.
But the unveiling of the ‘AK vs AK’ trailer — a film premiering on Netflix on December 24 — was filled with squabbles and mud-slinging between lead stars Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap.
“You bring out the violent streak in me,” snarled Kapoor, a few minutes after he threw a glass of cold water on Kashyap’s face. As far as publicity gimmicks go, this one is unusual.
Their public display of anger and clash of personalities at a bizarre virtual press event attended by over 40 Indian journalists was a follow-up to their Twitter spat from a day earlier where the two took potshots at each other. The two hadn’t buried the hatchet and the unsuspecting press had to make peace with two grown men fighting it out in public.
“There was always this undercurrent of tension. This was the atmosphere on sets too… it was very challenging to shoot with him,” said Kapoor. The actor even revealed that he was in no mood to unveil the trailer on December 7, since his equation with his co-star Kashyap had deteriorated following their war of words on Twitter a few hours earlier.
Three versions of the ‘AK vs AK’ trailer were unveiled — one green lit by its director Vikramaditya Motwane, the other version approved by actor Kapoor and the third cut by director-actor Kashyap.
Each trailer showcased the strengths of the talent who edited it, while placing others in a shadow.
Directed by Motwane, the concept of ‘AK vs AK’ is a film shot in a docu-drama/voyeuristic style where Kapoor and Kashyap play themselves. Kashyap comes up with the idea to shoot Kapoor in a staged situation where his actual daughter Sonam Kapoor gets kidnapped.
Both the director and actor claimed that they agreed to be a part of the project because they found the concept unique and had assumed that they would be able to keep aside their differences for the sake of good, creative work.
“He’s an actor who still acts and behaves like he is in the ‘80s … It doesn’t work today,” pointed out Kashyap. Kapoor was in no mood to let his mean remark slide.
“Have you ever experienced Rs100 crores for your films … You are not even an actor. You are just a hyped-up director who goes to Cannes by borrowing money from the milkmen of Italy,” said Kapoor.
Motwane — who looked flummoxed and defeated at their anger — claimed that he lost 10kg since working on this project.
“But at no point did I think of abandoning this project. I went ahead despite what was happening between them. A film of mine is sacrosanct,” said Motwane.
Kapoor — who looked displeased and surly for most part of the conference — also claimed that his wife Sunita was hurt by Kashyap’s comments on Twitter.
“If you had a problem with me, you should have told me to my face. This went out of hand. Have the guts to tell me to my face instead of taking cheap potshots on Twitter. It’s not done,” claimed Kapoor.
While it’s yet to be known if the two actors were just acting angry at each other as a weird publicity gimmick for their new film, their pettiness seemed scarily real.
“Let’s save the story of how our rivalry and enmity began for another day when we do one-on-one interviews,” claimed Kapoor.
Going by their nasty drama on display, things are going to get heated for sure.