His good looks and heart-melting smile is just enough for the girls to go weak in their knees. Be it as the alcoholic lover in 'Aashiqui 2' or a loving buddy to Ranbir Kapoor's character in 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani', Aditya Roy Kapur has always been a charmer.
As the actor gears up the release of his upcoming film 'Fitoor', we settle for a chat with him where he gets candid about his intense role, his co-actors, Shraddha Kapoor and his upcoming projects.
Excerpts from the conversation-
Q. In the past you had very few releases- 'Aashiqui 2' and 'Daawat-E-Ishq', what is the reason behind this?
A. It just happened like that. After 'Aashiqui 2' 'Daawat-E-Ishq' was the first script that I liked and then I said yes to that. It took some time to shoot that film. Also you know that after a film does well then it takes its own amount of time for something good to come along. You don't jump at the first thing that you get so that took its own course. Then I had to wait for 3-4 months for 'Daawat-E-Ishq' to start. Once I got done with the film, 'Fitoor' happened and then the start of 'Fitoor' took sometime. It just so happened that I didn't find anything that I fell really in love with and wanted to do. So I ended up not doing a film and waiting for 'Fitoor' to start. And then 'Fitoor' took its own time. So it's not been ideal. Honestly I would like to do more films. I would like to have more releases especially at this stage in my career. More importantly, I'm the most happy when I’m on set.
Q. It was reported that you were not happy with the box office of 'Daawat-E-Ishq' and you were very sceptical to choose any random project..
A. 'Daawat-E-Ishq' didn't do as well as we wanted it to do. So ya..if any of your film doesn't do well then it kind of hurts; it's not a nice feeling. You give a lot of your sweat and blood to every project that you do. At the end of the day film-making is a business and you want everyone to make money and that's what keeps everyone happy. I signed Fitoor while shooting for Daawat-E-Ishq, so it wasn't like Daawat-E-Ishq released and then I got the film. Since I was already shooting for Fitoor, I didn't have to wait.
Q. 'Fitoor' took its own course of time. So was it difficult for you to maintain your look?
A. First it was difficult to get to the look. In Daawat-E-Ishq, I played the role of a chef and took the role a bit seriously and was eating everything in front of me. I had put on a lot of weight. When Gattu (Abhishek Kapoor) saw me he was surprised and asked me to lose all that weight. It took me 10 months to lose 17-18 kgs. Once I got there, then it was easy to maintain, but to get to that was the tough part. More than maintaining weight, it was difficult to maintain the mood and zone, especially when you're dealing with a subject matter like 'Fitoor'.Not the physical, the mental thing was challenging.
Q. How was your experience working with Rekha, who was initially going to play Tabu’s role?
A. The experience of shooting with Rekhaji was lovely. I just shot 3 days, but when we are in the presence of actors who are so great with what they do, you just learn a lot. Rekhaji knew how the set had been running in just 2 minutes and she knew what the dynamics were. Apart from that, the way she rehearses, you get to learn by just observing. She was very a warm and supportive person and made me feel good about what I was doing. But what I took away from it was having learnt a little bit more about the craft of acting. I feel like a better actor after working with her. For whatever reason, it didn't work out and Tabu came on board and it required re-adjustment. But these things happen in movies, it's a part and parcel. There was no one better than Tabu to enter this film and play the role.
Q. Abhishek Kapoor's movie characters have internal conflict. Was your character similar in that sense and how difficult was it to get into that zone?
A. It was quite a challenge. Like I said, physically I had to get through looking my part. In some roles, you need to acquire a skill set like in this movie I play an artist, so I had to do classes to look like it. You have to convince people of your character through body language. That's why I started doing some painting classes. I had to learn how to do welding and such things. That was a fun challenge because I got to learn a new skill which is beautiful; it's one of the perks. Apart from that, I'm playing a middle-class Kashmiri guy which is very far away from my upbringing; I’m a city boy born and brought up in Mumbai, talk fast, have a certain sense of humour and have grown up watching Jackie Chan movies. So I had to slow myself down, went to Kashmir, spent time with the people there and caught quite a few insight into some mannerisms and their state of mind, which was important. Another big challenge was that this guy has been in love with a girl ever since he saw her. It's one-sided love, which is something I've never felt in my life. But I think challenges give me satisfaction.
Q. Haven’t you ever fallen in love?
A. Of course I have, but not like this. This boy is in love with this girl since he’s really young. He doesn't receive any love back and still he’s in love with her. It’s quite a stretch. I haven’t experienced that kind of love. I don’t know, maybe I will.
Q. How was your experience on 'Bigg Boss' sets?
A. We had a great time. My first film was with Salman bhai (Salman Khan). He's been lovely to Ranvijay and me. After we finished shooting, it was a bit of London Dreams reunion.
Q. What was the one thing which drew you towards Fitoor?
A. Quite a few things. One was Katrina Kaif (laughs). She seemed really right for the part. I felt it was great casting. There's actually a story behind this -2 or 2 and a half years back there was an article in the papers, where Gattu was making a film with Katrina and Sushant. It doesn’t happen too often with me that I'm reading about somebody else’s project and feel this is something I’d love to do but that happened with Fitoor. A year and half later, for whatever reasons, it came to me and I felt it was destiny in some way. I was already sold on the project and said I wanted to do it anyway. I didn't even need to read the script because I had seen Gattu's previous films and completely respected his sensibility and felt he'd be able to adapt the film very well.
Q. Did you ever get affected by the issues the project failed -like budget issue, delay and change in casting. Were you confident that UTV is on board so it would get released on time?
A. These things never occurred to me. The project was always going smoothly and other than the re-casting, the film has never been in jeopardy or trouble in any way.
Q. One thing about Katrina that amazed you?
A. A bunch of things! I've always respected her for what she has achieved and how she's achieved it, the way she carries herself. There's so much I've learnt from her it's quite astounding. She's a lovely, warm and thoughtful person. Sometimes when you're sick or something, she’ll send you something and that’s her way of showing affection. She doesn't like to be thanked. Apart from that, there are a lot of things to admire about her, she doesn't change herself to be liked.
Q. What do you take back from your character?
A. I don't know. But what happens with every film is that you grow with it, know about yourself and the process a little bit more. I'm still discovering what works for me. I've learnt a lot about myself while playing this character.
Q. The cast was more of your contemporaries in your previous films. Now you're working with Katrina who's a little senior in her experience and also Tabu. They say you’re as good as your co-actors. What's your take on this?
A. When you're acting with a great actor opposite you, you end up becoming better. Like you learn from your senior in sports, same goes for acting. In this case, acting with Tabu was just a dream, there was lots to learn and lots to look at. In Katrina’s case I feel like she, as an actor, cares about the whole. I think, maybe, it comes with experience you realize that you can give as good a close up as you want, at the end of the day if the scene isn't working, you don't work. She has that kind of perspective and objectivity about what is going on.
Q. Are you excited to re-team with Shraddha Kapoor for 'OK Kanmani' remake?
A. I'm very excited. I think it's a great subject, story and film for both of us to come back together for. It's a different space and zone from Aashiqui 2, which is good so we can explore another side to relationships and it won't be repetitive. We've had a lovely time shooting Aashiqui 2, together and I think it'll be great to shoot this as well. We’re going to shoot for it in Mumbai.
Q. When are you going to start shooting for it? And is the film releasing this year?
A. In March. I think it will release this year.
Q. Are you going for a look change for Ok Kanmani?
A. Yes, but we're still discovering where to go with it.
Q. With doing supporting roles to playing the lead in a film like Aashiqui 2 and now Fitoor, how do you gauge the work you have done so far?
A. It's tough to gauge. It's been a journey of self-discovery for me. When I first started off, I never knew I wanted to act, I just wanted to go to London. While I did the first three films, I realized that acting is what I really loved and wanted to do. Aashiqui 2 came along and gave me the confidence I needed to feel that I can shoulder a film. Aashiqui 2 was a turning point for me. With Daawat-E-Ishq and Fitoor, I think I'm just finding out more about myself. I feel I want to be on set and work more. Some will hit and miss, you can't take it too seriously.
Q. Your generation actors are doing more movies as compared to you. Do you wish to do more films?
A. It's not like they are doing more I feel I'm doing less. I think I have to be more open to liking more scripts or what is it I don’t know but I'm happy about Fitoor and that I'll start shooting again in March.
Q. Any particular genre you're looking to do?
A. I'd love to do comedy. I would also love to do an action film since I've grown up watching action movies. I think I'd be good doing an action film. Pick up the gun and shoot the bad guys will be fun.
Q. Does competition worry you?
A. No, not worried. You're always aware of what your contemporaries are doing. When they're doing good work, it definitely inspires you. I think when you envy someone; it'd drive you down and make you bitter as a person. Right now, we're all in a good place where all of us are in a position where we’re doing 2-3 films and have the immediate future ahead of us planned. All I can hope is do well in my zone and be secure with who I am. There's no use looking elsewhere, because you’ll start forgetting where you lack and need to grow.
Q. Did you intentionally stay away from the limelight to not reveal the Fitoor look?
A. Somewhere it was intentional, but also because I'm not good with PR and all. When I don't have anything, I like to disappear. I don't know how to make up and be in the news.
Q. What is your Fitoor in real life?
A. It keeps changing with time. Right now, when I’m in a project which I believe in, I kind of go mad being into that zone, but otherwise my fitoor are dangerous things like food, cricket.