Arjun Kapoor will soon be seen in Kuttey. The film is the directorial debut of Vishal Bhardwaj’s son, Aasmaan Bhardwaj, and stars Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma and Radhika Madan. It will hit screens on January 13. The Free Press Journal caught up with Arjun for a chat. Excerpts:
Why did you choose Kuttey?
I chose Kuttey only because I like to do all kinds of films. I am playing the anti-hero in it. If I have done a Gunday (2014) then I have done Finding Fanny (2014) and Aurangzeb (2013) as well. So if I am releasing Kuttey in January, I had Ek Villain Returns too. I am an antihero in both films but their world and tonality is totally different. I am hoping the audience will enjoy my films and see me in different kirdars.
How much did you have to wait to get into Vishal Bhardwaj’s world?
I have been working in the film industry for the past 11 years. So, I have been waiting for almost 11 years. I had met Vishalji before I became an actor. When I was planning to work as an actor I had knocked the doors of Vishalji for work amongst the other few. I was obsessed with his work in Maqbool (2004), Omkara (2006) and Kaminey (2009). I approached him and showed him my photographs. I am starting with his production house now and working with his son Aasmaan. Sometimes, when you put it out in the universe, you get to reach there. It’s been worth the wait. You learn from every person and want to improve your craft.
What experience have you gained from Vishal Bhardwaj?
Collaborating with makers like Vishal Bhardwaj is why you become an artiste. You want to entertain people but at the same time you want to learn. Interacting with Vishal sir even as a musician and a dialogue writer was a great learning experience. As a creative person, when he talks about dialogues during the reading, we wanted to be around him and it was a great privilege.
Having worked with Karan Johar, Vishal Bhardwaj and R Balki, what is your takeaway and how would you describe them?
Every filmmaker has contributed to me to get better. That’s the best part. I got to work with Naseeruddin Shah sir, (the late) Irrfan sir. I worked with Chintu sir (the late Rishi Kapoor), Balki sir. I also worked with Manoj Bajpayee in Tevar (2015). In Kuttey I am working with Tabu ma’am. I just feel everybody I have worked with has brought in loads of creative learning for me. Karan sir and all my co-artistes have made me better. You learn subconsciously as everyone leaves an impression.
You have done two films with Naseer saab. What do you have to share?
Naseer saab has worked with dad (Boney Kapoor) and Anil chachu (Anil Kapoor). In Finding Fanny, we were sharing the front seat in the film. We spoke so much that we were very comfortable. He has always been very kind to me. In Kuttey, his was a night shoot and Aasmaan was very worried. We were all very apprehensive how Naseer sir will come in. He came in and hugged me. The start was very good. He liked my earlier films and appreciated me. That is a very big thing for me.
Will you become a director?
I became an actor so I can become a director. I always wanted to be a director and never had an inclination of being an actor. Behind the camera, directors have pushed me so much, which will help me in my direction. They have given me such a huge crux and let me fly. I have learnt an important thing: whatever you do, you have to do with conviction.
How do you look at your professional journey in 2023?
It’s just the beginning. I have Kuttey then I have Mudassar Aziz’s film and Ajay Bahl’s film. It’s an exciting period for me, I have to take care of myself and enjoy my professional journey as after Covid, we have started working. Professionally, there is ample space rejuvenating, reigniting, refuelling myself while striking a balance and enjoying my work.
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