Ranbir Kapoor is the quintessential star kid and the scion of Indian cinema’s first family—Kapoor family. Carrying such a legacy would be a daunting task for anyone but Ranbir who has gone from strength to strength with each movie is proving that he is up for the challenge. Ranbir along with his parents—Rishi and Neetu Kapoor—as well as debutant Pallavi Sharda were in London to promote their latest film Besharam (Shameless). Dhanya Nair caught up with them to find out more about the film. Here’s the tête-à-tête.
AGI: Ranbir, how was it working with your dad who is such a great actor himself?
Ranbir: Initially, the thought of acting with him intimidated me slightly. But when I came on the sets it was a delight to see him at work. He was so natural and effortless in front of the camera. As a co-actor he was never intimidating but rather encouraging. It didn’t seem like I was working with my father but a very talented and passionate actor. So, in a way it was a great learning experience for me. But he didn’t force any lessons on me; he gave me space as an actor. I realised that despite working in the industry for 40 years he is still very passionate about film and film-making and that motivation is something I hope to learn.
AGI: Mrs. Kapoor what made you do this film?
Neetu Kapoor: Obviously my family. It was a nice script and a very unusual story plus I had this comfort where I was working with my own family, my son was there. So, I really had a blast. Really enjoyed it.
AGI: What is the film all about?
Ranbir: Well, first of all Besharam here doesn’t mean removing your clothes or embarrassing yourself. It is an attitude to live life to the fullest and follow your heart. It is also about knowing that there is no good way to do a bad thing. This is the gist of the movie.
AGI: This year marks the centenary for Indian cinema; the Kapoor family played a major role in shaping it. So, Ranbir if you had to give some kind of tribute to your family, what would it be?
Rishi Kapoor: To be honest, 100 years is not such a big landmark. We’ve a long way to go. In these 100 years, the Kapoor family has been active for almost 85 years; shaping Indian cinema. While this is heartening to know it is also important to remember that there is a long road ahead.
Ranbir: I think the best and the only way I can honour my family is by acting well. I think if I do my job well, they will be quite proud and it is the best I can pay them a tribute.
AGI: Pallavi, you’re an Australian. Did Bollywood play any role in your formative years? How was it working with the family in Besharam?
Pallavi: As an Indian growing up outside, Bollywood helped me to be in touch with my roots. I was the delusional Bollywood child who was completely taken by its charm. I used to walk with a bindi around and dupatta like Sri Devi in Chandani or sings songs from Lamhe instead of English numbers. It alienated me from other kids but that never deterred me to fall in love with Bollywood.
It was an immense opportunity to work with the entire family. What I learnt working with them was that being Bollywood superstars was one thing, being a great actor was one thing but the humility and grace with which they presented themselves on the sets and the way they approached me and my work was amazing. I am very new and very junior to them but they treated me like a fellow actor and that kind of humility is something I wish to inculcate.
AGI: Mr. (Rishi) Kapoor do you think Bollywood cinema has advanced over the years?
Rishi Kapoor: Funnily enough I used to be asked this question even a decade ago. I don’t think we’ve advanced a lot in terms of story-telling. Yes, we’ve better technology, better mediums to promote the film but somewhere down the line I think we don’t have enough soulful stories.
Besharam is scheduled to release on 2nd October across UK