However, the tall veteran actor with a dominating voice is as courteous as they come. He’s upbeat and touched about playing Ashit Muni in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s forthcoming teleseries on the life of Buddha.
Interestingly, Kabir’s mother Freda was the first Western woman to attain ordination in Tibetan Buddhism. In a conversation with CS, Kabir shares his thoughts on several topics ranging from playing Ashit Muni, to Bollywood and small screen, and the secret of his fitness:
A balanced view
Indian television is very innovative in certain ways and very old-fashioned in certain ways. Ultimately, people in the business are chasing TRPs and they’ll do what suits them. That’s why I feel Indian television shouldn’t be judged harshly because it’s also relatively speaking- in commercial terms - just a few decades old. American television has far bigger budgets and they have in general - in general, I repeat - a higher quality of writers. They certainly pay writers more too, so no wonder they come up with great scripts.
Sorry, not retiring
I don’t think retirement is a word in my dictionary. At least not in the foreseeable future. I’m a creative person and creative people don’t retire. What we do is we change our direction from time to time. If I’m not expressing my artistic side through acting, I’ll move to some other medium, say writing or painting. So as of today, I’m just going with the flow and happy working.
I dubbed my popular Italian TV series Sandokan into Hindi. We’ll be releasing the DVD in a couple of months. Secondly, I’m in discussions with film producers about some films. I’m also actively pursuing this project in Spanish and a theatre tour in Canada in October-November. So there is a lot of stuff going on at the same time.
Part and parcel
My Buddhist connection played a huge part in my decision to essay the role of Ashit Muni in the upcoming serial. You see, the interesting thing is my character is a lot like John the Baptist in Bible - both of them predicted the coming of the Great One. So it’s an important character on many levels.
I don’t know how I keep fit. I’m 67 and I don’t exercise that much nor do I control my diet so I can assure you it’s a miracle (laughs). I regularly have eggs and toast in the morning. Maybe they are the secret (smiles).