Shahid Kapoor: Substance abuse issue needs to be addressed

Shahid Kapoor says his upcoming film 'Udta Punjab' on substance abuse is not an issue of just one state and needs to be addressed on a pan-India level.

Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor

"For 'Haider', we used Kashmir as the backdrop but the story was human journey. An issue that is of one state can be an issue of entire country. It's not that we are saying through this film that the issue exists only in one state, it is just that we chose Punjab as the backdrop," Shahid told reporters last night at the film's trailer launch.

"It is an issue that needs to be addressed... It's a real issue for parents and children. It is courageous on part of our director Abhishek Chaubey to talk about it," he said.

The "Jab We Met" star hopes the audiences understand the context of the film.

"It's a fictional film with fictional characters but it has an important issue. I hope people will take it in the right context."

Shahid, who plays a Punjabi pop star in the film, said it was difficult for him to get into the skin of the character as it is was a "loud" one, unlike of his real self.

"When I heard the role of Tommy Singh it had to be nothing like me. He is a Punjabi pop star who is a substance addict. He is not a regular guy. I had to work on my body and look.

"The most difficult part was to get into the head of this character like why he behaves like this, why is he so eccentric and mad. Those who are addicts are often hyper and eccentric. Usually I prefer to do less loud characters," he said."

On his on-screen rockstar look where he is seen sporting long hair and tattoos on body, Shahid said, "Abhishek Chaubey was concerned with what I was doing with my hair we had discussions over it and then things worked out. I did not want to get a body of a body builder I wanted it of someone who has abused himself. We worked a lot on that."

Given the unusual subject of the movie and his character, the 35-year-old star says telling a new story always involvesa certain amount of risk.

"I think good and new stories needs to be told. If you don't do it that way then you will never be able to discover things yourself and never be original. I feel new things are always risky," he said.

"The story of the film is honest and the intention of the film is to give message to audience." he added.

The film features Shahid Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Alia Bhatt in key roles.

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