Arjun Kapoor on India's Most Wanted: Mature enough to tackle such films
India's Most Wanted leading man Arjun Kapoor on graduating from romantic fare to gritty espionage thriller
On the surface, India's Most Wanted — inspired by a real-life manhunt for India's most dreaded terrorist — seems divorced from mainstream Bollywood offerings. But leading man Arjun Kapoor says he could not pass up the chance to be part of a gritty Raj Kumar Gupta-directed film. "I have grown up watching espionage films. So, when this script came my way, I felt I have reached a stage of maturity where I can tackle a film like this," he begins.
Sold as he was on the idea of playing an intelligence officer, Kapoor admits that it wasn't easy to understand the psyche of the protagonist. "My first prerogative was to not look like a miscast. I met civil servants to understand my role better. I noticed that the way they carry themselves is different from that of a common man. They don't have a hero's demeanour. They are cold and calculated who rely on their brains more than brawn."
Point out how slick James Bond films constitute a movie-goer's idea of a spy agent, and the actor vehemently disagrees. "Today, aspirational characters have lost their sheen. The texture of commercial cinema has changed, and we are enjoying apni gully ki kahani. The concept of entertainment has now become story-driven rather than hero-driven. For instance, a Raazi  sells because the film works."
Kapoor is aware that the thriller comes at a crucial point in his career — his past few offerings have had a less than favourable run at the box-office. But the actor, who has another promising movie in Panipat, says that every film has only honed his craft. "In the first few years, I picked up anything that came my way, like an excited kid in a toy store. It's only slowly that I started hearing what the audience is asking of me. I got it wrong a lot of times and also got it right equal number of times. When a film doesn't work, I go back to the reason why I did it."
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Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh Groove on Tune Maari Entriyaan at India's Most Wanted screening