No more waiting
Rajat Kapoor has been in the film industry for almost two decades now. Yet there is a greater possibility of you remembering him as Preity Zinta's suave uncle in Dil Chahta Hai even though he had meatier roles in films like Bheja Fry and is the leading actor in Saurabh Shukla's upcoming film.
Rajat’s last directorial venture sank without a trace but he doesn’t seem perturbed. However, what gets this actor-director’s goat is the waiting that follows the kind of films he’s part of — until they finally get released. In a candid chat with CS, Rajat talks about his love for direction, offbeat cinema, the ways of Bollywood, theatre and a lot more.
I’ve been here quite a long time and still don’t know what the audience really wants. Like Bheja Fry released, nobody expected it to be a hit. It relied heavily on word-of-mouth and surprised us more than anybody else. The same happened with Mithya but then Fatso failed miserably. So over the years, I’ve seen change in taste and there is hope for non-commercial films too. I don’t expect a blockbuster because that’s simply not going to happen.
I’m playing a balding 42-year-old honest writer in my next. Since I love pushing myself for the role, I didn’t mind shaving my head to fit into the character. But in the meantime, I was a little worried too that what if the hair doesn’t grow back as I’ve never done this before. Thankfully, it came back as you can see (smiles).
Overpaid and how!
I enjoy directing more than acting although it has more work but it’s very satisfying too. That’s what I always wanted to do. I enjoy acting because there’s not really much to do. Ironically, actors are ludicrously overpaid. Even I’m overpaid as an actor. Compared to other guys on the set — be it the spot boy, light boy or the cameraman — the actors barely work. Most of their time is spent in the vanity van!
Chalk and cheese
A stage can be a good learning experience but that doesn’t mean that if you are good in a play, you’ll make a good actor in front of the camera. There are many great film actors who’ll never be able to do theatre and there are many great theatre actors — many whom I regularly work with — who’ll make terrible film actors. The greatest ability of an actor in cinema is to do nothing whereas a guy on the stage has to create a world of his own.