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Anil Kapoor: Ageist society tells you when to hang up boots

Updated on: 23 April,2022 07:40 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Uma Ramasubramanian |

Counting himself lucky to find great scripts at 65, Anil Kapoor says he connected emotionally with his Thar character who is hindered by age

Anil Kapoor: Ageist society tells you when to hang up boots

Anil Kapoor. Pic/Shadab Khan

To Anil Kapoor, Thar is an unusual script, and the unconventionality begins right with his character’s name. “When the makers told me his name is Surekha Singh, I said it sounds like a girl’s name. But, in Rajasthan, Surekha is a common name for men,” he smiles. The Netflix film traces an antique dealer, played by Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, as he heads to a Rajasthan village that has been rocked by a series of violent killings. Anil plays the ageing local cop tasked with investigating the murders.

What drew the senior actor to the film was his character’s undying enthusiasm towards his work, even as those around him write him off. He explains, “The sub-inspector is doing his job well for many years, but he has not moved up the hierarchy. He is at an age where he can do so much, but he has to retire because of the rules. He feels stuck. Be it your profession or mine, it is [dictated by] an ageist society. They tell you when it’s time to hang up your boots. I could relate to the character, and get into his soul.”

Kapoor plays a cop in Thar
Kapoor plays a cop in Thar

Unlike his on-screen avatar, the actor has fought his way against the ageist industry. At 65, Anil has no dearth of interesting projects, from Thar to Jug Jugg Jeeyo and Animal. If anything, the past few years have seen him give in to his experimental streak. “I am fortunate and blessed that filmmakers still think I am worthy to be part of their vision. I go to the sets with that gratitude. The world is such that if they don’t need you, they will throw you out. In such a scenario, I thank God that I am still doing exciting work.”

He had to pick up Rajasthani dialect for director Raj Singh Chaudhary’s thriller. Enjoying the process, he says, “Sanjay Dadich, who is doing an interesting role in the film, helped me with the dialect. The director is from Rajasthan; he guided me too.”

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