Anil Kapoor started his career as a background dancer in 1979-80. He made his debut as an actor in Woh Saat Din, which released on June 23, 1983, after doing some small roles in Hindi, Telugu and Kannada films.
In picture: Anil Kapoor as Prem Pratap Patailawale in 'Woh Saat Din', his first leading role in Bollywood.
Talking about the struggling days, Anil Kapoor told mid-day, "I completed my acting course but I wasn't able to get any work so, there was a show which was going abroad. In that show, there was Zarina Wahab ji, Padmini Kapila, Hemant Kumar saab and Nutan ji. When they were ready to go that time, they needed some background dancers so, I went there as a background dancer and I think, I used to get 15 pounds for one show at that time."
Anil Kapoor believes that the key to his longevity in the film industry is the disciplined routine he has followed throughout his career and the determination to evolve with each passing day. Anil calls himself an "obedient" student of Indian cinema.
In picture: Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit who starred together in films like Tezaab, Ram Lakhan, Parinda and Beta.
Anil Kapoor spilled the beans on what helped him in staying relevant even after three decades. "I think it is a combination of choices that has worked for me like luck, directors and family. At the right time, right scripts and directors came to me and I made right choices and then my family. At home we share a friendly equation, so I don't have to go outside to understand what is working and what is not. There is a pool of talent, with mind of their own in the family. I am a good listener. I listen and observe everything. I am an obedient actor and an obedient student of cinema," said Kapoor.
In picture: Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in a still from Beta.
Anil Kapoor's first acting job was at the age of 14, when he played the role of a young Shashi Kapoor in Tu Payal Mein Geet. However, the film did not make it to the big screen.
In picture: Anil Kapoor with Miss India 1992 Madhu Sapre.
Anil Kapoor tried to get admission in Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) but he failed in the Pune Institute. Kapoor had confessed that he had actually cried upon failing.
In picture: Anil Kapoor and Subhash Ghai greet each at an awards function. The actor-director duo collaborated in hit films such as Meri Jung, Karma, Ram Lakhan and Taal.
Anil Kapoor soon gathered himself and decided to join Roshan Taneja's acting school.
In picture: Anil Kapoor with Jackie Shroff. The hit duo featured together in Ram Lakhan, Parinda, Kala Bazaar and 1942: A Love Story. They recently came together for Shootout at Wadala, 12 years after they last worked as co-stars in Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja.
After making his acting debut with Telugu film Vamsa Vruksham, Anil Kapoor starred in few more films down south, including Mani Ratnam's Pallavi Anu Pallavi.
In picture: The 'Parinda' trio. Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff.
Anil Kapoor was one of the most bankable stars of '90s with films like, Mashaal, Yudh, Meri Jung, Karma, Chameli Ki Shaadi, Mr India, Ram Lakhan and Laadla.
In picture: Anil Kapoor with the superstars of Marathi cinema Mahesh Kothare, Laxmikant Berde and Varsha Usgaonkar.
Talking about his journey, Anil Kapoor said, "As they say trade-able, sale-able commodity, there were big films, people putting money on me. There are certain things that still connect with the audience like jhakaas or the popular song Aye Jee, Oo Je or the film Mr India. It feels great that my work has left an impact on the audiences."
In picture: Anil Kapoor with his frequent co-star of the 90s Sridevi. The pair acted together in Karma, Mr. India, Lamhe, Laadla and Judaai among many other films.
Anil Kapoor became popular across the shores as well after Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire where he played a game show host
In picture: Anil Kapoor in a film still with Jeetendra and Meenakshi Sheshadri.
Anil Kapoor not only starred in the American TV series 24, but also bought the rights of the show for its Indian adaptation. The show was a hit in India too and went to have another season
In picture: Anil Kapoor with Raj Babbar and Nitin Mukesh.
Anil Kapoor was also seen in Tom Cruise's actioner Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.
In picture: Anil Kapoor and Sridevi in Mr. India, the actor's most famous Bollywood film till date.
Anil Kapoor with Vidhu Vinod Chopra on the sets of '1942: A Love Story'
Anil Kapoor credits his life and career to veteran actor Anupam Kher for giving him constant support. Anil Kapoor had once said in an interview, "My life and career wouldn't be the same without Anupam Kher's friendship and constant support!"
In picture: Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher, who were frequent co-stars in the 90s. The two have worked in films like Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai, 1942: A Love Story, Laadla, Deewana Mastana, Parinda and Ram Lakhan.
After making his TV debut with 24, he also hosted the season premiere of the British motoring series The Grand Tour for Amazon Video.
In picture: Anil Kapoor doing a trademark dance and song sequence.
Asked what made him do a show on the digital platform, Anil Kapoor said, "We have to change with time and medium. As an artiste, I want to reach out to and connect with people. I am ready to act in a street play if people will gather to watch the story."
Anil continues, "Yes, film has always been my medium but whether it is television or web series, any popular medium that gives me the opportunity to tell a great story or to be a part of a huge show, I will surely explore that."
In picture: Anil Kapoor's famous killer look.
Recalling his first experience of shooting digitally, Anil said, "Remember 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'? sequence to Slumdog Millionaire? That was the first time I experienced shooting in digital camera. The film was not used then and I was so amazed to see the result. That way I think it is transforming into a digital industry. In films, we are not using films anymore to shoot. But yes, there are some directors who still love to shoot in film, like Christopher Nolan."
Anil Kapoor, who did not bat an eyelid before playing the stern patriarch to Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh in Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), says he has "never been delusional" about his age.
The character can be that of a father, grandfather, son or even an uncle — it doesn't matter to Anil Kapoor.
In picture: Anil Kapoor with Karisma Kapoor and Venkatesh.
From Brad Pitt playing an 80-year-old in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) to Diane Lane playing Clark Kent's mother in Man Of Steel (2013), Kapoor points out how, in Hollywood, the on-screen age of an artiste is not a criterion while choosing scripts. "It is only in India that these things are given importance. In the West, no one questions an actor playing an older role."
In picture: Anil Kapoor and Shilpa Shirodkar.
Asked if he will agree to play a father to Salman Khan, he said, "I don't have a problem with it. I am also ready to play the role of Amitji's (Amitabh Bachchan) father as I am an actor."
Here's congratulating Anil Kapoor for this fantastic journey in the industry!
Anil Kapoor's first film as the lead face released on June 23, 1983. The actor is known for his performance in films like Mashaal, Tezaab, 1942: A Love Story, Taal, Pukar, Gandhi, My Father, Slumdog Millionaire, Welcome, No Entry and Biwi No.1. Clearly, his choice of films shows how well he manages to balance between commercial and parallel cinema. As he completes 36 years in the industry, we look back at his journey and bring you some rarely seen pictures of the 'Jhakaas' star. Take a look...
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