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Home > Sunday Mid Day News > Exclusive Aditya Roy Kapur on acting Hollywood and Mumbai rains

Exclusive: Aditya Roy Kapur on acting, Hollywood and Mumbai rains

Updated on: 30 July,2023 07:09 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Aastha Atray Banan |

He’s the pin-up boy of the moment. And he knows it. But romantic icon of 2023 Aditya Roy Kapur, is so much more

Exclusive: Aditya Roy Kapur on acting, Hollywood and Mumbai rains

We met Kapur on a particularly rainy day, but the star loves the monsoon. Pic/Rane Ashish

It's been a while since the Bollywood-loving, urban women of India have been this close to unison on a common object of desire. Ever since The Night Manager hit our mobile screens, Aditya Roy Kapur has been “the one”.

Chiselled body—flaunted amply in shirtless scenes, ambling on the beach—a shy yet enticing smile, decent acting chops, and finally a mega hit. He seems to have it all for the moment. And in an endless Instagram frenzy of curated wedding pictures, here is a leading man who is single, making him ideal fodder for fantasy.

The day we meet Kapur, it’s pouring and the IMD has instructed citizens to stay at home. He is looking out of the window of his publicist’s Bandra office, gleefully. We remind him that the weather must be very different in Spain, where he was on vacation last week. “Yes, there was a lot of sun. I was having FOMO—I didn’t want to miss the rain. I love this.”

Kapur poses for photographs while we quote from a celebrity filmy magazine interview that claimed that he was entirely unaware of the female attention. “No, no! I am aware,” he clarifies. A young woman friend wants him to record a video, saying her name; that’s it. We relay the request faithfully. He breaks into that bashful smile. “Just keep saying names, that’s all?”

Aditya Roy Kapur

He won’t talk relationships we are told, not old, or new. Only work. But, there is enough to talk about.

He is particular about how he appears in pictures, how his hair sits, and refuses a plate of carb-heavy bhutta that’s offered to him. In the next moment, he gives in: “It’s okay, I trust you,” he tells the mid-day photographer.

It’s not easy to take a poor picture of Kapur. He sits across from us, his tall relaxed frame complimenting his amiable manner; it makes it easy to talk to him. He’s not quite the star; more like, the hot, relatable boy next door.

Kapur admits that he is in a good place. “Life is good. The Night Manager did well. I am happy, and looking forward to what’s coming up. I love the monsoons—not missing the sun at all,” he repeats.

That the web series was an adaptation of the British original starring Tom Hiddleston, hasn’t taken away from his performance, which is attracting applause. The only way to attack this role would then be to do it in your own way. “You have to be convinced of the role—as an actor, you have to find your way into the part. It can’t come from a place of imitation. I was inspired by the original performances, but what helped was that the makers did a great job with the adaption.” We also remind him that he is yet again playing a character who suffers on the inside, but holds a stoic exterior, much like damaged Sooraj/Arjun from Gumraah (2023), the vengeful Advait in Malang (2019), melancholic Rahul in Ashiqui 2 (2013), or even the kooky but disgruntled Avinash in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013). “There has been a lot of suffering,” he laughs and agrees.

Are you like that in real life?

He gives us the “hmmm, you got me” smile, and says, “I guess, all of us are like that, no?” We say no, we are not. And he laughs again. “Honestly, I don’t know if I have all that perspective on myself. But this character had so much to unearth—there was a lot about his past. There was a lot for me to draw from.”
It’s been 10 years since Kapur’s first big film, Aashiqui 2, a musical love story starring Shraddha Kapoor. In 2009, he had starred in a bit role in London Dreams. The last decade has taught him that permanence is transient. “It’s a cliché, but clichés are true. You don’t need to get too low or too high. Stay level.” When a film doesn’t work, he retreats and heals in a refuge. “You work so hard for so long, so it’s jarring when it doesn’t work. I need a few days to recoup, and then I go back into society.” Introvert, shall we call him? “Maybe an ambivert,” he says.

He didn’t ask for this, though. As a student at St Xavier’s College, Kapur wanted to be a cricketer. “Like the rest of India”, he quips. He also wanted to be a musician, and was the first vocalist of indie band Something Relevant. Then he went on to become a veejay on Channel V, where people appreciated his comic timing. “At Channel V, they laughed at me! They would say, ‘yeh actor kabhi nahin ban sakta’!”

And here we are sitting across one of the most desirable acting talents of Hindi cinema. “I am flattered. It is nice,” he smiles, “but I don’t dwell on it. I don’t keep it front and centre of my mind. I say, ya, ya! I don’t want it to become too much a part of how I perceive myself, or attach too much value to it. Because, it can go away very quickly.” In the end, for him, how he looks is part and parcel of the work he does. “It’s the quality of work that decides longevity or what you will do next.”

Ask him how he works on his craft, and Kapur says that it’s just about observing people, and gathering varied experiences. For now, he just tries to work on every role with as much focus as possible. “I tell myself, I can do this better, can’t I? I am never satisfied. Some directors say, ‘Yaar, tu khush nahin hota hai’.”
What he does want to do is try and play a negative character. 

Do we see him as a villain? Maybe. “Ya na? It could be good,” he thinks aloud.

We talk about Hollywood’s man of the moment, Ryan Gosling, who said recently that when he returned from a four-year break to acting, he realised that his work wasn’t therapy, it was just a job. “That’s the kind of clarity having a child gives you perhaps,” Kapur muses. “I have always had other interests. I stumbled into acting—I didn’t work towards this. Every role is therapeutic because I get to escape and be someone else. But it’s not everything.”

We are getting ready to say goodbye. He asks, “So, you headed back to work?” A celebrity who is not self-involved! We seem now to get the hype around this man. Before we leave, we ask, will young Aditya be happy with where older Aditya ended up. “He would have never seen this coming. Acting in Hindi movies was not what I had thought of. I was a Hollywood action movie fan. But I have found something I actually love doing. I am happy I am doing this.”

So are we.

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