Theatre is something that happened quite by chance,” says actor-writer-director Rajat Kapoor who was recently in Delhi to stage his play Nothing Like Lear at the Old World Theatre Festival. With a serious look on his face, Rajat was spotted ensuring that everything is in place.
The director shares with Metrolife how he fell for theatre as a medium. “I was 20-year old when I went to Alliance Francaise in Delhi and gave audition for their theatre group. I got selected and thus developed an addiction that is still alive. The energy that is required to make a play and perform in it, has kept me captivated till date,” says Rajat, who decided to become a filmmaker at 14.
Predictably, the journey wasn’t easy. “From 1985-88, I was in FTII, Pune. After that I assisted filmmakers in Bombay. All this while I continued doing theatre but all I wanted to do was to make films,” says the fine actor.
He does not hesitate in confessing that acting happened by chance for he wanted to follow only one dream. For those who remember him from Dil Chahta Hai, it will be a heartbreak to hear him say, “I did the film because it came. It was my first film and the role was important enough in the script.
I don’t consider it a good role but I am glad I did it well.”
His dream of making films kept brewing though. “The first 15 years were very difficult. Nobody wanted to give me money. My first film, Private Detective (1995) was never released. Nobody knows about it,” he shares and explains how the scenario was different then as there were no multiplexes .
But, “Everything was worth it. I am very grateful for that struggle made me stand where I am today. Infact, I feel I am the luckiest person on this earth,” he says and believes that the struggle is still on for the phase of independent filmmakers is fading now.
“Independent filmmakers used to be encouraged five years back but now the scene is back to square one. The kind of films that we make and the kind they want us to make is very different.
It is a battle from raising the money for production to distributing it.”
Yet, he seems to have emerged victorious as he has won three National Awards for a 26-minute non-feature documentary Tarana, a short film Hypnothesis and Raghu Romeo in Best Feature Film in Hindi section. “All the time, people come and praise my acting but when somebody comes and says ‘I liked Mithya, I feel really happy,” says the elated filmmaker.