When the boy came next door

When the boy came next door

Riding High

CHEERFUL: Shahid Kapoor DH Photo by Janardhan B K H

e is the quintessential boy next door, who claims to have ‘shed his chocolate off’ with Kaminey. Even as millions of girls get charmed by this young hunk, Shahid Kapoor is all calm and focused on doing only good work. In the City to promote Kaminey, Shahid took time out to chat about the film, his projects and his inspirations.

“One of my closest friends works in Bangalore, so I keep coming to the City often,” he smiles as he starts the conversation. “But this is the first time, I am coming after the new airport opened and I must say it’s fabulous. And what amazes me the most is Bangalore’s weather. It’s so pleasant.”

Shahid has been getting rave reviews on his act in Kaminey. “It’s a very different film.
You have to carry your brains to the theatre,” he says. “It’s high on entertainment, drama, action. Basically, it has a bit of everything. And it’s the toughest role I have done by far,” he says.

Come to think of it, a double role with both characters having speech-disorders doesn’t sound easy. How did he prepare for the roles of the goody-two-shoes Guddu, who stammers, and the eccentric Charlie, who lisps?  He laughs, “There were so many ‘F’ in the dialogues as Charlie S ko F bolta hai (Charlie says F instead of S).” Shahid even approached speech-therapists and met people with speech disorders. “I also met ENT specialists, as it’s not just a physical problem, it’s psychological as well.”

He also had to build his body for the role of Charlie, and shoot simultaneously for the two roles. “For Charlie’s role, I wore costumes that flattered my body while for Guddu’s role, I wore loose clothes. Even the lighting was done in a different way for both.”

Is it true that the song Dhan Te Nan wasn’t choreographed? “Yes. I was just told to go out there and dance like how one dances in a nightclub,” says the fine dancer.

His attention diverts to the news channels flashing cases of swine flu. Isn’t it extremely scary? “Do you think so,” he wonders. “I don’t think there is anything to panic about, and that’s why we even went ahead with the release of the film.”

How hard was it for an actor like him to make it big in an industry ruled by the Khans in their 40s? “It was hard,” he admits. “But it’s all the more difficult if you are not from the
industry.” Despite his parents, Pankaj Kapoor and Neelima Azeem being acclaimed actors, he admits that he “didn’t have a huge launchpad”. “It’s not been easy as my parents were not mainstream actors.”

So what next for him? “I have Paathshaala, Dil Bole Hadippa, Ken Ghosh’s film opposite Genelia D’Souza and a Parmeet Sethi film opposite Anushka Sharma,” he answers.
Speaking of Dil Bole Hadippa, how was it working opposite Rani Mukherji? “It was great. Rani is such a seasoned actress. She looks awesome as she has lost a lot of weight and she is a fabulous dancer.”

There is no doubt about Shahid’s popularity amongst the youth, especially the ladies. What is the most memorable thing a fan has done for him? “They do a lot of sweet things. Like once, a few fans left a couple of friendship bands outside my door, which was very sweet.”

Shahid has surely a number of great roles to his credit. Does he have any dream role? “Yes, a film like Lawrence of Arabia would be a dream role.”

Who are his favourite actors? “Dilip sahib, Mr Bachchan and of late, Aamir Khan.” Isn’t he also following Aamir’s way of doing one film at a time? “Yes I work best when I do one film at a time,” he answers. And lastly, is he single or are the rumours of him seeing Priyanka Chopra true? He flashes his  smile again only to say, “I prefer not to answer that question.”

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