'Nothing like commercial success'

'Nothing like commercial success'

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Kunal Kapoor may have made his debut with M F Husain’s Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities but shot to fame with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti. Though the former failed at the box-office, in Rang De... Kunal walked with not just seetis for his looks but also was applauded for his brilliant performance.

That is perhaps why what matters most for this 35-year old actor is commercial success. “We make movies so that it reaches out to people. We are not looking for appreciation only from a select group. So nothing like commercial success,” says Kunal, who was in the City recently to judge an event on paper planes.

In the industry now for more than a decade, the Rang De Basanti star fame has been doing very selective work but there isn’t a particular factor which drives him to choose his assignments. “Sometimes I select a film because I want to work with a particular director, while sometimes I like a message which is to be conveyed through the film. The script is another factor for selection. So, there isn’t only one reason for picking a film,” shares Kunal with Metrolife in an interaction.

Kunal managed a toe-hold in the film industry as an assistant director (AD) to Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra during the making of Aks but the move towards acting was the “most natural progression. Acting is something I really wanted to do. Even when I started off as an AD, I found myself more in front of the camera than behind it,” smiles Kunal, who shared screen space with SRK in Don 2.

Wasn’t he afraid of being typecast as one interested in arthouse kind of cinema while agreeing to a film like Meenaxi and he swiftly denies: “When one is starting off, one has to make most of the opportunity. You don’t think whether it would be art cinema or commercial cinema. All you think is whether it is going to be exciting for you as an actor or not.”
Kunal began his acting career under theater legend Barry John and then joined Naseeruddin Shah’s Motley Theatre. Though he began with theatre, he understands and enjoys films more. “Films are very exciting for me. I really enjoy the medium, I enjoy everything that comes with it... acting, music, editing, lighting, camera. Being an AD I know what goes into a film, so the whole process is really exciting.”

Currently, Kunal is working on Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, which he says India’s first food film. Being directed by debutant Sameer Sharma, the film is about a Punjabi family and their love for food. “It is ironic that in a country like India where people are obsessed with food, we have never had a film about it,” says he. “We have lunch and start talking about dinner.

You visit somebody’s home and people start asking what you want to eat. So it’s always about food in our country but we never had a film about food. Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is really the first film revolving around food in India,” he signs off.

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