Actor Shahid Kapoor says that there is no one better to direct a Shakespearean film in Bollywood than Vishal Bharadwaj. Shahid is currently promoting his latest film Haider, which is an adaptation of the English playwright’s popular drama ‘Hamlet’.
“First, he (Vishal) loves Shakespeare. Second, he writes his own films and is amazing with his dialogues. Shakespeare is known for his lines and if anyone can recreate that magic in Hindi, it’s Vishal. Sometimes you can lose that flavour and sharpness when translating. Also, he knows how to Indianise it,” says the actor.
Shahid is all praises for the director, who has previously directed two films, Omkara and Maqbool, based on the works of William Shakespeare. “I keep going back to him every few months.
Look at the actors he’s worked with…there’s stiff competition. The feeling I had when I got the call for this movie was that I was lucky,” he says.
“Vishal sir has been very significant in my career; he gave me the best role of my career,” he adds. When asked if he found it hard to play the role of Hamlet, he says, “Hamlet is said to be one of the most complex roles to portray. The graph of it is very complicated, not just the physical transformation, which are the different looks I have throughout the movie, but the mental journey too.”
He adds that the toughest scene for him was, “I had a six-page monologue which was done in one scene over a period of five hours. That’s the scene I went bald for and I think it demanded I go bald and not use prosthetics. I will always remember the way I did it.”
He says his family and friends saw a change in him while shooting the movie. “I would go back home every now and then and my family would say I seemed like a different person. They expressed their concern about how I’ve changed.”
About his experiences in Kashmir, he says, “Initially even I wondered how it would be there, but when we got there, there were already four units shooting. We shot in the heart of Srinagar, so obviously when you shoot in a city it’s going to be hectic because people want to watch. But when people came, they were smiling and happy, whistling and clapping – they were having a good time, which made us have a good time.”
He adds, “Yes, it was cold but because the roles were so demanding, after a bit you forgot about that or else you wouldn’t get your shot right.” Shahid says although Haider is an adaption of ‘Hamlet’, that’s not what he had in mind when he was doing the film. “When I read the script, I wasn’t thinking of Hamlet. It’s the story of Haider, the story of two brothers, two lovers, a father-son relationship and more.” Haider is set for release on October 2.