I've seen more lows than highs but never sold myself cheap: Sanjay Kapoor

Kapoor is awaiting the release of his new series 'The Fame Game'
Last Updated 21 February 2022, 13:19 IST

Actor Sanjay Kapoor says he is a "glass half-full" person, a quality that has helped him wade through the contrasting phases of stardom and dipping popularity in his almost three decade-long career.

Kapoor first tasted success with the 1995 hit film Raja, which featured him alongside Madhuri Dixit Nene

Though the Indra Kumar directorial led Kapoor to bag more films, including Salman Khan-starrer Auzaar and Mohabbat, he only found success in the romantic drama Sirf Tum in 1999. He moved to television in the early 2000s, while also featuring in select Hindi films like Luck By Chance and Shaandaar

In an interview with PTI, the 56-year-old actor said the last five years have been a game changer for him thanks to OTT, where the Netflix anthology Lust Stories and the Voot Select series The Gone Game brought him glory.

"But truth be told, I've seen more lows than highs. God has been kind, in the last five years, but I've gone through my share of lows which I've taken into my stride.

"I didn't sell myself cheap — by that I don't mean materialistically, but I didn't get into the wrong films. I got into production, didn't want to do things for the sake of money. I really feel grateful for my journey when I look back".

Kapoor said he never took fame seriously and hence was never addicted to it.

Anyone who is in front of the camera for a long time can be popular, but fame isn't a metric for quality, he added.

"Fame can be described as a perk of the job, but the job is more important than the fame. Without taking names, a lot of people get famous even by doing ordinary work, because they're in front of the camera, they are entertaining".

Since Kapoor was never obsessed with fame, he said it was easier for him to adjust when the spotlight wasn't on him.

"I only wanted to do good work, collaborate with good actors and directors. That's what I have tried to do. There were times when fame was there and there were also times when fame was less.

"I always saw my glass as half full. So even when the going was tough, it didn't hold me back. I tried harder but I knew that maybe something I'm doing isn't right. Maybe I'm not choosing the right films, something is going wrong. Your films can go wrong, but you shouldn't".

The actor now stars in the upcoming Netflix series The Fame Game which tracks the life of a Bollywood icon Anamika Anand (Dixit Nene), who disappears one day.

Every relationship of Anamika's, including that with her husband Nikhil (played by Kapoor), comes under the scanner as her seemingly perfect life is investigated.

Kapoor said the fact that he landed the series shows that content creators have confidence in him as an actor.

"I must have done something right for me to sit here and do this big show. It's a competitive industry. To last here for three-four years is also tough. To last for such a long time, it is very, very tough," he added.

Kapoor's journey with The Fame Game began when he was approached by filmmaker Sri Rao, who serves as the showrunner and writer on the series.

The actor said Rao first had a series of Zoom calls with him from New York where he tried to gauge if Kapoor would be perfect for the show.

"Somewhere I feel it was playing on his mind that Madhuri and I had done two romantic films, one was a blockbuster, so would this pairing take away from their characterisation?

"A lot of people could think that could be the reason I got it (the show) but I think that was one of the reasons I may not have got it. When we met in Mumbai and spoke to each other, he enjoyed the conversation we had".

The actor said he was stunned with the remarkable clarity Rao had for the series. Everything, from the production design, costumes, characters to the minutest details, was taken care of.

"I was waiting and hoping that I would get the part! I was mentally ready that I wanted to be a part of this show," he added.

Kapoor said though he has found success on streaming platforms, it has also made him conscious of his choices.

Now that the eyes are on him, he doesn't want to get anything wrong, he pointed out.

"I have a lot of fears. Every year that people have appreciated my work the fear has increased because your responsibilities increase. When you are not doing well, you aren't really bothered. When you get success, which I have in recent times with OTT, you feel responsible.

"When I know my name is attached to something people are going to watch, you're more conscious of what you are signing (on for). I get nervous thinking if I'm doing right or not," he added.

Filmmakers Bejoy Nambiar and Karishma Kohli are attached as directors on The Fame Game, which also stars Manav Kaul.

The series is scheduled to be released on February 25.

(Published 21 February 2022, 13:10 IST)

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