Shahid Kapoor Curated

Bollywood Actor

CURATED BY :  

This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Shahid Kapoor have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Shahid Kapoor's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming actors. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • Which are your favourite cuisines?

    Indian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese. But my all-time favourite dish is Rajma Chawal. I am a true blue Punjabi boy. My favourite kind of food is anything that’s cooked at home. Nothing can beat ghar ka khana.

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  • Which are your favourite restaurants in India?

    The Lotus Café at JW Marriott (Mumbai), for their coffee; and Ming Yang at Taj Land’s End (Mumbai) for their lovely Chinese food. Yukka at St Regis Hotel serves very good food such as Thai green curry and Jasmine rice.

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  • What’s that one dish you cook really well?

    I am pretty good at making all sorts of parathas -— aloo, gobi, cheese, paneer.

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  • What would you eat if you wanted to indulge?

    During monsoons, it would be samosas and bhajiyas. At other times, chaat off the streets. Sometimes, when I am out at night riding my motorbike, I stop for a vada pav.

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  • Which are your favourite cuisines?

    Indian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese. But my all-time favourite dish is Rajma Chawal. I am a true blue Punjabi boy. My favourite kind of food is anything that’s cooked at home. Nothing can beat ghar ka khana.

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  • How do you manage to get six packs on a vegetarian diet?

    It is difficult. I agree you need some sort of animal protein if you want to achieve a certain kind of body. But nothing is impossible. My diet is full of nutritious food like beans, spinach, fruits and fresh vegetables. I fuel my body with several small meals a day, so that my energy levels don’t dip. I try and avoid food that is dense in fat or carbs, but that isn’t always easy. I also meet my protein requirement through whey protein and other supplements. When I was young I was really thin. I used to dance with Shiamak Davar’s troupe. One day Shah Rukh Khan dropped in, and when he saw me, he asked Shiamak whether he didn’t feed his troupe members well! Over the years, I have learnt how to get the best out of my diet and exercise regimen to achieve my fitness goals.

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  • You are a teetotaller, but you drink a lot of coffee?

    Yes, I can drink up to eight to ten cups of coffee a day. I buy gourmet coffee from across the world, but favourite brand is Davidoff. Since I don’t drink alcohol and, of course, stay very clear of substance abuse, I banked on caffeine to get into the mind of my character Tommy Singh for Udta Punjab. I would drink several cups of coffee before giving my shots. However, in beautiful company, I don’t mind a glass of wine.

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  • You used to be a meat lover. How did you turn into a complete vegetarian?

    Many years ago, my father gifted me a book titled Life is Fair, by Brian Hines. I read it on a flight, and never touched non-vegetarian food again. The book is about karma, rebirth and the ethics of eating meat.

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  • How do you react to heartbreaks?

    I think only a few people take themselves to the level of Kabir Singh after experiencing heartbreak. That is probably why people want to see the film because he is so different and new. But of course, nothing feels right after heartbreaks. It seems everything in life is black and white but one has to get over it and move on.

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  • How many times have you seen Arjun Reddy?

    I have seen it only once. In fact, I was asked by Bhushanji (Bhushan Kumar, producer) to watch the film. I had loved the film. I had a doubt whether Sandeep would direct a Hindi film. Later we met Sandeeep and he was talking to me in English and Hindi as well. We felt like he is somebody who could have made a Hindi film. Sandeep also said he is very comfortable in Hindi. That is how we started working for the film.

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  • How do you see the “Bollywoodisation” of Arjun Reddy in Kabir Singh?

    Arjun Reddy was liked a lot by the audience. It was a story of love and heartbreak along with moments of intense emotions. But it is a beautiful film. I don’t know what is called “Bollywoodised” film. We haven’t changed the film’s world which was there in Arjun Reddy.

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  • Do you believe in the remake of successful films?

    I personally believe, one should not remake cult films like Arjun Reddy so that it does not get spoiled. But I was so inspired by the world of the film and the character of Arjun Reddy that I wanted to take a shot at it. It was too good of an opportunity as an actor. We have put a lot of heart and soul into this film. It has been a very long, intense journey.

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  • What would be Shahid Kapoor : the movie.

    You think you know me but you don’t!

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  • Someone you’d like to live his/her life for a day.

    Nobody! That would mean I don’t have my daughter and my wife. However, I wouldn’t mind swapping my life with my daughter or my wife for a day to see how they view me; whether they view me in a crappy way or if I am really likeable from their point of view.

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  • One Movie you can watch again and again.

    I love this movie of my dad’s called Jaane bhi do Yaaron! It’s a hilarious movie and every time I catch it, I end up watching the whole movie.

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  • In a parallel universe, Shahid Kapoor would be excelling at?

    Hmm…interesting…what would I be excelling at? There are so many thoughts! You know, I’m very bad at time management and I’m not very good with being politically correct. So these are two qualities I’d like to have in a parallel universe because I don’t think in this universe they are going to happen!

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  • One advice you’re thankful you got.

    Well, as an actor, the one piece of advice I got from my father was that less is more and it’s better to work inside out than to work outside in which essentially means that learn to feel an emotion before showing it rather than showing an emotion and then trying to feel it. That was some amazing advice I got from him and it has always stayed with me.

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  • One song you can’t get out of your head at the moment.

    I never listen to the same song again! I listen to a lot of beat house and techno and there are too many amazing artists in the world who are creating too many amazing sets. So I have an account on Soundcloud where I follow all the artists and am always listening to new music, almost always!

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  • One fashion trend you’d make obsolete forever.

    The thing with fashion is that it needs to be rediscovered every few years and you need to have a new take on something that you like. Something I don’t like today, 5 years later somebody might do a different version of it and I’ll think it’s really cool! So there are no do’s and don’ts in fashion; it’s just about timing.

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  • One regular day in the life of Shahid Kapoor.

    My days are very irregular. My job and the nature of my reality right now are different everyday. My work spaces, the characters I play and my timings are all different. Right now, I’m 2 years into marriage and 1 year into having a baby so every day is new. There’s something new that happens every day.

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  • What keeps you in such good shape?

    I like going to the gym and training even though it’s tiring and demanding. I’m very passionate about it and helps me feel better about myself. You should find something that you enjoy doing, that helps you become fitter. Don’t do something you don’t enjoy.

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  • Winning at relationships – what’s the secret mantra?

    Always listen to the woman; they are always right!

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  • Seeing in hindsight, what would you have done differently in your life?

    Oh many, many things! I think I had no idea what I was doing most of the time in the first 10 years of my career. Only sometimes I got it right. I think it was lack of information, lack of people telling you what to do, lack of exposure, all those things. When you’re working your way outside in, when you’re an outsider, when you don’t have any information, people you can learn from, experiences to take from, everything is mostly first at stake. Then you learn from that mistake and then try and get it right the next time. So, all those things; I could’ve been better at many things.

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  • If life has to go your way in the next 10 years, how do you picture it to be?

    I don’t view life like that. I think life is great wherever it is. I’m very happy and thankful for whatever I have and wherever life takes me, I’ll learn to be happy. I’m not sitting here thinking – Mereko yeh chahiye, mereko voh chahiye; I don’t think like that anymore. I’ve come to learn that it’s best to allow life to take you where it has to take you and to give it your best. And there’s always something to love, enjoy and be happy about! I just hope life gives me the opportunity to spend time with people who matter, do work that I really believe in and be able to make something out of myself.

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  • Youngsters today need to know?

    What I told myself – ‘It isn’t as easy as it looks, buddy!’

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  • What keeps Shahid Kapoor up and running?

    Music, coffee and love for what I do! And the one thing that is an instant energiser is my daughter’s smile! When she looks at me and smiles, it makes my day; I get through the day. There are so many days we’ve been shooting in Film city and so many times I’ve thought about staying in a hotel closer as we know how bad the traffic in the city can get but I’ve never been able to do that. Whatever little time that I get to spend with her in the morning is the time is actually meant to energise me and give me the positivity and energy to go out and do good work. I think she is my energiser bunny!

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  • One question that irritates you the most.

    The question “What irritates me the most“ is what I think irritates me the most, haha! Just kidding. Before I got married, a lot of people kept asking me when I was getting married and things like that. It used to come from my mom, my dad, from everywhere! But fortunately, now that thing has stopped.

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  • One thing you regret the most.

    Not finding more time to be with the people I love. If there’s one thing I’d want to change is giving more time to the people who matter. A lot of times we end up giving time to things we think are important and later it’s just like, ‘Why was I giving it any importance? It was so unnecessary; it didn’t have any meaning.’

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  • One thing that beats the shit out of you.

    I’m a very chilled out person, I don’t have any fears or phobias as such. My wife, perhaps! (laughs)

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  • One secret talent.

    I don’t have any secret talent! Jo bhi thoda bahot talent tha woh maine dikha diya hai! Mere mein aur kuch talent nahi hai!

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  • One app you can’t live without.

    WhatsApp. It is key to my daily communication with family, friends, team and fraternity.

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  • Must have gadget that’s not your phone or laptop.

    Boom box.

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  • Which is the phone you use and the first phone you used?

    First phone was Nokia, and now I have an Android and an Apple phone.

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  • The future of the tech world is?

    Virtual Reality with an in-depth social media integration.

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  • If you had to make your own gadget, what would it be like?

    A jammer that jams people’s camera phones. Nobody wants to even say hello anymore, they just want a picture and build social media currency. I think this tech may reverse the effect and people might want to actually talk, or share an experience with you.

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  • One gadget you can’t wait to get your hands on?

    I can’t wait to get behind the wheels of a Tesla car. An electric car that drives like a supercar would be great to experience.

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  • Your current tech addiction and one tech product you are waiting to get your hands on?

    My current tech addiction are my various speakers. Music is a big part of my daily life whether I’m working or playing with my daughter.

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  • What is the Future of AR in India and the movie industry?

    As I mentioned, it would primarily be used in the marketing of movies like making the actors come alive on your devices via posters/ads, etc.

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  • Which movie character would you bring to life using AR?

    When it comes to movie stars, there are many legends. But I would love to bring back Michael Jackson. Imagine shooting a sequence with him; would be completely out of this world!

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  • If you could customise AR on your own, what would you do?

    I would customise messages as per the need of the hour…maybe make my movie character pop out of a poster or even give brand communication a whole new level on consumer engagement.

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  • You shot a very cool video. Did you enjoy the AR experience?

    Augmented Reality is something new that India is warming up to. Knowing that by shooting this cover I’m allowing everyone to scan and take a picture with me is quite empowering; almost makes you feel like a King!

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  • Name the singular most annoying thing about Bollywood.

    There is nothing annoying about Bollywood but the one thing that I find most difficult to manage is finding a personal space and learning to be a public personality because everything is about prioritization. One’s personal life has equal if not more importance than one’s professional life, so to find that balance is definitely a constant struggle.

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  • Which is the one film of yours you love the most and regret doing the most?

    There are quite a few that I regret doing but I don’t think it’s appropriate to name them. At this point, Padmavati is the most significant film in my career. Maybe if you ask me this question at another time I would feel differently but I’m so into Padmavati right now that it feels like everything in my life comes down to it.

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  • What was it like working on the film Padmavat?

    I’m playing Maharaja Ratan Singh, King of Chittor. I think it’s a great combination of a warrior, a fiercely loving husband and a king. It’s a very heroic, noble and dramatic character; very different from Haider and Udta Punjab which were very grey and intense kind of characters. It’s been a pleasure to work with Mr. Bhansali. I’ve seen his work over the years and been an admirer, and now to get an opportunity to work with him is great. It’s really participating in cinema being shot at its best! To me, it was just the amazing feel of the world that he creates. He made the entire fort of Chittor in Film City so it is stunning to see things like that. It’s a very special story, probably one of his best films.

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  • Ishq Vishq was the first film of your career; you were a heartthrob then and you are a heartthrob now. What has changed?

    Oh, everything! I’m a very different person than what I was at 21 which is when I did Ishq Vishq. I was literally entering adulthood at that time and taking my first few steps on a journey I didn’t know would take me where. I was a complete newcomer, I had no experience and very little understanding. I was all things new and inexperienced. Even though my parents were actors, I lived the first half of my life in Delhi and lived with my mom who was a single parent when I came here. I didn’t have that much exposure into the film industry so it was this huge opportunity in front of me. I don’t think I was very formed as a personality; about the kind of work I wanted to do. I wasn’t very clear about the ways of the industry or how was everything was supposed to function because the film industry was a cocoon at that time; you cannot gauge what it’s like from the outside and when you enter, it’s a lot to deal with. I was just this guy who always wanted to be an actor and there I was doing this film so it was like living a dream. Today, I’ve been working for 15 years and I’m much more defined as a personality, lot more experienced as an actor, more aware about my strengths and weaknesses, the kind of journey I want to take as an actor, and the experiences I want to take to the audience. So, it’s a very large question but I’ve tried to answer it as well as I could.

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  • When we see you, we don't think you are 36. What's the secret?

    Let's listen to my wife, I eat veg and there is no intoxication (laughs)!

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  • Do you think paparazzi domination is too much now?

    We both need each other. A balance should be maintained. Which does not exist. When I travel alone, there is no difficulty. But my children are not used to it.

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  • Your family is complete now. What is the feeling?

    Very special. Meera and I both work. However, Mirai gives more time to the children. Whenever I am in town, I spend time with the kids. I change their nappies. Mira, of course, still insists on changing nappies (laughs)! I read their story books and take them for walks. It feels good to do these. If not, it is a gilt feeling. It is very important to have a special connection with the children.

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  • Your kids are younger now. Would you do such intense kind of character when they grow up?

    It's part of my job. The man in front of the camera and Misha-Zayan's father are different people. Would it have been better if I had had a drink in front of the kids and played a very good character on the screen? My children will surely understand that too. I want to become my Misha-Zayan 'Urta Punjab'. The problems of the society should be addressed. If hidden, it can take a huge size. And cinema is the mirror of our life. What will the audience know if everything looks good?

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  • After Kabir Singh's heartbreak in the film, he could not control himself. How did you manage?

    When I first saw 'Arjun Reddy', many memories of college life floated before my eyes. Nobody feels good after a heartbreak. I didn't like myself. Everyone around was angry. We all have Kabir Singh.

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  • Your characters in 'Haider', 'Urta Punjab' or 'Kabir Singh' are gray. Don't you think it will damage the image?

    Not at all. If so, then Amitabh Bachchan would never have done Angry Youngman or Dilip Saab 'Devdas'. An actor has to film according to the taste of the audience. And now times have changed. The audience does not go to the theater just to see the hero. Many socio-ethical messages can be conveyed through movies. However, it is not possible to force the message in all the pictures.

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  • Do you follow Mira's advice at work?

    Mira's advice has always been important in my life.

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  • What was your biggest takeaway from Rangoon?

    I have developed huge respect for our armed forces, especially after doing some of those sequences. That really is my biggest takeaway. The kind of circumstances that they have to deal with, and the absolute chaos that war is, especially that time, really got me inspired. I really felt how minuscule I am and the kind of cry babies most of us can be. Even the most simple things look so difficult to us. Nawab is a soldier who does so much for our country. These are the people who are our real heroes. So, we should feel very fortunate to have this country to ourselves and must do everything we can to do a good job with it.

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  • As an actor, what was that one moment on the sets of Rangoon, that left you in complete awe?

    A lot of times, people feel there is a major scene and as an actor, you must have felt great about it. But sometimes, you feel good even in the smallest of moments. There is an opening sequence in the film, where Nawab is in the middle of a war. It has heavy shelling, firing going on and we have tried to shoot all of this largely as a single shot. I have a very strong memory of this in my mind, because I was really overwhelmed when the shot got cut. I actually felt like I was in the middle of a war zone.

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  • Rangoon was your third collaboration with Vishal Bhardwaj. How has your equation with the film maker changed over time?

    I have always said, there are certain film makers who should lead from the front. The films that they make are true representations of them. I think they are the right people to make and be the face of such films. Vishal is one such film maker. Another one is Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Unfortunately, they are so much into their work, that they don't get enough time to engage with the media more often. Maybe, you should arrive at his house some day (smiles). No, seriously! When he talks about the film, he is able to express it in so many ways, which is a lot more superior to what any of us can do. So, working with him is an extremely enriching experience. Overtime, I do think we have understood a lot about each other. Vishal was giving an interview just sometime back, where he was asked about his experience of working with me, Kangana and how was it different. He said, "With Kangana, it was our first time and quite different as she comes prepared. But with Shahid, we just look at each other from faraway and know what to do." I just felt really nice about it. I would always think it's just me who understands this, but never knew that he too would feel the same way. Vishal and I are a great fit, and that has only improved with the way we have worked. Sometimes, it's difficult to explain in words (smiles). But, you know, sometimes you try a shoe and it fits wonderfully? Maybe, that's just how it is.

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  • Did you have a method to channel the madness?

    I don’t think I have a method. I have never had that because I have not been to FTII or NSD or had any formal education in acting and cinema. I have assisted in direction and then learned on job. So I don’t think I am qualified enough to say that I have a method. How do I explain it? Playing a character is like being in a relationship. The more you meet somebody, the more you understand them. Not all characters have the potency do that. It definitely happened in Kaminey, Haider and Tommy Singh. I also felt it during Padmaavat and Jab We Met.

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  • How did you interpret the character of Kabir Singh?

    My interpretation had to be in collaboration with the filmmaker because he has conceived the film and the character, and has a deep understanding of why Kabir did certain things. He needed to be open to the newness that I would bring to the table and I needed to be careful that I don’t lose out on the fundamentals of the character. It had to be a brave, fearless and responsible collaboration. Kabir Singh has to come alive. The language and cultural differences means there will be differences in both the versions. I have never really run away from challenges. That’s how you push yourself as an actor. The challenge was to retain the emotional traits of the character and rediscover and express them in my own way.

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  • Did you agree to take up Padmaavat as you have been an admirer of Bhansali’s work?

    I like my work to speak for itself. Fortunately, God has been kind and I’ve found my centre. I’m feeling good about myself and I’m happy that most of my work has found appreciation. But if it wasn’t for my wife, I may have missed out the opportunity of working with Sanjay sir, whose work I’ve always loved. Mira was the only one who encouraged me to do Padmaavat. She asked me to put my faith in the project and do it. If Mira hadn’t told me, I may not have done Padmaavat because everyone else was asking me to say ‘No’ to this film.

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  • What were the dynamics like on the set of Padmaavat?

    I’m used to being the favourite of all my filmmakers. This was the first time that I was like an outsider. When you work with a team that has worked together, you are kind of an outsider and it takes time for you to break through that barrier. And this film has two extremely strong parts. Deepika’s and Ranveer’s roles on paper are phenomenal and as an actor you know that you have to go there and do your best. This is one of those films where after many years of work you feel like a newcomer. Like you know, ‘Oh, so what am I doing here?’ That kind of thing. But I had an amazing time. The best thing about Sanjay sir is that he is ruthless in his creative desire. He is extremely intuitive towards artistes and his craft. And he doesn’t care whether it is 4 am or midnight, or whether it is 82 days or 100 days or what the cost of one day’s shooting is or if someone is emotionally spent. He will drive through everything to achieve what he wants. He has that single-minded passion towards creating something that is in his mind. Either you go along with him or you get left behind. There is no option. Only people who strive for excellence have the stamina to keep going till you hit the ground and get up again, and then hit the ground again. If you are not ready for that kind of a ride, you cannot work with Mr Bhansali.

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  • Is Sanjay Leela Bhansali that temperamental?

    Honestly everyone would say, ‘Sanjay sir is damn difficult, yaar, he is temperamental, and he says anything.’ And I was like, I’ve heard worse things about myself. So, let’s see what happens. Let’s figure this one out. To me, his work speaks for what he is all about. And I had an amazing time working with him because I’ve this attention for detail problem. I see things in the minutest detail and people often say, ‘Stop fussing.’ But I’m like that. However, here was someone with whom I was sitting, staring at the monitor and just learning. Sometimes, Sanjay sir took four hours to set his frame. I was like — finally I’ve met this guy who is so particular about everything, it’s fantastic. Of course, it’s challenging to work with him because actors do feel emotionally spent after a point, but I was loving it.

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  • Was the journey of Padmaavat satisfying?

    I remember once I came back from the shoot and Mira asked me, ‘So how did it go?’ because I was filming for nearly 15 hours that day. And I said to her that we didn’t do a single shot that day. She was like, ‘What?’ She turned around and said, ‘But you look really happy.’ I told her, ‘Yes, we didn’t do a shot today, but we have worked towards doing a great shot tomorrow.’ She said, ‘Shahid, you haven’t looked so happy when you have come back from films where you’ve done a lot of work in one day. But you look really content now.’ And essentially that’s how it was. The journey and the process was very satisfying.

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  • You have played many characters so how do you transform yourself into any character so flawlessly every time?

    You can’t do it without a great character on paper you know… It has to come from the script. If the script has the potential for you to be able to sink your teeth in it, if the filmmaker has that need to present you in a different light, only then you can do it otherwise it is not possible.

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  • What preparation did you do to get into the skin of the Kabir Singh's character?

    You know the preparation is very mental. People say that we had locked ourselves in room and all. I think people find it difficult to explain so they talk something like this. It was a physical transformation that was the obvious part that I had to put on weight for one portion, I had to grow my beard but all that is an easy part. The difficult part was to get into the head of the character and that happens to spend a period of time with the filmmaker. Once you do the scene you start connecting with the character. Its like relationship you know… the more you need somebody the more you understand. So the more you play the character the more you understand the character.

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  • What you think that you have done to distinguish your role from that of Arjun Reddy?

    I am an Arjun Reddy fan and I loved whatever is there in the film but once when we started doing Kabir Singh in my head Arjun Reddy didn’t exist. I had to create a new character.

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  • How is the process of getting out of intense characters like Kabir Singh?

    My children helped me. I had no choice but convert in that one hour when I was traveling back home because I definitely didn’t want them to experience Kabir Singh so I had to learn to completely disconnect and go back to normal.

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  • You don’t drink in real life so how difficult was it to play Kabir Singh?

    Well it is the most challenging thing. Isn’t it? when you have never done something yourself and you don’t know how it feels to do so than that becomes the biggest challenge and that’s why this role was challenging for me. As an actor, I have never really experienced it. It takes a lot more work to try and understand how to internalize it because I might have seen people like that. I might have seen them how they behave but that’s just externalizing it, but if you want to internalize you need to connect with their feeling and how they are being.

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  • Prabhas called you after Kabir Singh and said that you were better than the original actor.

    I was pleasantly surprised when he called because I am such a big fan of his. He just said that he loved my performance and what he saw of the film.

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  • Why do deviant characters attract you?

    Gray is like taking some adrenalin shot, and mundane is not exciting. The flawed characters and how they come across is the experience that people connect to all along. Otherwise, why would Amitabh Bachchan’s angry young man connect with everyone? Why do we consider Robert De Niro or Al Pacino as great actors? Why is “Maqbool” my father Pankaj Kapur’s most memorable film? In movies, you want to see what you can’t do or be in real life. And filmmaking is about the craft of filmmaking and acting. The more complex it is, the more you are appreciated. Like if you play cricket well on a bad pitch, it is more remarkable.

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  • What did you like about “Arjun Reddy"?

    I loved “Arjun Reddy.” The script had great potential, and I liked the real, raw, unapologetic tonality. The film did not shy away from emotions like love, angst, depression and darkness or even from its beautiful moments. I am surprised at how much I enjoyed the film as it was a complete experience. But once I accepted the film, I forgot “Arjun Reddy” and decided to make the individual called Kabir Singh by building him up mentally, internally. I even put on weight for one portion of the film. The process continued when we began to shoot – as you meet the character more and more, you know him more and more. It’s like any growing relationship. It was tiring, intense, with all the aggressive moments, lots of heartbreak and also the passionate moments.

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  • You played a role doctor for the first time and a collegian for the second in Kabir Singh. How was it?

    Yes, and I was s**t scared of playing a college student at 38, that too, 16 years after “Ishq Vishq.” What if my kids say, “Dad, where was the need to do THIS at 38?” But I guess if you are comfortable with a role, you should do it, whether the character is as old as you, younger or older. As a doctor, though I have watched many and seen how they behave, all that is externalizing a character. I prefer to internalize my characters, go deep into their psyche after discussions with the director, and I love doing something I have never experienced before. Of course, there are limits to this as well. I cannot murder someone if I am playing a murderer, and I will not touch alcohol if I have to portray someone who drinks!

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  • One fashion trend you don’t like.

    I don’t know about a fashion trend, but I don’t like wearing or seeing people wear ill-fitting suits or pants that are just not the right length. It’s just painful to see.

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  • One misconception about yourself you want to get rid of.

    People think I’m complicated. I’m actually an extremely simple guy.

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  • What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?

    Everything under the sun. Thanks to the wonderful traffic in the city, I find time to think about a lot in the car. Sometimes I just listen to music, or do all my work calls in my car. I’m a Piscean and I live in my head, so yes, there’s a lot going on inside.

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  • What’s your favourite ’90s jam?

    I listen to a lot of ’90s music. I think all of the hip hop in that decade was awesome.

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  • Describe your style sense.

    Athleisure.

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  • If you were an emoji, which one would you be?

    I’d probably be the entire bunch of emojis. I’m an actor, so I make many faces and I have tons of emotions.

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  • Describe your journey to the top in one word.

    Winding.

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  • Who is your biggest source of strength in vulnerable moments?

    Mira and Misha. Especially Misha, because she’s such a bundle of positive energy and just seeing her makes me feel like I can face anything.

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  • What life lessons have you learnt from your father, Pankaj Kapur?

    I’ve learnt how to be a good human being from him. He has taught me how to give my heart and soul to my work. I’ve also learnt to be thankful for the films that have come my way.

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  • If you had to leave the film industry one day and choose another profession, what would it be and why?

    I think actors are liabilities. Wherever you go, you carry that with you. I don’t know how many other things actors can do (laughs). I’m very honest with myself about that. Maybe making movies is something that I would want to do, but again, I think me being an actor would be a liability. I’ll just stick to acting for now.

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  • You’re a force to reckon with in the movie business. What makes you unstoppable?

    I try to be very honest where my work is concerned. At the core of it all, I believe every actor needs to recognise his or her reason for being in this profession. You need to ask yourself some simple questions, and prepare yourself for a journey that will be very demanding and with an uncertain destination. You need to have a lot of conviction and self-belief, and I think I’ve got that.

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  • In Padmavati, you play a proud warrior who is extremely respectful towards and protective of his wife. Do you relate to your character in real life too?

    Totally. I believe that I wouldn’t have been able to play Rana Rawal Ratan Singh if I weren’t married. I think a lot of things come naturally to you after you get married. The way you are with your spouse is something unique.Of course, everybody has romantic relationships and friendships, but a husband and wife relationship is different and it comes with a certain sense of commitment, belonging and togetherness.

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  • Consider yourself in your first film Ishq Vishk, and now. What has changed about you as a person and as an actor?

    Everything has changed. I mean, I’m not that 21-year-old kid anymore. I had no clue how to deal with the realities of being an actor back then. I didn’t know how to talk to the fraternity, how to make choices. But I understand these things today. I have a family, a child, I know my priorities and what I want to do. I’m surer about my place as an actor. I’m clearer about the choices I want to make. I’m not distracted by the million things that come with being a star.

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  • Do you see yourself acting in a film with your wife?

    It’s quite interesting and surprising how this has randomly been coming up in the media (laughs). But it’s for her to decide.

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  • What would you change about the world to make it a better place for Misha?

    There’s a whole lot of things that I would change. Preserving the environment is one. I also want things to be simpler. I hope she can have a normal childhood in this digital age. I’m going to try as much I can to make that happen. Every profession has its pros and cons, and the kind of attention a child gets because she’s an actor’s child is sometimes overwhelming.

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  • Are you a hands-on dad?

    Yes, I can say that pretty confidently. I love spending time with Misha. I consider myself lucky that I get to spend as much time with her as I do. I’ve seen her grow from a one-day-old to a 14-month-old and it’s just been such a precious journey.

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  • Did your life change after Misha came along?

    Everything changes once you have a baby. Everything becomes about the child. Mira and I have come closer in a way I can hardly explain. Misha is our first project together. She’s the first common link in our relationship. She’s half of both of us, which is why we named her Misha.

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  • What’s the most special thing about your relationship with Mira?

    The most special thing, I think, is that we’re both priorities for each other and we know that. We talk about everything and we both have strong opinions about things. We respect each other’s opinions and have learnt how to agree to disagree.

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  • How soon after meeting Mira did you realise she was the one for you?

    When we met, we were complete strangers, but once we got talking, there was no stopping us. We realised we were two people who could get along and always have a lot to say to each other. With time, we got to know each other more, and from friends we turned into lovers, and now we’re husband and wife, and parents to a gorgeous little girl.

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  • Tell us about the women in your life now.

    Mira and Misha are my entire world. I’m extremely close to them and they are my top priorities. My life right now is about being a good husband and a father. I want to spend the maximum amount of time and focus on them.

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  • Speaking of the past, let’s travel way back. What were you like as a child?

    I would say mine was a pretty regular childhood. I used to live with my maternal grandparents and was spoilt rotten. I was quite bratty and used to play a lot of cricket.

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  • What's your formula to beat stress and negativity?

    The situation doesn’t change with negativity. It only sees worse. If you want to help yourself, be proactive, make a plan. and start working towards it.

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  • Are you now content professionally?

    No. I don't think I'll ever be. When you're not content, you constantly feel the need to do something different. Some people achieve the maximum success in the first 10 years of their career. My journey has seen ups and downs. Thereís a long way to go still.

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  • Would you like to work on a lighter character now?

    Light or dark, that's irrelevant. The character should be exciting and the audience should be interested in it. Do I want to see it as a viewer? Thatís the question that helps me decide.

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  • Was it easy to shake off Kabir Singh when you went home after wrapping up the day's work?

    I didn't want my family to experience Kabir Singh. I had to completely disconnect from him and go back to normal. I had no choice but to transform in that one hour while I was travelling back home. Initially, it was difficult. It got easier as the days progressed. The normal atmosphere at home helped me rejuvenate. My children surely helped me attain that.

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  • What attracts you to flawed characters?

    Why have we loved Mr Bachchan playing 'an angry young man' down the years? Why is Devdas considered a classic? Why Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are considered the greatest actors in the world? Why is Maqbool one of the most memorable films of my father (Pankaj Kapur)? Why is Haider one of the greatest films in my career? Why is Vishal Bhardwaj considered one of the greatest filmmakers? Grey characters are exciting. Filmmaking is an art. The more complex the art form, the more commendable it becomes. Like in cricket, if the pitch is bad and yet someone plays well, then you appreciate that player all the more. When you see a performance, which is complex and demanding, you appreciate it more.

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  • Being a teetotaler, how challenging was it to play Kabir Singh?

    I don't touch alcohol. People who do are comfortable having it for a scene. It's not something I'd like to try. That's why such roles (Kabir Singh and Udta Punjab) are challenging for me as an actor. It takes a lot more work trying to understand how an alcoholic behaves or feels. I might have come across people like that. But that's an external experience. If you want to internalise it, then you need to connect with the emotions.

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  • Was it difficult playing a student at the age of 38 in Kabir Singh?

    I was scared about being able to convince the audience. Every actor feels the need to be younger, look younger and behave younger than his age. The job is like that. The need is to be as young as you can be. But you have to get over that fixation and just deliver whatís expected from the character.

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  • How did you prepare to get into the skin of the volatile Kabir Singh?

    The preparation was more mental. Physically, I had to both lose and put on weight for the different phases in Kabir Singh's life. That was the easy part. The tough part was getting into the mind of the character. That happens over a period of time by reflecting and spending time with the filmmaker. Once you do a scene, you start connecting with the character. It's actually like a relationship. The more you meet someone, the more you understand them.

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  • What made you say yes to Kabir Singh?

    I loved Arjun Reddy. I could connect with it. The film was raw, real and unapologetic. Arjun Reddy didn't shy away from love, from angst, from depression, from the dark moments as well as from the beautiful moments. It was a complete emotional experience. I was surprised as to how much I enjoyed watching the film. So naturally, I was excited to take it to the Hindi audience.

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  • What is the one thing you learned about fitness all through the years?

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  • Do you like to dress up or do you dress up because your job needs it?

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  • How was your experience of working with Kiara?

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  • What new did you learn while doing Kabir Singh and portraying his character?

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  • How important is to have a partner who understands that the character you are playing can be strange at times?

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  • Best response you got for Kabir Singh?

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  • Any special unforgettable experience at #UdtaPunjab set you would like to share?

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  • What's Mira's reaction after watching Udta Punjab?

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  • Which song you like more: Bismil from Haider or udd taa punjab from Udta Punjab?

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  • Which is your favorite song & dialogue from Udta Punjab?

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  • Which part of Udta Punjab was toughest to shoot?

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  • Did the shooting of Udta Punjab change your perspective on certain things in life in any way?

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  • What was your thought about your character in Udta Punjab when the role was offered?

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  • How casting took place for Udhta Punjab?

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  • Alia Bhatt said Udta Punjab is your best performance. How does it feel?

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  • Did You ever faced a heartbreak?

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  • Life seems to have come full circle for you with your personal and professional worlds in harmony. What's your say?

    No one should live in an illusion that everything’s set. When you believe everything is on autopilot, it all falls apart. You’ve got to work every day at everything. Whether it’s marriage, parenting, career or even your relationship with your parents. I struggle with all of them. I struggle at maintaining my friendships. I’m terrible at maintaining long-distance relationships. I struggle at dividing my time between my wife, my children and work. My wife feels she isn’t a priority. I feel guilty about not giving enough time to myself. Many a time I tell my family, ‘Guys, let me work also sometimes’.

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  • Tell us about your bike trip to Europe

    I was desperate to do it for over a couple of years now. I’m a massive YouTuber. I’ve been watching videos of people, who’ve gone on bike trips. I’ve always been passionate about riding. I wanted to do a trip like this. But I wasn’t getting any takers, everyone being busy. Being so busy with things that you don’t experience life… makes no sense. So I became the travel agent for these people. I made a group on WhatsApp on which I’d share information every day. The hotel prices, the ticket availability, the bikes that were available, from where to get the equipment, the shoes. I couldn’t do the trip alone. I had to get whoever I could. Fortunately, that happened. We had an amazing time. It was spectacular. It was probably my most fun holiday ever.

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  • Are there any dos and don’ts for kids?

    I don’t know because everything’s changing so fast. They’re going to know everything. You can only manage their exposure to some extent. The most essential thing is that as a family you pass on certain values and ways of life. They will see that in you and learn from it. There’s nothing bigger and better than that. Beyond that, they’re going to discover everything on their own.

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  • How has fatherhood changed you?

    I was pretty self-oriented till I became a parent. Though I believed I was selfless. But when I became a parent, I realised I was actually damn selfish. Now I don’t put myself first. You end up thinking about your kids and family first. Sometimes it’s nice. Sometimes it’s frustrating because you do need to put yourself first at times. Every individual needs to have their own breathing space. I struggle with it. I respect my parents a lot more today than I did before I was a parent. Now I understand what all they did for me. I don’t know if it’s too late for me to apologise but through Filmfare I say, ‘Mom and dad, sorry for all those times I was a prick’.

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  • Are there any dos and dont’s in your marriage?

    Nothing that needs to be spelt out as such. Infidelity is definitely not okay in marriage. That’s the fundamental. Everything else is a matter of degree. You can shout but not too loudly. You can have your own time but not too much. You can laze around but not all the time. It’s basically stuff like that.

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  • How has your relationship with Mira grown over the years?

    Marriage is like a book. Mira’s my biggest reality because we share our lives together. In the past four years, she’s constantly said, “Shahid, when your films didn’t work, I used to wonder what was going on? I’ve been part of the struggle too for four years. I’ve been there with you through your highs and lows. Now I know.” There’s a partnership, there a sense of achieving together. She got married so young, had two kids and had to figure out how to deal with that when she was just stepping out of being a kid herself. She must have had her dreams and desires but she pushed those aside. That’s a lot to deal with. Also, the fact that we have an age difference, we are 13 years apart. We need to understand how to bring up the kids together responsibly. We’re learning how to deal with things together. Sometimes we’re each other’s best friends. Sometimes we just don’t understand each other. It’s all happening simultaneously.

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  • What has been the industry’s feedback to you? How have they changed towards you after Kabir Singh?

    When you enter the room, you feel the difference. When people meet you, you feel the difference. It feels nice to be appreciated by the people you look up to, people you want to work with or people whose work you’ve admired. One good thing about our fraternity is that they’re vocal about their appreciation. Even more vocal when the product is successful. So it gives you clarity about how it works. It’s cool. I’m enjoying it.

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  • After Kabir Singh, are you going to increase you remuneration?

    It’s kind of obvious that I will. I don’t care what people think. But it’s business. When your films don’t do well, you charge less. When they do well, you charge more. That’s how it goes.

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  • You did Haider and that didn’t work in such a big way. What may be the reason?

    But we didn’t expect it. It was a great opportunity for me as an actor. I never thought it was going to be a blockbuster. I believed it’s a good film. I hoped people would understand it. I knew I’d enjoy doing it. So at different stages of your career, you have to adapt to your reality. Or it makes you unhappy as a person. Maybe because I made that change, Kabir Singh happened. You’ve got to have positive thoughts about whatever you’re doing. When you’re going through a tough phase, even more. You have to empower yourself. Nobody is going to empower you. People are waiting to see you fail and then tell you that you’re shit so that there’s one competition less. Such is the nature of this business.We actors and creative people are sensitive to feedback. If we keep succumbing to it emotionally, we’ll only damage ourselves. I’ve been working for 16 years. I’ve got to be professional about it. I have to be child-like in front of the camera. But I can’t be like a child behind it. The child has to be alive inside you otherwise there’s no creativity left.

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  • On a scale of 1-10, how high are you right now?

    I’m on a five. I’m in the middle. Seriously, life’s all about balance. You have to tell yourself you’re the best when people tell you, you’re shit. And you’ve got to tell yourself you’re not that good when people tell you that you’re good. Often, I’ve felt that I didn’t get my due. But honestly after Kabir Singh, that changed. Friday, Saturday, Sunday… we had a great weekend. But Monday was the highest in the history of Hindi cinema. That day I sat back and said I can’t take credit for this. I’ve nothing to do with these numbers. I’m just sharing my personal feeling. I felt like I should have got better. But there sure were reasons why it didn’t happen. Maybe, the films were restrictive. Maybe, I was doing a certain kind of cinema that was ahead of its time. Also, certain commercial films I tried to do, turned out to be bad films.

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  • Can couples slap each other? Director of Kabir singh,Sandeep Reddy Vanga seems to have said that .

    I don’t want to comment on what Sandeep said. I watched another interview of his where he said he was misquoted. I don’t want to get into that. I never felt that Sandeep wanted to put women down. I just know that he was telling the story of two people, regardless of their gender. One of them was dominant and the other submissive. Weirdly, they were perfect for each other. That’s the way love is. Two imperfect people coming together to complete each other. For me, Preeti (Kiara Advani) was the much stronger character in Kabir Singh. Kabir was weak, therefore reactive. He didn’t know how to control his emotions. So he needed someone evolved as Preeti to keep him in the right space. I’ve seen immature people with mature people. I’ve seen two immature people or two mature people getting bored of each other. There were scenes, which were graphic. But if you remove them, you don’t address those issues. Don’t people get physical with each other in relationships? If they do, then don’t you have the right to show it? Does the audience not have the right to decide whether they like it or not? Someone walks out saying they didn’t like it; I respect their point of view. But if you’re told that nobody has the right to like something because you didn’t like it, that’s not cool. Sandeep came out in a slightly attacking mode because he felt attacked. This is his first Hindi film. Coming to your question, should a man and woman be raising their hand on each other? No. Do they tend to do that? Yes. Can you show that in a movie? Yes, you can.

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  • Talking of the misogynistic tone of the Kabir Singh, were you aware and apprehensive about it?

    I was shocked by the fact that the critics couldn’t deal with it but the audience loved it. It could have been the other way around. It requires an evolved take on cinema to accept a character like that. An archaic and outdated thought would be arrey yaar aap aise kaise dikha sakte ho. But characters are characters. There’s no rule that says the protagonist needs to be a nice guy. Nice guys are boring. Who wants to see a good guy? The performances that have been celebrated over the years… Mr. Amitabh Bachchan built an entire career on being the ‘angry young man’, who does everything that is against the system. There’s a scene in Devdas, where Dilip Kumar’s character slashes Paro’s face with a stick. That’s considered a great scene where a man’s physically harming a woman. It’s not to be taken literally. You’ve got to understand the depth of the relationship between two people.

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  • Are you getting trapped in this feeling of wanting to please the audience?

    No. When you get a platform which is bigger, wider, more potent, you can either choose to let it burden you or to set you free. Because you can now leap wider. You’re guaranteed that a certain audience will watch your film. Honestly, had this happened to me in the first three-four years of my career, I’d have been overwhelmed. But it’s happening after 16 years of work, so I’m not. It feels good that as an actor I can make an informed choice today. It doesn’t need to be a desperate choice. I’ve gone through a phase where I’ve tried it and hated it. We’re in a time where legit content is working. Today, I have that reach. I might not have it tomorrow or day after.

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  • How would you define this success?

    We industry folk are complicated. We tend to overthink. We don’t have the answers but we believe we do. The audience is simple. If they like something, they love it from their hearts. If something doesn’t appeal to them, regardless of who’s in it, they reject it. With Kabir Singh, there’s a feeling of huge acceptance. I feel thankful for the love it has received. You’ve heard big stars say that they have a direct relationship with the audience. This was my first experience where I felt the same. What clicked between the audience and me mattered, nobody and nothing else did. That’s a rare feeling. I feel I am theirs. They are my focus. Now I want to do good films, which they can relate to. I don’t want to let them down.

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  • Did you expect Kabir Singh to pan out the way it did?

    Kabir Singh was an experimental journey. We didn’t know what kind of audience would accept it. It was an adult film; it had a flawed character. The love story was tilted and the male character dominant. In today’s time when everything is about women empowerment, to take up a film like that was risky. But people are here to watch stories and original content. They come with no limitations in their mind. A well-made film, which is full of emotion and originality, will always go wider than we believe. Kabir Singh broke shackles. An adult film making 280 crores, a film with normally priced tickets, which released on a non-holiday weekend, is something we all must learn from. I knew that we had a good product. But the response was overwhelming. Some reviews were strongly critical. But the way people defended the film was just spectacular. I didn’t feel the need to go out and say anything because I had an army of people, who said everything I felt.

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