He has the looks, the talent and the ability to make it to the top but Kunal chooses to tread a different path. The reclusive actor reveals his Bollywood game plan to Masala!
If you ever compile a list of 'T'towners who haven't got their due' Kunal Kapoor's name would be right at the top. His performance in Rang De Basanti turned him into a screen sensation six years ago and he was touted as the next big star on the horizon but things haven't looked up thereafter for the talented actor. He has done cameos galore in films like Bachna Ae Haseeno, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Don etc but hasn't been seen in a full-fledged role in a long while. Is he just being choosy or is he laidback and careless as some people suggest? Masala! quizzes the hottie whose heart-warming Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana released recently to good reviews...
What made you say yes to Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana considering you are so choosy about your roles?
What I liked about the project is that I had a hand in developing it from scratch. Director Sameer Sharma and I had the idea and then the writers took it forward. Once the script was ready we took it to Anurag Kashyap who gave it the necessary encouragement.
You have always maintained that the character is most important to you when you sign a film. What is so special about the character you play in Luv Shuv ...?
My character Omi is very different from what I have played on screen so far. He is incredibly selfish, a guy who leaves everything and runs away from his house and goes to the UK. He doesn't bother to keep in touch with his family but then returns after 10 years because he's in trouble in the UK. He can lie, cry or be nice to a person to get his work done and meet
How much would you lie to get something in life? What is your worst lie?
I have lied a lot but I can't remember which one was the worst! We all lie to get away with certain things in life. I guess I am a good liar because I have always managed to get away with them!
Do you think a niche film like Luv Shuv... stands a chance especially in these days of much-hyped, big budget films?
Luv Shuv... is very commercial and entertaining. In fact, we are calling it a 'Kashraj' film - a combination of a Yash Raj and an Anurag Kashyap movie! It has the commercial heartwarming family theme of a Yash Raj film as well as the madness and quirkiness that define an Anurag Kashyap project.
Anurag described the film as one belonging to the Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Bhattacharya genre. Do you think such movies still have a following?
Well we are hoping it does! We wanted to break away from the brainless comedy genre that is currently ruling the roost in Bollywood. If a film is based in Punjab, you will always have loud people but we have tried to make it a simple and warm film that shows the real face of Punjabis.
You have said before that you are willing to do whatever the script requires you to. What lengths are you willing to go for
I will go to any extent that the director requires wants me to as long as I am alive at the end of the day! Jokes apart, I feel it is important to immerse yourself in a role and it's exciting to do things that are different. I have experimented a lot with this film.
You are friends with a lot of powerful people in the industry. Why don't we see you doing a film with any of them?
My friends are constantly egging me to do more. They think I'm a little mad but I am stubborn and need to be excited about what I do. I understand where they're coming from but I can't sign a film unless I truly believe in it.
How do you select a film?
Honestly, it's an impulsive decision. You hear a narration and you feel like being a part of it because you want to see what it looks like on the big screen. I have no hang-ups about banners, co-stars or directors. But I am very clear about what I don't want to do and steer clear of it.
What is your favourite chicken recipe?
It has to be Chicken Khurana because nothing can match it! It's a magical recipe. Believe me, once you have it you will have a big smile on your face (laughs)!
Are you a foodie?
I am a big foodie; you can't be a Punjabi and not love food! I simply love good ol' homemade food. You may eat at the fanciest of restaurants but at the end of the day, I feel we all crave for home food.
Do you cook? What are your specialties if you had to cook for someone on a date?
Well I boil eggs and I can make Maggi noodles and French fries. I have tried cooking more than that for a date and it ended up being disastrous so I ordered in and pretended I made everything!
Have you ever considered opening a restaurant?
I haven't thought of it...it's exciting but it's not something I am looking to do immediately. But if I had to open an eatery, I would start something like this simple restaurant I know in Amritsar where only one dish is served - puri-chole! They've been serving it for the past 40 years yet it's always full and hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. I think that would be something cool!
You had enrolled for a flying course earlier this year. How is it coming along?
I was supposed to give my exams but haven't been able to since I have been busy with this film. Hopefully, once I am through with my commitments for the film, I will get working on it. People say that my career is making very slow progress, so I decided to speed it elsewhere! I started flying classes as a hobby - it was right on top of my bucket list. Rally driving was second so I went ahead with that as well.
What is happening with Doga, your superhero film?
It's still far away. Anurag will start two films now so we will think about it when he finishes the projects he has on hand.
What's the easiest way to make an impression on you?
A nice, big, genuine smile works for me. There is so much drama in life so anything that is real will work for me.
Are you single now?
Well I am not single and I am very happy in this relationship. I don't like talking about my private life so I won't reveal anything about my relationship (smiles).