Will he? Won’t he? The suspense over Anil Kapoor sharing screen space with his son Harshvardhan Kapoor is finally over. Anil Kapoor confirms that he is indeed playing Olympian gold medalist Abhinav Bindra’s father Apjit Bindra. Anil’s son Harshvardhan plays Abhinav Bindra. And there was some talk of Anil being in two minds, as he did not want audiences to make unfair comparisons between father and son so soon in the latter’s career.
But Anil demurs, “There was not a moment’s hesitation in accepting this part. And my son is confident enough to work with me even now when he’s just two films old. In fact both my children Sonam and Harsh have been making brave choices from the beginning. Sonam started with an unconventional Saawariya directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Harsh’s launch in the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya was equally unorthodox. They are both very confident actors. And the only reason it took so long for me to work with Sonam (in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga) is because we didn’t get a suitable film to come together before this.”
Anil says it’s a different situation in his son’s case. “With the Abhinav Bindra bio-pic I am proud to say I said yes immediately. My son is playing a sportsperson who was the first individual gold medalist at the Olympics from India. I’d be happy to play a walk-on part in such a film that does the country proud.”
Anil says his son is not afraid to take on unusual roles so early in his career. “Harsh and Sonam are like me in that sense. I started my career as a leading man in a Telugu film (Vamsa Vruksham) directed by Bapu. Then Bapu, who was my mentor and guru, launched me in Hindi in an equally unconventional Woh Saat Din. Look at Sonam and Harsh’s career. I think choosing films like Neerja and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga comes naturally to Sonam. Likewise for Harsh to do Bhavesh Joshi which is a big success on the internet although it failed in theatres, is a very brave thing to.”
Anil claims he’s happily allowing Harsh take centrestage in the Abhinav Bindra bio-pic. “For my children I’d happily play supporting or even negligible parts.”
However a source close to the Bindra project says Anil’s role is as important as his son’s. “Abhinav Bindra’s father Apjit Bindra was instrumental in seeing Abhinav win gold at the Olympics. Director Kannan Iyer has spent close to five years researching the Bindra story. The bio-pic is being made in close association with the Bindras. After going through their entire story Kannan decided to format the film as a father-son story. It’s the role of a very upright principled man who dreamt big dreams for his son.”
Interestingly the two roles of the father and son Bindra were initially offered to Rishi Kapoor and his son Ranbir. Ranbir in fact shares his birthday with Abhinav Bindra.