'You can say I kind of fit into the everyman role that Chetan Bhagat writes about.'
'It's an amazing compliment for me. Rather than play the hero, it is more about playing the character.'
Arjun Kapoor discusses his movies and more.
This week's Hollywood release Ice Age: Collision Course has a Bollywood feature -- Arjun Kapoor lends his voice to the character Buck in the film's Hindi version.
In a telephone conversation with Rediff.com's Patcy N, Arjun takes us through the dubbing process and tells us about cousin Harshvardhan Kapoor, who will make his debut in Mirzya.
How big a fan are you of the Ice Age movies?
I have seen all of them when they came out.
The first one will always remain my favourite because there was the surprise element, which was so sweet and endearing. And I was so young at that time.
How different is it dubbing for an animated character from dubbing for your characters?
It is different... you have to follow the rhythm and the pattern that is set in the film. But you get to explore and push yourself. It gets easier as you go along.
I took an hour-and-a-half to get used to it. After that, I started enjoying myself. I managed to complete it in two days.
We have heard that you have mimicked a lot of Bollywood actors.
I don't remember how many, but I remember having done Munnabhai (Sanjay Dutt's popular character), Circuit (Arshad Warsi's character), and Anilchachu (Anil Kapoor).
Who was the most challenging to mimic?
The most challenging was to mimic an old man.
There is a section where Buck pretends to be old.
It wasn't mimicry of any actor, so I had a tough time doing that part.
I have dubbed in accents like Punjabi, Hyderabadi, Gujarati, Parsi and Maharashtrian.
You are working in Chetan Bhagat's Half Girlfriend, directed by Mohit Suri. What do you like about Chetan Bhagat's stories that you like to work in movies adapted from his books?
This is only my second film on his book. It is pretty evident that directors see me in those movies.
You can say that I kind of fit into the everyman role that he writes about. It's an amazing compliment for me. Rather than play the hero, it is more about playing the character.
I like his stories because there is a certain ambitious middle class sensibility in his writing. The education system and the youth have a very important role to play in all his films.
Also, there are a lot of emotions in his films.
To make a film today, you need a bit of youth and the ability to relate to the audience -- the emotional connect definitely adds value. So those are the core ingredients that draw me towards a film and his writing seems to have them.
You are working with Mohit Suri for the first time. Most of his films can be regarded as erotica...
(Interrupts) Erotica? I think that is a wrong way of interpreting his films.
He's made thrillers and darker films, various kinds of films. He has made a film about a serial killer and there is an element of sex in it, but that doesn't make it erotica.
None of his last three films -- Aashiqui, which did tremendous business, or Ek Villain, a film about a dark man who becomes darker after he loses his loved one, or Humari Adhuri Kahani, which was about extramarital affairs -- can figure as erotica.
How has he worked on this film differently?
It has a lot of humour.
Music is imperative in his films, but this time I think you will enjoy the fact that he has gone into a territory which is uncharted in Hindi cinema -- in terms of projecting Bihar in a positive light.
The main lead is a Bihari. We have a slightly caricaturist take on Bihar in cinema. We play to the gallery.
This movie treads in more relevant territory. We have kids coming out of that area, who don't have the confidence to face the world because their English isn't as strong as we would like it to be.
So it deals with the language barrier, but it is constructed in a very interesting way where today the conflict is not between the rich and poor. It has become more about how cool you are or how cool you are perceived to be.
Much has been said about your bonding with your best friend, Ranveer Singh. Is he your '4 am' friend?
I avoid calling my friends after midnight. But yes, I can call him any time of the day.
We connect at various levels in terms of work, as professionals, in our personal lives or in our love for sports and cinema.
We can pull each other's leg and be honest with each other. And, of course, we admire each other's work without judging or trying to outdo each other, which is also nice.
Your cousin Harshvardhan will debut with Mirzya. Does he have the potential to be a good actor?
That's for the audience to decide.
He is very passionate, and that is very important. He is in this profession because he loves it. He loves making movies. That is an important element that drives you forward.
Of course, I believe that he's got the potential and (director) Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra believes it too. That's why he has cast him.
But eventually, the audience decides all this. I hope and pray that he gets a fair chance.