Anil Kapoor: Easy money is not meant for me
The trailer launch of Anil Kapoor’s new television series 24 was a family affair, as his daughters, Sonam and Rhea, and wife Sunita turned up as well.
Anil Kapoor will take over as Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland in the original American show. Kapoor will play ATU chief Jai Singh Rathod, and the series will narrate 24 hours of his life in real time over 24 episodes.
Incidentally, Kapoor played a vital role in the American version, as President Omar Hassan of the Islamic Republic of Kamistan.
The Indian version has been written by Rensil D'Silva and directed by Abhinay Deo. Besides Kapoor, the show will also star Mandira Bedi, Tisca Chopra and Neil Bhoopalam. Shabana Azmi, Rahul Khanna and Anupam Kher will put in cameos. It will start in October.
Anil Kapoor made a grand entry at the launch by standing at the door of his car and posing for the shutterbugs.
In this brief chat, he talks about the new show, and also tells us why he's not terribly excited about doing movies like No Entry or Race 2
Why did you choose to make your first television appearance in a fiction show?
When I was in the US shooting for 24, I felt this show is relevant in our country today. I felt it must be made in India. We wrote an email, negotiating with Fox, and today we are here.
Image: The Poster of 24
'For the first time, I am playing a hero in a TV show'
If you had 24 hours, what things would you do as a common man?
You will get to see in the show. It’s about the common man who struggles in his personal and professional life. He is a hero but flawed.
He fights for the family, country, to save the life of a future prime minster. For the first time, I am playing a hero in a TV show and people want to see real characters and want to relate to it.
How challenging and difficult was it to recreate the show?
The challenge was to get the same kind of aesthetic and scale of performance. Those (American) shows are made at a cost of four to six million dollars per episode. We are not going to spend that much money.
We had to raise the bar and make the show as effective as the original with less time and money.
Image: Anil Kapoor
'It was difficult to get each and every person for the show'
What was your input in the making of the show?
My input was that I got the show to India. My involvement was to get the right people for the show.
I did not want genius people on the show but good and hardworking people, be it director or writer or the cast.
Was it difficult to get Anupam Kher and Shabana Azmi on board?
It was difficult to get each and every person for the show. I had to convince everybody. They did it for me and love for an iconic show.
You must have been offered reality shows before, so why did you choose fiction?
I think in my destiny I have to work hard, easy money is not meant for me. I have tried to take out water from an empty well. I go deep down into the well and dig the water out.
Image: Rhea and Sonam Kapoor
'At the moment, TV has got the biggest reach'
Do you watch any shows on television?
Yes, I do watch a few shows, but in bits and pieces.
Are you happy with the trailer?
I have never enjoyed working so much in the entire 26 years of my career.
I have never been so charged, motivated, excited and rejuvenated in my career ever.
How do you see television as a medium?
At the moment, TV has got the biggest reach and I don’t know how many years it is going to last.
The internet is catching up. We have to pull up our socks as everything is going to be watched on the internet.
Image: Mandira Bedi, Raj Nayak CEO of COLORS, Tisca Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Abhinay Deo
'Sonam loves 24'
24 is an iconic show, people have a lot of expectations. Does that make you nervous?
When I do a film like No Entry, Race or a commercial film, then I am not excited as I am doing something which is regular.
But I have also tried to do out-of-the-box things that are risky, that have a possibility of failing miserably and people making fun of me. And I enjoy it when people make fun of me because it helps me work even harder.
Amitabh Bachchan is also appearing in television with a fiction show.
It made me very happy, his coming on a show …makes my stand of coming on this show even stronger.
What is Sonam’s opinion about the show?
She loves it. That's why she was here.
Image: Neil Bhoopalam, Mandira Bedi, Anil Kapoor and Tisca Chopra