'There was a phase where Indian television had became woman-oriented and men had nothing much to do.
'I did not want to be part of those kinds of shows.
'I wanted to do something solid that suited my personality and thinking.'
Sanjay Kapoor explains why he will be seen on the small screen again after 13 years.
Sanjay Kapoor returns to television with Dil Sambhal Jaa Zara, where he plays an older partner to his young wife, played by Smriti Kalra.
The actor, who was last seen in 2013’s Shaandaar, had dabbled in television way back in 2003, with the Karisma Kapoor-starrer Karishma: The Miracles Of Destiny.
Sanjay tells Rediff.com contributor Rajul Hedge that he’s open to more television offers.
What brings you back to television after 13 years?
I was looking for something exceptional on television to come my way.
The television industry assumed I was producing and acting in films. Maybe they felt I was not ready to accept television but that's not true.
There was a phase where Indian television had became woman-oriented and men had nothing much to do. I did not want to be part of those kinds of shows. I wanted to do something solid that suited my personality and thinking.
Finally, I got this offer and accepted it. Here, I play my age. It’s about an older man falling for a younger woman.
People ask me if I would be able to work for longer hours on TV. I tell them, in films, we work for 14 hours at a stretch.
The mindset of the television industry hasn’t changed yet. They think we (Bollywood) can’t handle television.
To what extent has the television industry has changed from the time you did your first show in 2003?
Everything has become more professional in TV and films -- from behind the camera to the PR team. Everything is more organised and that’s the best part.
TV has a huge reach and this is what attracts most of us.
Cinema is also going through a change with good scripts making huge money.
Back in the day, Shyam Benegal made thought-provoking cinema but they had a limited reach. Today, hits like Neerja have got blockbuster ratings even on TV.
What was it like working with Niki Aneja Walia, who plays your mother-in-law in Dil Sambhal Jaa Zara? You had worked together in Shaandaar.
We didn’t have many scenes together in Shandaar. But I could make out that she is a fine actress. She has done a lot of work on TV and is a big star.
The role suits her well and she has done a great job.
Smriti (Kalra) is also such a talented actress.
Your brother Anil Kapoor has produced the TV series 24. Did he offer you a role in any of the seasons?
If he has something that will suit me, he will offer it to me.
As of now, there is nothing for me to do; it is all about Anil.
We have not even done a photo session just for the heck of it.
Do you enjoy working as a producer or as an actor?
As a producer, I am very passionate about making films.
But definitely, when you face the camera, it’s a different thing. As an actor, I get involved with every moment.
The idea of doing both is because you enjoy what you are doing. I am an actor and I would love to do good work across all mediums.
What are your memories from your debut film, Prem?
I have great memories Prem. Everything is still fresh in my mind.
I keep bumping into Tabu (his co-star in Prem) and, every time we meet, we end up talking about Prem.
The Kapoor legacy has passed on from your father Surendra Kapoor to your brother and now, to the next generation, Sonam Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor and Harshvardhan Kapoor. How does it feel?
We feel humbled and proud. So many people from one family have been in this industry and are entertaining people. We have been fortunate.
(The next generation) are extremely talented, focussed and hardworking. Recently, I shot a film with Arjun and I saw the kind of hard work he puts in. It’s incredible.
I have not shot any film with Sonam but I have heard great things about her.
Harshvardhan is only one film old. He wants to focus on one film at a time.
Is your daughter Shanaya also interested in acting?
My daughter is still studying. We will see what happens later.