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'I never saw Sanjay Leela Bhansali's angry side'

Last updated on: November 9, 2010 16:16 IST

Image: Aditya Roy Kapoor
Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

Sharing the spotlight with actors like Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is no mean feat.

But the talented Aditya Roy Kapoor not only did it, he managed to stand out as well with his believable performance in last week's Diwali release, Action Replayy where he played Akshay and Ash's son.

Now, Kapoor is gearing up for another go at Bollywood with another big release -- Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming movie Guzaarish starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

What can we expect from the young actor? Sonil Dedhia finds out.

There have been mixed reactions to Action Replayy. Your comments?

All I can say is that the movie has been appreciated by the audience. I went to get the audience reaction in some theatres and they loved the movie. My role has been liked by a lot of people and I am thankful to all the people who have been there for me.

Tell us something about yourself.

I was just 19 and was studying at St Xavier's college. I was just like any other guy who would bunk college and enjoy with friends. One day, one of my brother's friends who worked with Channel [V] called me for an audition. I went and that's how I landed up as a veejay.

One of my brothers works in UTV while another has directed The President is Coming (starring Konkona Sen Sharma). He is also acting in Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly. Both my brothers have done theatre.  My mother has been a dance prodigy as she started dancing when she was just six.

'I never wanted to become an actor'

Image: Aditya Roy Kapoor

How did you graduate to films?

I was a veejay for almost four and a half years. I never thought of becoming an actor during that time but I would go for some auditions.

One day, I got a call from (casting director) Amita Sehgal. She saw my photographs in a magazine and asked me to meet her, as she was casting for London Dreams. I met Vipul Shah (director London Dreams, Action Replayy) for only two minutes. He told me that it was a role of guitarist. I gave the audition and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Does it help to come from a family who have been in this industry?

In terms of getting work, it was pure luck as I went for the audition and got selected.

But yes, it helps when your family members are already there in this business as there is a constant discussion about films. Everyone in my family has been very supportive.

What was your reaction when you bagged your first movie?

I was excited and at the same time, nervous. As I said, I never thought of becoming an actor. My family did have some kind of background in theatre and acting but it was not my first choice in terms of where I wanted to be.

I told myself that if I had an opportunity why not exploit it. I didn't want sit back and feel sorry for myself at the age of 45 thinking that an opportunity came knocking at my door and I just ignored it.

You have worked with Vipul Shah in two movies. How has the experience been?

He is a very chilled out director. He jokes around all the time but that doesn't mean that he is not aware of his work. He is very thorough about what he wants to do. He instilled me with a lot of confidence as I was a newcomer and had no clue about acting. I owe him a lot.

'Sanjay sir is a magician'

Image: Aditya Roy Kapoor

How did Guzaarish happen?

As I mentioned, Amita Sehgal was casting for London Dreams. When I got the role, she told me that in three months' time, she would call back for a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie. I was on cloud nine! Finally, I got my opportunity and gave my screen test for Guzaarish and became a part of it.

Bhansali has an image of being a very stern director.

I never saw the angry side of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He is very passionate about everything that he does. Working with him is a little difficult because you think that you have given the best shot but he knows that there is something else that he wants. He pushes you and wants you to walk that extra mile.

In terms of creativity, there is no denying that Sanjay sir is a magician. I got the opportunity to work with Hrithik Roshan and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan as well. A lot of senior actors were present in the cast so it was quite an experience. I would get to learn something different everyday. I would try to spend a lot of time on the sets and observe everyone.

'Working with Ajay and Salman was so much fun'

Image: Akshay Kumar and Aditya Roy Kapoor in Action Replayy

Were there any bad days on the sets of Guzaarish?

I don't know about any bad days but yes, there have been some days that were really tough. There were a lot of days when I would return from the shoot telling myself that maybe I hadn't given my best and that acting was not meant for me. But these are a part and parcel of an actor's life.

Fortunately, my directors and other crew members have been very supportive. I couldn't have asked for a better start for my career.

How was it working with such senior actors?

Working with Ajay Devgn and Salman Khan was so much fun. During my month and a half schedule in London, they used to come out with us and hang around on and off the sets. It made me feel at home.

Everyone knows how funny Akshay is. He likes to play a lot of pranks and you know when it comes to improvising, no one can beat him.

They all have been there and done that. It's a treat to watch them and learn so many different things. Everyone has their own style and I am fortunate enough to learn so many things.

And Hrithik Roshan?

Hrithik is very focussed and hard working. He always looks at the bigger picture. For me, it was a lesson to see how far I have to go and how much I will have to stretch if I have to be what he is today. I remember so many times he used to come and give me tips to get my basics right and improve my acting.

'It's a privilege to observe Aishwarya'

Image: Aditya Roy Kapoor

You have worked with Ashwariya in two movies. Did she give you any lessons?

I can't believe that I have already done two movies with her! I'm awestruck by the amount of knowledge she has in terms of acting and technicality. As a newcomer, you just think about getting your expressions and lines right. She knows everything about camera angles, and even what lens need to be used.

I can't say that I have learnt a lot because it takes time to get into so much technicality but it's a privilege to observe her and to know what one can do as an actor.

We see a lot of VJ's getting into acting. Has it become a new trend in the industry?

Its just a natural progression. I think both professions are closely related.