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Things to take away from Ranbir Kapoor's television interview

The actor's recent interview with film critic Rajeev Masand on CNN News 18 was a brilliant insight into one of the most popular personalities in current Hindi cinema. Intelligent and endearing as it was, here are the things that stood out in the interview.

Ranbir Kapoor in a still from the interview

Shriram Iyengar

The spotlight is a harsh place to be in. Actors, particularly those in Hindi cinema, find themselves scrutinised down to their most miniscule detail, and criticised for every little misstep. Ranbir Kapoor, one of the most talented actors of this generation, has found himself in this uncomfortable position in recent times. The Kapoor scion has been pilloried for his poor choice of roles and faced the unwelcome glare of the papparazzi during his much publicised break-up with actress Katrina Kaif. In a recent interview, Kapoor opened up on the difficulties of his profession and his life behind the spotlight. 

The interview by film critic Rajeev Masand was aired on CNN News 18 on 19 August. Calm, collected and eloquent, the actor spoke about issues ranging from his family, particularly the influence grandfather Raj Kapoor, to his career and fears. Here are the things to take away from the interview. 

Dadus and dadis are the same. Even when you are famous. 

In a particularly endearing statement, Kapoor remarked how his memory of the great filmmaker is different from those of cinephiles. Kapoor said, "Yeah, I was six years old when he passed away, but being his first grandson, he showered a little extra love on me. There are few moments that I remember, but also having been told by my family members what he used to think of me, how he used to be towards me." The actor also reminisced how the the great filmmaker would cherish his grandchildren every day. "He used to call us to his room, which was somewhere downstairs and make us stand in a line and say, “Salaam karo.” We all use to do salaam; then we had to give him a kiss on either of his cheeks; then he use to give us all these caramel toffees that he used to get from abroad. So you know small incidents like that. I don’t really remember him as the star or filmmaker. I remember him as a fat, loving grandfather. Then beyond that, whatever I’m today is because of his films. I know him more now through his films then actually as a grandson." Kapoor also spoke about his grandmother, Krishna Raj Kapoor. "I was very close to her while growing up, but now living with her, really hanging out with her has been the most enriching time for me in these last 33 years," he said. This was an affectionate confession which reminded us that even stars have a family life which is no different than those outside the spotlight.

He's got a stable head on his shoulders

Kapoor has been struggling with his personal and professional life for some time now. One of the more pertinent questions in the interview was on how he felt about it all. The actor admitted that though there was a 'negative spotlight' on his career, he was not bothered by it. "But, it’s a good time actually to not get bitter about things. Not to turn negative, anxious, nervous or insecure that my films are not working. There’s an enormous negative spotlight on my personal life. You have to take all that in your stride. You have to really understand it and then, free yourself from it. You have to understand yourself as a person," said Kapoor. The actor's last big hit as a lead was Ayan Mukherji's Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013). Films like Besharam (2013), Roy (2015) and Bombay Velvet (2015) faired poorly, while Tamasha (2015) saw middling success at the box office. He said, "I’d be lying if I said my confidence is not affected. When films don’t do well, actors are insecure. They think, 'Is the shine on my star fading? Was that it? Do I have anything else to offer?' All those thoughts come in, but then you have to fight it. I’m filled with these worrying thoughts." 

He knows his job 

Despite the struggle, the actor does know his job. His desire to reinvent and try new roles certainly leaves us with a feeling of optimism. He said, "I’m not going crazy because I’ve immense faith in my own talent. I know my job. The real struggle was how do I become new, more of a surprise, more engaging." We cannot but admit that is a good sign.

He's got the same girl trouble as everyone 

Kapoor's personal life took up a major part of the interview. A major point of the interview discussed the consequences of the actor's publicised break-up with actress Katrina Kaif. The actor surprised one and all by saying that Katrina has been an 'influential' figure in his life. He said, "After my parents, she’s been the most influential, most motivational entity in my life and I hold that very dear. So, I don’t want to speak anything about it. There’s no negativity, there is no sense of bitterness, so there’s nothing to talk about." We hear you, Kapoor, we hear you. 

He is a fan too, like everyone else

For an actor with quite the female fan following, Kapoor is a fan himself. The actor spoke about his tryst with stardom while shooting for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. "So with Quentin Tarantino recently, he was promoting The Hateful Eight and we were shooting Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in London. I was shooting in a basement and he was in the building. I heard that he was doing an interview so I went running up. I told Karan, 'Listen, I have to meet him.' Not that I’m going to say that I’m an actor from India. I just wanted to meet him, take a picture, an autograph," he added, "So I was waiting at the car for like half-an-hour. I saw him coming and from far I’m saying, “Quentin, Quentin.” He walks, looks at me, goes and sits in his car. When the door opens, I’m like, “Sir, picture picture?”and they have it on video. It was really funny and I got teased by the entire crew of Ae Dil, but just to see Quentin Tarantino." We totally get that! 

He is scared of his dad

Knowing that Rishi Kapoor is working on a soon-to-be-released biography, Masand asked Kapoor if he was scared of the details the free-speaking veteran would blurt out in the book. Kapoor said, "..you know however fierce he is about things, he’s a little protective about me. He gets a little soft. So I don’t think he’s going to be that open. Even if he has an opinion, he keeps it to himself. He feels that I’m easily breakable. So he takes a step back and cushions it through my mother. But it’ll be fun to read what his perception of me is." Well, ain't that adorable? 

He skipped a Star Wars audition

Of all the choices Kapoor has made, this is the most disappointing one. The actor admitted that he had an opportunity to audition for the recent Star Wars movie, but skipped it as he was 'afraid'. According to Kapoor, "I was asked to audition as the second lead in Star Wars a couple of years back. I have a fear of auditioning." We are still trying to get our heads around that one. 

In all, the actor offered some delightful insights into his life behind the spotlight. What made the interview endearing wasKapoor's ability to answer questions with utmost sincerity and intelligence. It is a sign that the young Kapoor is definitely more talented and far more intelligent than he is given credit for. 

Here's the full interview