Being the son of one of Bollywood’s most versatile actors is not an easy task. However, Shahid Kapoor, who started off playing chocolate boy roles managed to carve a niche for himself, specially with films like Kaminey where he displayed his gritty side. Now playing an Air Force pilot in daddy dearest’s directorial debut Mausam, Shahid Kapoor clears the air about some of the grapevine rumours surrounding the timeless love story with Ali Peter John…
It is like a ‘believe it or not’ story in today’s changing times when relationships change like quicksand. Shahid Kapoor was going through the most flourishing stage of his career and all the leading directors were offering him the best of roles. His father, Pankaj Kapur, who Shahid accepts as his guru, found time to talk to his son and told him about his plan to make his debut as a director and understandably, the son jumped with excitement.
It was when the father asked him when he could find the time to do his film that Shahid felt embarrassed and instantly took a decision to drop all the films he had signed to be a part of his father’s film called Mausam till it was completed.
This decision meant spending the next two and a half years concentrating on the making of his father’s ambitious film. He took part in every stage of the planning. Though he had refused to take part in the writing of the script, his father, who had immense faith in him often asked him for his inputs, which made the son feel very privileged.
The film was completed in almost three years without any problems till it was shown to the Indian Air Force, which took objection to a scene in the film. Shahid took an active part in finding a solution to the last minute problem and in between all the last minute hassles; he found time to answer some quick questions…
How did it feel when your father said he wanted to cast you as the leading man of his first film?
I was naturally more than just excited. He was my father, my mentor and my guide who encouraged me to become the actor I am recognised as today. For him to place all his faith in me was a great joy for me and I will never forget the moment when he offered me the role.
Did he give you a narration of the script?
Once, I agreed to work under his direction, I was like any other actor. I did not dare to ask him for a narration but he made it a point to give me a complete narration with all the minute details and what he expected from me and how he wanted to give shape to his film.
Did you have any differences of opinion during the making of ‘Mausam’?
We had, but we also had decided on a secret way of sorting out our differences without letting anyone in the unit know anything about what was going wrong between us. But, fortunately those moments came only just a couple of times and were solved by us in a jiffy.
You are playing a fighter pilot in the film. What kind of preparation did you make to face the challenge?
I knew it was going to be a very tough act playing a fighter pilot attached to the Indian Air Force. But with the confidence I had developed in myself down the years and with the cooperation of the Indian Air Force and its officers, it was smooth flying for me. I loved the adventure of playing the role of a fighter pilot, which I had never thought I would play.
But it was the same Indian Air Force which created problems for your film just days before the release?
They were right in taking objections to a thirty-second scene in a sequence from the film. Moreover, they were kind enough to explain their reasons for asking for the cutting of those scenes as they said it would be damaging for the image of the IAF. We understood the significance and had no other choice but to make the changes. It caused a lot of problems and we had to push the world release by a week. My only regret was that we missed showing the film at the Toronto Film Festival where it was the opening film.
What do you expect from the film at the Box Office?
Who am I to expect anything? My father and I have tried our very best and have left everything else in the hands of God.
Was Sonam Kapoor the first choice to play your leading lady?
The first and the best, no one else was considered.
What do you think about your father as an actor?
He is undoubtedly one of the best actors in the country, but has never been given his due as he is very bad at the kind of manipulations and games that less talented actors indulge in to prove how great they are.