And how can ”The Kapoor” charm now work, but his is mysterious. With the variants or the shades of characters he has portrayed right from the initial stage of his career from playing Parma, Vishal, Ajay, Bala Krrish and now Savio proves him to be a chameleon of an actor. He is witty, smart and calculative in making his decisions. The way he has made his choices and moving with a decent pace, he is sure to turn out as ”The Dark House” of the next decade. Arjun Kapoor, clad in a Cool Blue casuals set for the a media interaction, shared his experience about the journey of Finding Fanny and more about his choice of films and will he be a part of the remake of Ram Lakhan
What is the characterization of Savio Da Gama?
He is a man who is very bitter from within. There is a lot of angst, but he is not a villain. Conventionally in Hindi films anybody who has angst and bitterness from within tends to be portrayed as a negative character. We all have certain emotions that are bitter, that are negative within us, but that does not mean that we are bad people. So, Savio is one of those people. He has lot of emotions, he doesn’t know how to express them, he has a lot to say, but he doesn’t know how to go about saying it.. He is been upset with whatever life has dealt him, the set of cards dealt to him, he is always blamed life, the people around, the world his family, his friends, but he has never introspected to try and realize that he has to pick up the pieces and move ahead. We all have our journeys, we all have ups and downs, some people make peace with it, while some don’t. Savio unfortunately is one of those who take a long time to make peace. So when you meet him in the film he is at a very interesting point in his life. You don’t know his back story, but you discover what made him this person in the course of the film. And you also see a journey that happens in this journey of Finding Fanny. I quiet like that aspect of doing Savio is that even though you don’t get to see his entire life, you by the end of the film know what he was, why he became what he is right now and by the end of the film you see another facet. There is a nice graph to him despite to him not being a biographical version.
What about the character excited you?
Primarily why I took it on because the character was not a villain despite having angst and bitterness in him. He wasn’t villain, so I was excited to do that and to do that with certain vulnerability, which Homi wanted. He dint wanted to come across harsh, unattractive and repulsive. I was excited to play on that thin line there is not a lot you can do, it a very thin line, was excited to play in those parameters. My excitement stands when he saw Ishaqzaade and offered me this. When a director sees that kind of a role or that kind of a character and then comes and offers you a Savio Da Gama, you kind of get excited that he has a vision for you, he imagines you being able to pull something off that even you are not sure. I honestly wasn’t sure, I dint have the faith and belief immediately. The language, the world, I was still finding my feet, I had just done Ishaqzaade and was shooting for 2 States and Gunday in all that this was a clutter breaking possibility for me, but I was still tentative. The faith and conviction he had in me pulling it off, gave me that encouragement. I am glad I did it. Because I realized language should not be a barrier to perform. Acting can go beyond. I worked hard, spend time with him, we had conversations about the character, went back and forth. My excitement stems from the fact that he saw me as ‘Parma’ and he knew me as me and he could imagine me doing Savio.
In one of your interview you talked about the similarities you share with Savio what are the differences?
The similarities I realized only after watching the film in a retrospect. Sometimes you read a script, you relate, I dint really relate to Savio to that extent, but when I look back at the film I think Homi has used facets of me so there is no more dimension added to the character. Subconsciously I think that happened. The sarcasm, the deadpan humor, and the inability to express sometimes, I am like that personally. I realized this while watching the film that I must be looking like this when I want to say stuff and I don’t say it. The sense of vulnerability comes through Savio is primarily because I am vulnerable by nature, I am sensitive, you get a sense of that. Where the differences are concerned I found so many, obviously they merge. The problem is how I see it, you will not see the same way because that’s my performance, that’s my character. So it will be nice to people tell me that as these are very subjective things. Definitely I can’t be rude to women, in all my films I end up being rude and obnoxious which I am not by nature. That’s a big difference. I am better than Savio at expressing myself in terms of articulating and talking. Savio doesn’t have that ability. He doesn’t know when to say the right things, when to stop. He always does things in wrong and harsh way. He is very rough around the edges in that sense. I am a little more polished, or would like to believe. He has a loserish attitude towards life that I definitely don’t relate to, I don’t like anybody who has that attitude towards life. He finds enough reasons to blame everything else, but himself and he don’t know how to pick up the pieces. In my life experiences, whatever life has dealt me, I have handled it my way. My experiences have become my strength. I think the difference between me and Savio is that his experiences have made him weak; my experiences have made me strong.
Did you think too much before being a part of an ensemble cast?
Initially when Homi came to me only Deepika was onboard. He told me Naseer sir is very keen and he is going to figure that out. I was obviously excited to do an ensemble film. I would like to believe I am one of the actors, and our generation is such that we get excited to work with fellow actors, I did Aurangzeb for that reason, I did Gunday for that reason, I like working in those kinds of situations and circumstances where very selfishly I will become better working with these actors. Same way I was excited to do Finding Fanny because the story deserves to be told. An ensemble setup like the one number of audiences. I think, today the excitement of the film not only stems from Deepika and me but also from the fact that there are these three absolute stalwarts of acting, they add a certain value in a film which you can’t undermine. I would like to do all kinds of film, I will never ever limit myself as an actor, because where do you get to live so vicarious doing Bala in the seventies, Krrish in IIM and Savio Da Gama in Pakoli. In one year I did all these three films.
What have you taken away from this film?
For me doing this film is a very personal experience. I know, these are big words but it was very therapeutic at that point, a cut away from doing a Box- Office bonaza, commercial stuff. I have just finished Gunday and 2 States and then more conventional both the films. I had done Ishaqzaade in one schedule and I found that very nice when I did this film what I really enjoyed was the cut away and live in this vacumn and become Savio to my best possible way. Homi called me a week early, I became a part of the world rather than pretending or trying to fit in, just became Savio Da Gama subconsciously. There was a sense of calm for me, which at a personal level at all this life, in this profession you don’t get it all the time. I got to go away without actually going away. So I will always hold that experience. I hope Finding Fanny surpasses all our expectations and we all encourage it but that depends on how good the film is.
Was it your conscious decision to be experimental right from the initial stage of your career to or it just happened?
No, I just went on impulse and signed films. I signed Ishaqzaade more like Ishaqzaade choose me, I have said this very often I went and told Aditya that Habib Faisal doesn’t want me, he wants an animal in the film, I am not this animal, I don’t think I am capable of doing it then, but I worked hard for it and I enjoyed doing it then. This is what acting is eventually that you can play someone you are not and really enjoy it. I loved playing Parma, I can still Parma, I still enjoy being Parma, and so it stayed with me. I have not planned it, it’s happened. I signed ”Aurangzeb” before Ishaqzaade released because I loved the story. I though it’s an untold take on double role, a realistic take. Gunday who is going to say no 2 States happened because I loved the character, it was something I related to, and Savio came my way I was not sure how to play it so I did it. My choices have been personal, they have not been planned of they have not been to execute the certain experiment or I want to be different. I have just gone with the flow. And I have been very fortunate gone with the flow. And I have been very fortunate.
Talking about getting into the skin of the characters you have portrayed till date, what kind of effort you put in or is it innate?
Each film is different, each character is different, for Ishaqzaade I never lived that world, I dint know what a small town was till I went with Habib to Lucknow, spent time, Habib told me once, you could act only if you step out of Juhu and Bandra, and he was very right about it, he was. Because I was a reference actor, I loved acting, so I was keen to learn, I had understand what I have by watching cinema nothing more, my life dint have that kind of open experience till that point. So I had to work bit harder for that. Aurangzeb was a double role so I had to find two different characters and then merge them into one at one point in the skin because I had to find two voices, one spoke fast, one was big in his movements, one was physically more stoic, Gunday was just me enjoying myself, improving on set because that was just inherently a material written to be enjoyed, referred and to be performed in front of the camera, it was a very front footed commercial, the texture was as a tribute in that retro world, so one don’t have to get into the skin of the character, that world allows you. Every film is different, every journey is different, every actor has their own process and there is no fixed rule.
Are you planning to get into direction, if not now then few years from now?
Of course I have always aspired and wanted to be a director, that’s how I started out working. Also, I like to be on set so I can learn and absorb more.
Sonam’s film is releasing a week after ”Finding Fanny”
I am excited for Sonam because honestly, it’s a very refreshing change to see her having fun in the film and being herself, enjoying herself.
Did you get any inputs from Sonam after she saw the film?
We did not have much time to chat. She saw Finding Fanny and the other day we could not even talk after, as she had to travel for promotions of Khoobsurat
What is the progress of ”Tevar”?
We have finished shooting, Tevar is out on 9th January and we will be promoting it in December.
Are you a part of the remake of ”Ram Lakhan”?
I am a producer’s son, I always appreciate actors don’t do this, a producer should announce the film, a director should speak about the film and their casting and actor’s job is to come and act. He should not be proclaiming what he is doing what he is not doing unless the producer and director spoken about it.