By Rachana Sheth, Glamsham Editorial
The big star of small screen Ram Kapoor is now emerging as Bollywood's hot favourite courtesy his strong presence and soaring popularity in Television industry and being part of topnotch film projects. After working in films like KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK, AGENT VINOD, STUDENT OF THE YEAR, MAI, etc Ram Kapoor feels the line between TV and films is slowly waning now. Bollywood has now started realizing the importance and power of TV medium.
Recently we caught up with the very versatile and progressive thinker, Ram Kapoor, who is currently gearing up for his yet another biggie MERE DAD KI MARUTI, produced by Aditya Chopra under YRF banner. Here are the excerpts:
What kind of film is MERE DAD KI MARUTI and what you liked about it?
Incidentally, my first car was Maruti 800 and I stole it from my dad 25 years ago. Whenever my father used to get a car I used to steal it. Maine do gaadiyo ko thok bhi diya aur ghar aaya maafi mangta hua...So, somewhere this film is also very relatable. MERE DAD KI MARUTI is about every Indian family. Even I have had similar experience and this is what I liked the most about the script. And I know even the audience would feel the connect with it.
We hear the title of MERE DAD KI MARUTI was your idea?
Yes I suggested the title of the film. We were all going back and forth discussing it but did not arrive on a particular title. Then I came up with the idea if Maruti has such strong presence in the story why not name it as MERE DAD KI MARUTI with a little Punjabi twang as I play a Punjabi father in the film. The idea was liked and the film was named as MERE DAD KI MARUTI.
The songs have become a rage, especially, Punjabiyan Di Battery and for the first time we witnessed your dancing skills. Tell us how difficult or easy it was?
It was not difficult but it was challenging and interesting. I am very happy that everyone's loving it. I don't know what I did in that song but I know one thing that I did lots of mischief, I had a blast shooting for that song...DIl kholke naccha, gaaya, belly shake, bum shake, somersaults and what not I have done in the song.
Being an established figure in TV, it's quite easy getting work in films?
This is a very difficult question as many people believe that those who are established in TV industry don't get work in films, which is true to an extent. While there are many others who are getting good work in films also. But my philosophy is whatever work one gets whether in films or TV or theatre it should be commendable enough because good work is noticed immediately and one can progress fast.
Since you are at the peak now, having dabbled in both TV and films, do you fear of your current position?
I am definitely not satisfied but yes I am at a happy stage because I have achieved a lot in TV and doing interesting stuff in films too. But I know I still have a long way to go and strive hard to achieve a stature in films what I have achieved in TV. I am not the kind of person who gets scared; I don't plan too much for future. I like to concentrate on what I have in hand.
Which medium appeals to you the most -TV or films and given a chance which would you opt for?
For you it must be different but for me it's one and the same. I took a decision of becoming an actor. I never limited myself to being a TV or film actor and I will try that till the end of my life. Having said that, the day I stop getting good films I will only concentrate on TV. I am getting interesting work in films so I am doing it. I have not set any priority or preference for anything.
After Amitabh Bachchan, lot of filmwalas turned to small screen. How do you see this change?
Big B's case is exemplary. Television has grown by leaps and bounds. It is like a powerhouse medium now and trust me this is just the beginning. I had said earlier also and continue to say that eventually 10-15 years from now Indian TV is going to be like American Television. It is the fastest growing industry even people like Amitabh Bachchan or film producers or actors have realized that how big Television is and how wide its reach is. This is why the gap between the two industries is getting lesser like in America. There was a time when TV was used as a stepping stone. Today that is not the case. The kind of media coverage TV stars get, all the hype hoopla they enjoy where was all that 10 years back? Today TV is altogether a different ballgame. The budgets and monies involved, media coverage everything has gone to a different level, something which Bollywood is also noticing that now we cannot disregard TV anymore. It's huge medium and they have realized that it is still growing... The line of difference is becoming smaller, which is why, I think if you are really good and reach a certain level in TV like a Ronit Roy or me...somewhere even Bollywood producers and filmmakers have realized that these guys have a connect to the masses. Let's consider them. However, back then lot of people had told me that tu itna TV karega toh filmo mai kaise jaayega but I chose to never think like that. I always told just do good work and your time will come. And today I am working with best of Bollywood and biggest names like Karan Johar, Saif Ali Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Aditya Chopra.
Doesn't it get tedious working on both the mediums simultaneously?
Thankfully I have such great manager who handles all my dates and schedules in a way that I am not stressed...Both TV and films are equally difficult and easy to handle. I love my work so much that nothing is difficult for me. But yes, the approach of both the mediums is different. While working in Television one has to be on toes all the time and have to be pretty fast and efficient as you don't have much time to discuss things. So when I come on TV sets the environment is tedious, however films are more relaxing as there are lot of discussions, planning and creative process involved. Both the platforms are equally challenging.
But talking about your films you have mostly played character actor (father) roles from UDAAN to MERE DAD KI MARUTI to SOTY to LUV U...MR KALAKAAR...
Firstly, my goal was never to become a conventional Bollywood hero. Secondly, even if I am doing character actor roles like Boman Irani what's the harm in that? I mean I am working with best of Bollywood and that is what matters at the end of the day. Moreover in UDAAN I played a chacha and not a father. In 2013 I have five films coming up and I am playing father only in one of the films i.e. MERE DAD KI MARUTI. I did not play father in MAI, I am not playing a father in LAXMI or Mira Nair's next or SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS or SANTA BANTA.
Somewhere your 'shrewd businessman' image on TV is getting typecast in films as well?
....Because in TV we enact a particular character for so long that a specific image gets formed. But when you see my films I have played a mean father in SOTY, whereas in MERE DAD KI MARUTI I am essaying the role of a funny father, in another film I am playing a lawyer who has nervous breakdown, while in other I am playing the main villain, etc. So films do have something different every time to offer. I am not getting stereotyped.
What would you term as your turning point in career?
TV show 'Kasam Seh' was a turning point in my career.. Prior to 'Kasam Seh' I had work for 7 years but I was just another known face and nothing more than that. My character in 'Kasam Seh' fetch me stardom in TV. Uske baad projects ke saath saath mera size bhi bada ho gaya...
The trend in TV also has changed to a great extent. Audience have become more choosy and get easily put off if the content doesn't appeal to them?
Thank God! Audience is becoming cleverer and secondly there has been surge in number of channels. I am really happy. Television needs to diversify, needs variety and better content all the time for it to continue growing. As TV has grown so much and become so cut-throat.
Your kissing scene in popular TV show 'Bade Acchein Lagte Hain' created enough noise?
As an actor I have done my job to portray a character as real as possible. I am a method actor. The minute it was presented to me I was okay with it because this is a very mature show and not a teeny bopper love story. And I have tried to handle every scene of 'Bade Acchein Lagte Hain' with as much realism. You tell me if a person gets married at the age of 40 and first time consummating his marriage would he not kiss his wife?
If I am convinced I don't think I should have qualm doing it. Tomorrow if I'm asked to do a striptease I would say eff-o. If it is justified then it's fine and vice versa.
There were reports that you will quit 'Bade Acchein Lagte Hain'?
Never believe what you read. I will never quit Bade Acchein Lagte Hain.
Would you ever consider losing weight, as is the norm, for any of your projects whether TV or films
Yes I will lose someday but not for my career. It may be out of my health reasons. In the industry I am accepted like that. Mr. Amjad Khan, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar were accepted the way they were. Today, I am lucky enough to be accepted this way and the biggest of Bollywood producers are signing me up as they like my physicality and personality. But I would like to say to my fans that it's not good and one should be well-maintained.