As Anil Kapoor completes 35 years in Hindi film industry the veteran actor says the key to his longevity is the disciplined routine he has followed throughout his career and the determination to evolve with each passing day. The actor, who started his journey in movies with the south film industry, says being an “obedient student of cinema” has helped him in staying relevant even after three decades. “I think it is a combination of choices that has worked for me like luck, directors and family. At the right time, right scripts and directors came to me and I made right choices and then my family. “At home we share a friendly equation, so I don’t have to go outside to understand what is working and what is not. There is a pool of talent, with mind of their own in the family. I am a good listener. I listen and observe everything. I am an obedient actor and an obedient student of cinema,” Kapoor told PTI in an interview.
The 61-year-old actor says he joined films because he was passionate about his craft and it was never his dream to be number one or make a lot of money. “When I sleep in the night, I only dream of doing different characters. I have never dreamt that I should be the biggest star of the country or have lot of money. This has never been my aim. I want to make people smile and cry,” he adds. Kapoor’s first acting job was at the age of 14, when he played the role of a young Shashi Kapoor in “Tu Payal Mein Geet”.
The film did not make it to the big screen, but the actor says he was not disheartened. The actor says he tried to get admission in Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) but that was not to be. “I have always been a very optimistic person. I see everything positively. I have never been disillusioned. The only time I was disillusioned and was a little down was when I failed in the Pune Institute. I cried,” he recalls. But Kapoor soon gathered himself and decided to join Roshan Taneja’s acting school.
“All kind of training is good. I think you should keep on training yourself. If I get an opportunity to do something now (I will do it). It’s my dream to keep doing courses to learn something. When I started my career, I used to keep doing workshops. I had dialect coaches for my films, who would help me improve myself,” he says. After making his acting debut with Telugu film “Vamsa Vruksham”, Kapoor starred in few more films down south, including Mani Ratnam’s “Pallavi Anu Pallavi”.
His Bollywood journey as a lead started in 1983 with “Woh Saat Din” and he became one of the most bankable stars of ’90s with films like, “Mashaal”, “Yudh”, “Meri Jung”, “Karma”, “Chameli Ki Shaadi”, “Mr India”, “Ram Lakhan” and “Laadla”. The actor says he feels fortunate that his work has managed to leave an impact on the audiences. “The journey here started with ‘Woh Saat Din’, that released in 1983 on June 23. I started getting work, was appreciated and I became successful.
As they say trade-able, sale-able commodity, there were big films, people putting money on me. “There are certain things that still connect with the audience like ‘jhakaas’ or the popular song ‘Aye Jee, Oo Jee’ or the film ‘Mr India’. It feels great that my work has left an impact on the audiences. I feel lucky and fortunate,” he says.
Even though he was having a great run at the box office with commercial potboilers, Kapoor decided to pick unconventional stories like “Parinda” and “Eeshwar”, “Virasat”, “Pukar” and “Black and White”. “All these movies have not done well commercially. Certain movies that I have done are out of the box but have not done well. But people do appreciate my work in these movies and that’s fine. “I used my stardom to do these kind of roles. I risked my stardom to help producers to sell their films.
I have constantly given my stardom, so that I can offer something new and different,” he says. Kapoor, who was recently seen in Salman Khan’s “Race 3”, says in future he wants to “learn more languages, improve his dialogue delivery and work with new directors”.