'Have been waiting for 11 years to work with Vishal Bhardwaj': Arjun Kapoor on 'Kuttey'

Arjun Kapoor speaks to Shama Bhagat about his latest release 'Kuttey', the highs and lows of his career, and why he wants to feel uncomfortable on sets.

author_img Shama Bhagat Published :  15th January 2023 07:23 PM   |   Published :   |  15th January 2023 07:23 PM
Arjun Kapoor in 'Kuttey'.

Arjun Kapoor in 'Kuttey'

Your career has been slow the last two years. Although you had multiple releases such as Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, Sardar ka Grandson, Bhoot Police and Ek Villain Returns, there wasn’t much buzz around these films. What do you think went wrong?

The situation was such that we could not promote these films well, but I did all kinds of roles—comedy, action and horror. We have all been saying that actors must move ahead and do all kinds of cinema because the audience has become sensible and they want something unique to watch. My first film this year, and one of the most exciting ones of my career, Kuttey is for that kind of audience. Somewhere it’s a step in the right direction. I want to refuel and reignite myself and enjoy the profession.

After Ek Villain Returns, you are again playing an anti-hero in Kuttey. Do you fear being typecast?

I have showcased my range with films such as Gunday, Finding Fanny, Mubarakan and Panipat. It is true that I am playing the anti-hero again, but these (Kuttey and Ek Villain Returns) are two different worlds. The tonality of the two is also varied. This is Vishal (Bhardwaj) sir’s world and that was Mohit Suri’s. I have always chosen out-of-the-box movies because when I am told I can’t do certain things, I challenge myself to it. When I was told that I won’t be good in romantic roles, I did 2 States and Ki and Ka. When they said I couldn’t do action, I did Gunday. I have always wanted to break out from my comfort zone. Being commercially successful is important as we started off as mainstream actors, but
I believe that shouldn’t stop an artiste from doing films such Finding Fanny and Aurangazeb. I took
a risk when I did those films, and perhaps I am taking a chance again with Kuttey.

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How was the experience working with someone like Vishal Bhardwaj?
I have been waiting for 11 years to work with him. When I decided to become an actor, I knocked on the doors of a few directors and he was one of them. I have been obsessed with his work, be it Maqbool, Omkara or Kaminey. Now I am finally getting to work in his production. His son Aasman is directing the film. Both father and son are different, but similar at the same time. Collaborating with directors like Vishal is important because you not just get to entertain people, but also learn so much during the process. Even watching him work as a musician and a dialogue writer has so much to offer.

Your uncle Anil Kapoor had once said he approaches different directors for work. Is that something that you do as well?
I have done 19 films in 11 years. It wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t approach directors. I don’t shy away from asking for work. If you want to work with good directors, you have to tell them that you are interested. You cannot let ego or awkwardness come in the way. Recently, I told Hansal Mehta that I would love to work with him. I do the same whenever I meet Rohit Shetty.

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Considering you have done films across multiple genres, what, according to you, is your comfort zone?
I don’t really know. You will see me in Kuttey, and then you will see me in Mudassar Aziz’s comedy. I want to be the guy who can do an Anees Bazmee film and Dibakar Banerjee film with equal flair. I get bored quickly, which is why I constantly push myself to do something new. I keep the commerce in mind, but I also need to keep the artiste in me feeling the jitters when I am working on the sets. For Ajay Bahl’s upcoming romantic thriller, Lady Killer, I asked him to break me completely…
I wanted to feel uncomfortable.

You have worked with such talented directors. What have you learnt?
Everybody has contributed to my career. From directors, producers to co-actors, everybody has left an undying impression. Each of them have their own style and forte, and I have learnt so much, but you have to carve your own path and continue to be a learner, even when you are not on the sets.

You started your career in Bollywood as an assistant director for Kal Ho Naa Ho and Salaam-e-Ishq. Do you plan to direct in the future?
I became an actor so that I can direct. I have worked with so many people so that I can learn how to work behind the camera.