Ranbir Kapoor seems to be everyone’s favourite actor. But the Kapoor scion wants to be known as a good human being, rather than a star. In an intimate chat with Shubha Shetty-Saha, he talks about his aversion to social media, his choc-o-bloc itinerary and being married to his work.
Q. You have turned businessman after collaborating with Saavn, a digital music company…
A. Yes, I am very excited as I have become a creative collaborator with them and I can call myself a small investor in the firm. They were in the USA earlier and now they are launching it in India.
Q. Talking about music, which is your favourite genre?
A. Old Hindi film songs. As an actor I often use music to evoke a certain kind of feeling in me. Music, to me, is life. I have been lucky to have worked with people such as AR Rahman and Pritam. I am a big fan of Arijit Singh and Mohit Chauhan. They are the ones who do all the hard work and we actors end up getting all the credit.
Q. Why do you have this love-hate relationship with the media? You are not exactly approachable, since you haven’t even hired a publicist.
A. I love the media. A lot of stardom that I have today is thanks to the media, which put me on a pedestal. It’s the media that encouraged me in my initial days and they have been very kind to me. But since I don’t have a publicist and I am not on social networking websites, it is easy to misconstrue whatever is just hearsay, and write about that. It used to be very annoying, but then I started thinking that it is better to create an aura of mystery around me. Let my films do the talking. I am an introvert and I find it very hard to attend press conferences where everyone seems to be more interested in who I am, than what I am doing. But that’s okay. I realise that more people are interested in your personal life once you become popular. It is good for you as an actor. Some reports still bother me as once they are out, people believe it and judge my character. I feel bad about it, but I hope my work will override everything.
Q. Isn’t there a danger of being misunderstood if you keep to yourself in spite of being a public figure?
A. I have a long time to make myself understood. I am not here for a short span. I am in it for the long run. I think this is the only way to be. Over the years, I have managed to create this air of mystery around me. I have also realised that the competition around is so stiff that I just need to put my head down and concentrate on my work. I can’t let anything bog me down. Yes, I do get rattled when my parents are involved in the loose talk that people indulge in. I feel bad — if you don’t know me, how can you judge me? But that’s not really so sad. I am not a cry baby. As I said, I am grateful for the things I have today.
Q. Why are you so averse to social media?
A. I feel that if you have a voice and you express something, you are often misunderstood. If you post a picture or comment, it is exaggerated 10 times over and I don’t want to get into that confusion. I would rather connect with my fans through my films.
Q. Don’t you think this can work against you, being a star?
A. You know, before I started working, my mother used to be worried about how I will be able to cope, considering my shy nature. I know as a star, you have to be out there. But I get to channelise and express myself through the characters I play. I prefer to keep my personal life under wraps. Once the camera is switched on, I find a purpose to express myself. I like the way I am.
Q. What else works in your favour as an actor?
A. You can’t always depend on being at the right place at the right time. Your vision about the world helps. It all depends on who you want to be and how unabashedly you want to entertain the audience. And yes, being a good human being. It is very important to be true to your work and be right in your intentions. I am not saying I am the greatest person around. I have my flaws, but I am trying to be the best human being out there.
Q. Is it true that you will star in a biopic on Sanjay Dutt, which will be directed by Raj Kumar Hirani?
A. It would be fascinating to work with Mr Hirani, but there is no offer as yet. Moreover, Sanjay Dutt’s life would be interesting to play. He has had the most engaging, traumatic, heart-breaking, ballsy life.
Q. And the Kishore Kumar biopic?
A. We are working towards it. We planned this even before Barfi. But we are waiting for permissions from certain families to come through. Hopefully we will get it soon.
Q. But do you really have dates to spare? Your itinerary seems choc-o-bloc.
A. I am not as busy as it seems. I have not had a release since Besharam, which was last October. I sit at home most of the time and I travel as much as I can. When I had just started, people would approach me with interesting scripts. But now people think that I only work with friends, which is not true. I am looking to work with new people, new minds. I hope through this interview people will know that if they have an interesting script, I would love to read them.
Q. You had recently mentioned that you would like to make a short film on your grandfather, Raj Kapoor.
A. Yes, I did say that his life would make an interesting biopic, but now I think he would need more than a short film. In fact, I think if I had to do a short film, I would want to do it on the three Khans. Get them to sit together and record their conversation for eight minutes. That would be something.
Q. You recently bought a new property. Are you planning to move in with Katrina (Kaif)?
A. I am happy living with my parents. I have enough space for myselfand I also get enough privacy. But the house is under redevelopment and I am moving out for a short time till the house is ready. I don’t think I would want to talk about who I will move in with. Yes, I want to get married and start a family soon, but now I am married to my work.