Shahid, one look at the Kaminey promo, and the shot you took with the white horses strikes you immediately. Was it tough to do it?
Yes, it was tough. Actually I wasn′t too convinced I would look so good, despite of me working on my body, in that shot. But Vishal was convinced. Vishal Bharadwaj is a very different kind of director if you think like that. He wants everything to be simply perfect, even if it means preparing for quite some time to get it right. And when we finally shot it, with me running apace with those stallions, it was a sense of exhilaration that I got. I am getting lots of positive feedback on that scene already, and it makes you feel good at the end of it.
Kaminey [see Photos | Videos | Songs]
In Kaminey, you play twins Guddu and Charlie, one with a stammer and the other with a lisp.
Getting both the characters right was a challenge for me too, considering I neither stammer nor lisp. I went to stammer clubs; Vishal and me took some time out to work on it. We visited speech therapists, understood how these problems happen. The part where I needed to say ‘f’ for every ‘s’well, I had to make a fool of myself quite a few times before the mirror. I practiced for a while. Every time I had to give a shot for the film, I would sit at a corner and focus on Guddu or Charlie′s specific characteristics. Only then I could get it right.
That only goes on to show that lots of hard work has gone into perfecting the stammering and lisping part?
Yes, it was hard work and it was very difficult too. It was also because I was playing both the characters. There were days, I still remember, when we were doing scenes with Guddu and the next day I was enacting the other guy that′s Charlie at the same location. So there were days when I used to be very confused that if I have to stammer or I have to lisp. Also it was too much of fun as it was the most challenging film I have done in my entire career. I always enjoy doing something new, I was scared initially but at the end of it, it was pure fun.
You also don′t dance like our usual choreographed style. You dance street style. Did you like that?
(Smiles) I have to tell you this; I am a sucker for anything that is different. In Kaminey, both the songs that involve me dancing- Dhan ta nan and Fatak- are about normal people having their normal fun. For Dhan ta nan for instance, I give all the credit to Ahmed khan, the choreographer and Vishal. They asked me to assume that I am Charlie; I am two pegs down and then just let go. The song has turned out well. For Fatak, I had to play the part of a sex educator. Someone who goes to red light areas to spread the concept of safe sex, so the dance once again had to be typical to Mumbai. At the same time, they couldn′t look too coordinated. I enjoyed shooting for that song too; it gave me scope to do what I wanted. So the songs would remain special to me.
Your chemistry with Priyanka Chopra is evident, and looks like Guddu is the passive partner.
Yeah he is the poor bullied sort in the film. He is totally henpecked! Sweety is this no nonsense, go getter, Marathi girl who kind of takes all the decisions in the relationship and he then has to suffer whatever comes his way. Shooting with Priyanka for the film was definitely great. With her and me both having about 4 to 5 years experience, we stand at almost the same levels in our careers. So when it came to discussing a shot, or working on a scene, we took equal interest, and improvised. Also with a director like Vishal, it′s not tough to get a shot right. For Vishal every character is clearly marked out, and has its own space. Priyanka in fact, would just never be satisfied with her take. She would keep insisting on doing it again and again.
Can we call Kaminey a crime caper? A lot like Ek Chalis ki Last Local?
I think you are assuming too much when you say it′s like Ek Chalis Ki Last Local. Kaminey is a caper all right, but it′s much more than just that. It′s got a interesting love story at its heart. It has got many characters, each with his own story and sub story. Their lives intertwine at some point and that′s the fun. Besides, it′s got the age-old Bollywood formula of twin brothers. So we had to add interesting quirks to the two central characters. Kaminey can′t be limited as one genre. You have to watch it. It′s basically a total entertainer, only with a different treatment.
What is the one scene that′s your favorite from Kaminey?
It′s the climax. I love it. It′s got neither sound nor dialogue. It′s also the moment when the two brothers come face to face and confront their situation.
Dil Bole Haddipa! follows Kaminey. How has that film shaped out?
Dil Bole Haddipa! is another full blown, Punjab based, colorful entertainer. It′s got songs, dances, cricket, and I have a character of an inspired sports coach. I have enjoyed working on it, as it brings back the Mauja Mauja kind of color for my fans. Besides I work with Yashraj, which is great and I work with Rani, who is a complete actor. She is a totally committed performer and dancer, plus a positive person to have around you. I am looking forward to its release.
Shahid Kapoor [See more Photos on gallery]
You are almost always linked to your female leads. Be it Priyanka or Anushka Sharma. How do you deal with it?
I think I have just stopped to react, or even recognize that I am being linked with them. Perhaps because I have had a very public break up in the past, people talk about me so often. And keep speculating. As of now, I am single, and I am perfectly ok with it. I have made a decision not to explain the status of my personal life to anyone.
Are you upset with the A certificate for Kaminey?
I am surprised, considering Ghajini, which had a fair amount of violence, didn′t get it. Why pick Kaminey?
Are you working on your father Pankaj Kapoor′s film?
Oh yes, I am, we start shooting the moment we set dates. It′s a love story, but that′s all I can say about it right now. I am lucky to have dad offer me this role, and I plan to give it my best.
Also Dhan ta nan has taken the whole nation by storm, how do you feel about this song?
Well, Vishal is a very understated guy and when I met him, he told me to hear a song that he had made for the film. He asked me to comment on the song after listening to it. Let me be very honest here that I am very picky about my music, whether I like a particular music or not, I am very straightforward about it. But when I heard the song, I just loved it. I was really surprised that every Hindi commercial masala film has this tune and no has ever used it and here is Vishal who has actually used it for his film. It was at the same time I realized that we were also making the first real pulp film in India. Pulp as a genre is very popular in Hollywood and directors like Scorcese, Tarantino, and Guy Ritchie have mastered it. It is a very challenging genre as it does not moves away from reality yet it is very stylized. It′s like mixing Satya and Dhoom together. It′s actually a very catchy word and whenever you are anticipating something, this very tune is the signature.
Lastly, are you confident removing your shirt on screen?
Yes, actually I am. I can confidently remove my shirt today but may be two years back I was not so comfortable. For Ken Ghosh′s film, I have worked hard on my body for almost a year. As far as Kaminey is concerned, I did not want to make a perfect body. I did not really focus on eight or six packs or whatever. The thing that was essential for the script was a raw body - a body that belongs to someone on the street. The character is not someone who is a Greek God or that kind of character. He is a very real guy who would be hard and strong but not perfect and that was the agenda for this role.
Thanks a lot.