Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR
Kapil Sharma has become so synonymous with comedy, that it’s difficult to keep that expectation away even when you catch up with him for an interview. But there’s a lot more to him. His creative side and seriousness towards his craft can’t be unnoticed. The comedian turned host turned actor is in the middle of promoting his latest release till he finally finds some time for a quick lunch, before we settle down for this chat with him. Excerpts:
How do you feel about ‘Firangi’ as your second film after ‘Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon’?
When we were making this film, we thought it would be a very different subject. And even when we launched the trailer, people thought this was unexpected, in a good way. People said they were expecting comedy only. But in this there is comedy along with many other things. There’s romance, patriotism and lots more. We have kept the dark side away from this, and kept the story on the lighter note. I have more expectations from this film, because it just doesn’t have comedy, it has many other elements, so people will be surprised when they see the film.
Was that also a challenge – to club various elements into one?
Of course, it was a challenge and our team has worked really hard. Two years back, we had this germ, to make a film with this era. But we worked on it for one and a half years so that people enjoy many things in the film. People will remember the characters – for example, my grandmother in the film, who is so humourous. The relationship of the Britishers with the Indians, hasn’t been shown like this ever before. It’s not biased.
When your real life persona is so popular, is it difficult to break that and make people believe you are the character in a film?
People expect comedy from me, but when they saw this trailer, they were surprised. When I showed the trailer to Mr. Bachchan, he thought it was really good and different. Salman sir liked the trailer too. I realised that I can’t give people the same thing that they see on television otherwise who will come to the theatre to watch the film. So we’ve tried our best to bring something good. We’ve shot at real locations. The film is engaging. But the idea is to keep trying and do different things. For example, even before I started out as a host, I didn’t expect that I could make people laugh, without a different funny look, or without modifying my voice. But when I tried talking to people as Kapil Sharma, they started liking it more. So, the same thing happened with this film. When people will go into the theatres, they will feel it is Kapil Sharma’s film but once they see the film, they will connect to the character and forget Kapil. When I saw ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, after a point, I didn’t see Salman Khan. That’s the beauty of cinema. You get so involved into the film as an audience. People remember your off-screen persona only till they enter the theatres to see a film.
Did you have to prepare to get any traits of your character for ‘Firangi’?
I didn’t have to prepare at all, because I was involved with it, ever since it was being written. I used to sit with the writers. Also, I am also from Punjab, so I’m aware of their culture. So, it was a lot of fun.
What do you look for in a film?
The film’s story needs to touch you, and you need to be sure that as an actor you will grow with the film. So, an artist just has that hunger always to keep doing different kind of things.
“An artist just has that hunger always to keep doing different kind of things”
Two films down the line, how much have you improved as an actor?
You learn a lot. We shoot in multi-camera set-up, but with films it’s different. You might have to do a scene 20 times someday. And it’s taken from different angles. So, you get to know many different things. You also improve a lot when you do the same thing again and again. With films, you have the liberty and opportunity to do better.
Despite your popularity, talent or fan-following, is there any struggle for you as an actor?
The struggle is always there. Even if I’m doing a show. For example, if Akshay Kumar has come to my show ten times. I can’t ask him the same thing again and again. Some or the other struggle is always there. What happens with television is that, you have to take many decisions on the spot. But when it comes to a film, you go with your homework and a bound script. So, it’s just different with every medium.