A Minute with Ranbir Kapoor

'Anjaana Anjaani' star talks about his favorite movies

MUMBAI -- A fourth generation actor from one of Bollywood's most famous families, Ranbir Kapoor has established a name for himself within three years of making his screen debut.

The 27-year-old is already being hailed as one of the most promising talents in the Hindi film industry, winning over critics and masses alike.

Kapoor, whose next release is "Anjaana Anjaani" with Priyanka Chopra, spoke about the kind of movies he enjoys and why he's turned reclusive over the last year.

Q: You were very keen that the release of your film "Anjaana Anjaani" be postponed by a week. Why is that?

A: When a film is coming, you have to create that kind of curiosity among people and for you to do that, there has to be an atmosphere of celebration to do that. The day the film was releasing was an important one for the country, the Ayodhya verdict was to come out and the mood was not really to celebrate anything but to actually see what the verdict is going to be and just leave it at that.

It was very brave of Sajid Nadiadwala to postpone the release because it is not easy for a producer to take such a step when you might be losing money on it. But it's just a film after all and the country is more important than a film.

Q: Are you worried that changing the release date so late in the day might affect the film's prospects?

A: I am not worried really. We have worked very hard on this film for the last two years and I believe that every film comes with its own destiny. If it is a good film then it will stand the test of time, people will go watch and will talk about it. There's not much you can do to change that.

Q: "Anjaana Anjaani" is a romantic film, something you seem to be getting very good at doing. Are you worried about being typecast as a romantic hero?

A: Well, I don't worry about that. My first film was, of course a romantic film, the second was a romantic comedy but I have done a "Rajneeti," which was a political thriller and a "Rocket Singh," which was about the underdog.

So it is not that my direction is consciously towards romantic films but it has always been a genre which appeals to me. It is something people want to see, it is something I want to see.

This is not a romantic comedy but a pure love story about two people who find each other when they are going through a very low phase and are about to commit suicide. I don't have a plan with regard to my films; I am just trying to go with the flow.

Q: What kind of romantic films do you like watching?

A: I like watching all kind of films, but in romantic films I like the work of my grandfather Raj Kapoor, movies like "Shri 420" or "Awaara," where the romance was so passionate but rooted in Indian values. At the same time I like the cheesy, mushy American romances too. I am open to anything as long as it engages me and keeps me hooked, I don't mind.

Q: How do you think romance has changed since the "Shri 420" in Indian movies?

A: I don't think romance will change. Yes, generations have changed but the essence of our romances remains the same. In the earlier days, if you had two characters sitting in a room, you had to show them talking, because you had to make it melodramatic. Now, you can probably show two people sitting in the same room and not talking. Having said that, there is nothing more romantic than walking in the rain, sharing an umbrella. Romance is how you see it, in the end.

Q: "Anjaana Anjaani" is being compared to "The Girl on the Bridge." Is the film inspired by the Hollywood movie?

A: I guess that is because it is a love story set in America and it does have the suicide angle to it, so people might think that way, but if you see the film you will realize that it is Siddharth's completely different take on romance. We are tying to change the form of the story. I know that in Indian cinema if you give audiences a new form they fail to accept it, but unless some one tries it, we will never know. So let's see what happens.

Q: You seem to have changed since the time you came into the industry, from being more outgoing to now very low-profile and reclusive. Why is that?

A: I guess I have just learned with time. When I came into this industry, I was so eager to be in this industry and so happy. I was more open about everything, my relationship and everything.

But I realize that over time people take advantage of you and so much is written about you that has nothing to do with your core purpose here, which to make movies.

Honestly, I don't have anything clever to say other than the movies I am making. I don't want to tell people what vegetable I had today or what time I went to the bathroom. That is one of the reasons I stay away from social networking sites like Twitter.

Q: Has that experience made you bitter?

A: It's not made me bitter, it's just made me wiser. I have matured a bit and my whole focus is on my career right now.

Q: Your parents are back on screen together. How does that make you feel?

A: Absolutely great. That's way bigger than any movie of mine. It is my parents coming back after 30 years -- my mom is acting after 30 years. To see them together on screen really warms my heart. When I was younger I didn't realize the talent they have but now I understand. My topmost right now is to make my parents happy and to give them every single happiness they gave me when I was growing up.