Sunday, May 23, 2004

Role call
Ruchika M. Khanna

HIS inimitable style strikes you—quite like the detective he portrayed in the serial Byomkesh Bakhshi or the rejected son in Zubeida.

Rajit Kapoor, an actor par excellence, is still in search of that perfect role. "Acting is very satisfying, it gives me great joy," he says. "But I still cannot say whether I enjoy theatre more or my on-and-off affair with films. As of now I am happy doing theatre," he says as one gets up, close and personal with this actor.

Rajit was in Chandigarh to act in Pune Highway, a play by writer-director Rahul da Cunha. Getting down to filmi baatein, Rajit admits that he never got the right kind of roles in films. Despite having given high-powered performances in films like Sooraj Ka Saatwan Ghoda, Zubeida, Mammo, The Making of The Mahatma and Sardari Begum, Rajit says that his affair with Bollywood turned sour.

"I always looked for roles with substance and since I was unwilling to do the kind of roles offered to me, I lost out on films," he says. "It is only now that filmmakers have begun giving due weight to the storyline," he adds.

Dwelling on the finer nuances of acting, Rajit says that he still gets nervous before a show. "Even after so many years, there is still an adrenaline rush before I go on stage or in front of the camera," he admits candidly. But does he enjoy emoting more for the big screen or on stage? "Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I have no problem playing Preity Zinta’s father, or even her son, provided the role is meaty. May be, I’ll co-author a script for a movie I plan to produce next year. I might play a role that is intellectually and emotionally stimulating," he says.

Rajit's big screen work has basically been confined to Shyam Benegal’s films. "Though it is not a conscious decision to work with Benegal, perhaps his is the only unit which is professional and sticks to time schedules, unlike other Bollywood ventures which take months to get on the floor and years to be canned," he points out.

Is there any director whom he would love to work with? "Yes, I would love to work with Gulzar bhai, but again it will depend on the role offered to me," he says.