‘Box Office matters more than awards, says three time National Award-winning actor Rajat Kapoor : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

‘Box Office matters more than awards, says three time National Award-winning actor Rajat Kapoor

‘Box Office matters more than awards, says three time National Award-winning actor Rajat Kapoor


Nonika Singh

As an actor he rarely falters. Rajat Kapoor, the three-time National Award winning director and actor, has wowed us more than once. So, it comes as no surprise as he delivers another noteworthy performance in Lootere, streaming on Disney+Hotstar. Yet, in his vast filmography which includes movies like Drishyam, Mulk, Kapoor & Sons, Dil Chahta Hai and Bheja Fry, he considers the part of the captain of the ship in Lootere as an exception.

Seen in nearly 50 films, a meaty role that allows him to ‘truly sink his teeth and get the juice out of it’ is not an everyday norm. He is not a fan of pirate dramas for, “There is hardly any such genre and only few films internationally fall in this category.” He thinks Lootere is essentially a gangster thriller. As the series has received much appreciation, he lauds its young director Jay Mehta. He can’t say whether Jay, son of celebrated director Hansal Mehta, is his father’s son but pats him on the back not just for his technical brilliance but passion and perseverance.

A filmmaker himself, however, the director in Rajat takes a backseat when the directorial reins are in others’ hands. He avers, “It doesn’t matter whether the director is young or old, first-timer or veteran, I am a very submissive actor. Even though I might offer a suggestion or two, ultimately I do become part of the larger goal of director’s vision.”

While the world might be going gaga over how OTT has transformed the landscape of entertainment, he is not sure whether streamers have in anyway changed audiences’ tastes in India. “Sure, people are watching documentaries. But that number is still small. Anyway, there were always people who were into different kind of cinema.”

Take him, with a film-buff father, at the age of 16, he was part of a film society in Delhi. Introduction to world cinema, the likes of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Ingmar Bergman, had already happened when he entered the Film Training Institute of India, Pune.

However, acting was never by conscious design. While his nuanced role of an abusive uncle in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding (2001) would be forever etched on our minds, at that point he was not looking at a career in acting. Today, he might agree that OTT has done wonders for actors, but on a platform where a star is born every other day, he is not looking for that one part which will define him. “I don’t think there is one such role which will prove your mettle. Ultimately you want to be remembered for your entire body of work,” he says.

And his impressive oeuvre includes much-lauded directorial endeavours like Ankhon Dekhi. He specialised in film direction at his alma mater and remembers how much the guidance of stalwarts Mani Kaul and Kumar Shahani enriched him. With three National Awards under his belt, he is honest enough to admit that beyond honours and laurels, ‘box office matters more’. But he also insists, “Ultimately one works neither for awards nor for money, but whether one has done something that will outlive you.”

His drive to achieve that goal reflects in his film Everybody Loves Sohrab Handa, which was screened at MAMI Film Festival. For the actor in him, besides Amazon series Khauf, there is the next season of Tanaav, which he promises would be ‘better than the first’. On unflattering comparisons with the original Fauda, which was a rage in India, he would not comment simply for he has not seen the Israeli series.

Actually, OTT where the space for Indie cinema is dwindling does not figure in his viewing experience; at least web dramas don’t. But he would want viewers to catch up with Lootere, which among other things he says is ‘fun’. His reflections on life and his journey may not come across as fun or funny, but candid, calm and collected he sure is.


Top News

Watershed moment: CJI hails new criminal laws

'Watershed moment': CJI Chandrachud hails new criminal laws

But cautions on need for robust court infrastructure

Repoll ordered at 11 Manipur booths after ‘rigging’

Lok Sabha election 2024: Repoll ordered at 11 Manipur booths after ‘rigging’

Incidents of firing, intimidation, destruction of EVMs at so...

9 returning from wedding ceremony killed as car, truck collide head-on in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar

9 returning from wedding ceremony killed as car, truck collide head-on in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar

The mishap occurred near Eklera village when deceased were r...

ED arrests retired Chhattisgarh IAS officer Anil Tuteja in liquor ‘scam’ case

ED arrests retired Chhattisgarh IAS officer Anil Tuteja in liquor ‘scam’ case

The federal agency had detained 2003 batch officer Tuteja in...

College girl attacked with sharp weapon, critical

College girl attacked with sharp weapon in Himachal Pradesh's Palampur, critical

Passengers and passers-by overpower the attacker, hand him o...


Cities

View All