I lack angst as an actor: Ranbir Kapoor on action film ‘Shamshera’

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Ranbir Kapoor

Actor Ranbir Kapoor said he is not an angry person in real life and that worked against him initially when he took up the role of a fearless warrior in his upcoming movie “Shamshera”. Kapoor has collaborated with filmmaker Karan Malhotra for the period action movie, which chronicles the story of a dacoit fighting for the cause of his tribe and independence from the British. At the film’s trailer launch event here, Kapoor said he lacks “angst” as an actor and Malhotra had to work extra hard in tapping that side of his personality.

“It was very hard for me (to do this film). Karan held my hand. One thing I lack as an actor is angst. I am not an angry person. I am a fun-loving, happy and detached guy. Karan struggled with angst and we sat together a lot. He was like, ‘how do I extract the emotion of anger from you for the character’. He started going deeper in my personal life, into my past, because he wanted to tap into that side of me,” the 39-year-old actor told reporters.

Kapoor credited Malhotra, the director of “Agneepath” (2012) and “Brothers” (2015), for forging a great creative partnership with him.

“I got a great partner in Karan. It was a very hard role and there were many days when I was, ‘I can’t do this.’ Apart from the physical stress, the mental stress of playing this part, of this high octane world, the emotions were up there. I was like talking to God and saying ‘I am working hard, please give it back to me’. I went through those days but I’m glad I did it. Without a director like Karan, I wouldn’t have been able to do this,” he added.

“Shamshera” is Kapoor’s first movie as an action hero. The actor said that earlier filmmakers would not approach him for such parts. The actor said he got bored with “my comfort zone” and the kind of movies he was doing.

“After 15 years in the industry as an actor, you have to keep challenging yourself and pushing the boundaries. No director ever really saw me in films like this. I’m really grateful that Karan Malhotra offered me a role like this because I was not getting such offers. They usually saw me as a coming of age or a romantic guy.

“So I jumped onto this offer because I knew this film has the potential to speak to a larger audience, to speak to an audience who love going to the cinemas for the movie experience,” he added.

Kapoor’s last theatrical release was 2018’s “Sanju”, a biographical drama movie on Sanjay Dutt’s life, and now he shares the screen space with the veteran in his latest film “Shamshera”.

Kapoor said Dutt was his “first idol, my hero” since childhood. “I have had a poster of him, I got to know him. He has been a family friend. Then I got to act as him and got to portray his life. Now I got him to be my nemesis. The journey has been unbelievable.

“He treats me like his son, a brother and a friend. He calls me and shouts at me when I am doing bad films… He also insisted that I should make larger-than-life movies and I believe ‘Shamshera’ is the positive step towards that,” he added.

Dutt, who plays Daroga Shudh Singh, said he was excited to collaborate with Malhotra again after “Agneepath”, in which he played the iconic villain Kancha Cheena.

“Karan creates ‘ajeeb’ (strange) villains and he gives me such good villain parts. The character is a dangerous and cunning man… It is fun to play these characters. I am so happy to work with Karan. He has certain things in his mind, he loves making high octane films,” he added.

Vaani Kapoor, who plays Sona in the movie, said “Shamshera” is a “cinematic experience, a larger-than-life” movie. “I have never been part of a film like this before. I am a huge fan of Karan Malhotra’s previous film “Agneepath” and I got the opportunity to work with Ranbir Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, whose work has always inspired me,” she said.

Malhotra revealed that Yash Raj Films head Aditya Chopra came with the core idea for “Shamshera”, after he penned the screenplay with his wife Ekta Malhotra. “It was my wife who suggested the title of the film. So that was the inception of this film. I believe a film like ‘Shamshera’ is the future of our cinema. For theatre going audiences, who enjoy the experience of being in a cinema hall, having popcorn and samosa and getting immersed in a new life, this film celebrates all of that. This should be the future of our cinema,” he added.

“Shamshera” is set to hit the theatres on July 22. It will be released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. 

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