Son of Bollywood veteran Jeetendra and brother to soap opera Queen Ekta Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor has definitely come a long way in Bollywood by working in movies with genres ranging from action, romantic, comedy and adult comedy. In an interview with Nation Next, Tusshar Kapoor spoke about his film Kyaa Cool Hain Hum 3, his sister Ekta Kapoor, and the Censor Board in India.
Today, as compared to the past, actors are more conscious about their image. Were you at any point reluctant to take up the role you took in ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum 3′?
Never! I’m a ‘film-child’ and I have grown up watching movies so I know what the audience likes. And eventually, that’s what matters the most. We have to worship the audience like God. The movies that they like are the ones which become successful and are remembered too. Sholay, Mughal-E-Azam, Jai Santoshi Maa, PK, Andaz Apna Apna, David Dhavan’s movies, etc, are great classics and they all are entertainers. I don’t think my image is going to be affected by doing movies like Kyaa Kool Hai Hum at all. I think an actor is judged by the audience for his performance and not the genre of the film. If I don’t succeed in quality acting in my movie, then it’s a failure for me.
You once said that Ekta is scared of you contrary to the popular belief that she is a tough taskmaster and not somebody to mince words. How was it working with her as she played the role of producer for Kya Kool Hain Hum 3?
Ekta has always been someone who calls a spade a spade. She has matured a lot as a producer as compared to her early 20’s when she had become extremely successful. Now, she doesn’t come on sets because she’s more involved in the pre-production and marketing. She has enough on her plate, so she has people in place for everything. She doesn’t get hyper about everything now. In those days (early 2000’s) when there were around 10 daily soaps of hers on air, there was a lot of pressure on her and she would lose her cool frequently. But the next day, she would always apologise to the person she had hurt. It’s still not excusable but I think she was a child then who’s grown up now. As an actor, when you come on set, everything’s professional. The same fear, the jittery feeling, the dialogues, the tension, etc, is always there. I think now I have come to a stage where the comfort level is same with every film.
There have been a lot of disparities in the way the Censor Board has been functioning off late. While they allow words like ‘bastard’, they are chopping off words like ‘saala’. What’s your take on the same?
I really don’t want to comment on this because the people in the Censor Board are working as per certain guidelines. Each person has to report to somebody who in turn has to report to another. They are all doing what they have been told to do. I think the entire system has to change and there has to be some research. It’s good that now they have intelligent and renowned people like Shyam Benegal and others who are working out a new strategy and restructuring the entire system. I respect the Censor Board as they do their job in spite of the entire hullabaloo.
Indians don’t mind watching western adult comedy movies but they create a hullabaloo over Bollywood adult comedy movies. Do we need a more mature audience for such films in India?
Why is sex such a taboo in India? There’s so much of skin show in movies. We need certification rather than censorship. There should be some uniformity in the way you are judged. Online viewership of adult content is pretty high. Children sit with their iPads at home and browse whatever they want and their parents don’t bother.
In two-tier cities, aspiring actors don’t have an easy access to opportunities and platform. Does Balaji Telefilms in future plan to provide any easy access to scout talent in such cities?
We had started a website called ‘www.screentest.com’ but people were not really browsing and following it at that point of time. I guess now everybody knows about the auditions and castings through Facebook, etc. We could probably have auditions in different cities but for that, it becomes a little cumbersome for the production house to manage all cities.
You are an intelligent finance graduate from the University of Michigan. How difficult is it to essay roles which are a contrast to your personality?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a ‘film-child’ so I think it’s a part of my intelligence only that I understand what works. I feel in this industry, people who cater to the masses and commercial audiences are the ones who really survive. The elite audiences have their taste fluctuating every six months. I understand what works in India and it’s a part of my marketing knowledge, business and management education that I have pursued from the US. Having said that, I do different kind of films like Shootout At Wadala, Dirty Picture, Shor In The City, Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai, etc, to cater to the serious audiences. I don’t work for any sort of perception. I work for the audience.