Ranbir Kapoor Q&A
What prompted you to sign Besharam?
It was several things that made me sign for Besharam. I am a big fan of director Abhinav Kashyap’s work. Abhinav knows how to tell a simple yet very interesting story. This film has it all; it has romance, action and comedy. It tells a simple yet effective story. I was also drawn to my character. It is a very different type of character to play and it allowed me to express myself in a new and creative way.
Were there any particularly special moments whilst making the film?
The entire film was a blast to work on. My character ‘Babli’ has very few hang-ups and inhibitions, he more or less does as he wants and so this was fun to portray. Also, I had fun working with my co-stars and my parents.
What was it like working with your parents for the first time?
It was fantastic working with my parents. I am a great admirer of my father and I’m in awe of my mother. They are both such professionals and great actors. They never once dictated to me during the shooting of this film, in fact I gave them suggestions on how I thought their characters should be portrayed. We had a lot of fun working together and it helped me to overcome a lot of inhibitions.
Do you feel pressure to have the same success as your famous parents?
Overall, I don’t feel that it has been a hindrance to come from a famous family. I have been exposed to cinema from a very young age and I absolutely love watching my family’s films. I wouldn’t say I have pressure on me to succeed, but it has been a bit of a struggle at times because of who my parents are. There is a ‘celebrity kid’ label attached to me that I have had to overcome to prove myself as an actor and as an individual.
Tell us about your character in Besharam?
I play a character called ‘Babli’, who is an orphan and petty car thief. He is a guy with no inhibitions; he lives life by his own rules. Babli is a very flamboyant and loud character, but underneath it all he is a good hearted kid. His main priority is to get money to help the children in the orphanage. It was an amazing experience to play this type of role, as I could take the character to new depths and have fun with it too.
Did the film allow you to let loose and have some ‘Besharam’ moments?
Of course! There are certain things that I could get away with that I wouldn’t normally be able to. My character is really shameless and so he does some pretty weird and gross things. One example that comes to mind is that in the film my character is obsessed with playing with his chest hair all the time, this isn’t something that I’d normally do in real life!
The film has a powerful message about doing good for others. Do you support many charitable causes?
I strongly believe that charity comes from within you. You can be charitable wherever you travel to; charity comes from the heart and soul; it is found in the little things we do every day to help someone and make their life a little better. I do support some charities, but I still feel that there is much more I can do and so I intend to support more charities in the future.
In Besharam your character loves football. Are you a football fan?
I’m a big football fan! I have always loved football from childhood and used to play when I was in college. I am the Indian brand ambassador for Barcelona Football Club and I’ve been lucky enough to see them at different stadiums. In the film I insisted on my character playing football whenever possible! If I wasn’t an actor I would have been a football coach I think.
Bollywood recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. How do you think the industry has developed?
I think it is a very proud moment for the Indian film industry to celebrate such a milestone. I feel honoured to be a part of the Indian film industry. My family has been in the industry for 80 out of the 100 years and this is a wonderful achievement. I think Bollywood is now attracting global audiences in a more engaging way. There is a healthy blend between the typical ‘Masala’ film and mainstream elements. An example I would give is the film Barfi, which was India’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars.
Is there a set format for a successful Bollywood film?
There is no set format. People just want good entertainment. A Bollywood film entertains you; it is three hours of music, drama, romance, action and comedy.
Who are your role models within the Indian Film Industry?
There are so many people I admire. I look up to Amitabh Bachchan. I also think Shah Rukh Khan is a good ambassador for the industry.
Do you see yourself making the transition to mainstream/Hollywood cinema?
At the moment I am very happy doing what I’m doing. I think the Indian film industry is booming and is a great thing to be a part of. I truly enjoy my work and the roles I’ve played so far. A good film is often one that takes elements from its own culture and tradition rather than trying to just incorporate a mainstream/Western format. For example in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee took inspiration from his own culture and created a fantastic film.
Rishi Kapoor Q&A
Did you enjoy acting together as a family?
Yes very much so. We are all very busy people and do not always get time to spend together due to our separate professional schedules, so it was great to be able to spend time together on set and to work together.
How did you end up being cast for your role?
It was actually Ranbir who suggested to Abhinav that I play the role. After confirming his own commitment to the film Ranbir was discussing who could play a middle aged cop with Abhinav and he suggested me as I have rarely done it before.
The film’s trailer has received excellent comments, why do you think this is?
The trailer really captures the spirit of the film and manages to tease audiences with short clips showing the diversity of the action and comedy.
How much influence do you have over Ranbir’s choice of films?
He is an actor who has taken a less travelled route. He is choosing different films and doing films that are not the staple diet of film heroes. For that I give him credit. The choice of his films are totally his, all creative decisions are his, I have no contribution to that at all. People feel I chose his films, but it’s not so. I am just his father, not his manager.
Neetu Singh Q&A
How did it feel to act with your husband and son in a movie?
I was overwhelmed when I heard we were going as a family to act in Besharam. My acting scenes came naturally from the start, as it was easy to act and be myself in front of them.
Can you tell us some details about the film’s narrative?
A: Of course. Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) is a street smart car mechanic living in a Delhi orphanage. He is charming and lives life to the fullest. He also steals cars to support his orphanage. He has no sense of right or wrong until he unwittingly hurts the love of his life, Tara (Pallavi Sharda). Babli realises that there is no right way of doing the wrong thing. Babli sets out to fix all the wrongs in his life and he continues to be shameless about it.
Your son, Ranbir Kapoor plays a very different role to his previous films, why do you think he was interested in playing Babli in Besharam?
I think Ranbir has done a fantastic job in his previous films and has managed to win many awards for his portrayal of a traditional Bollywood hero. However, I think he was keen to stretch himself as an actor, to explore new territory and to challenge himself rather than become too comfortable. His role as Babli is a very diverse role and requires a portrayal of many different emotions on screen, I think this appealed to Ranbir as he is always keen to try something new.
Is there a scene in the film that is particularly close to your heart?
I think the performance of the title track was a lot of fun for the cast and crew and is definitely a highlight for me. Ranbir suggested that we include the director and choreographer in the sequence, and even choreographed the sequence himself. It was a lot of fun to see Abhinav Kashyap get involved in the film in front of camera for a change. I think everyone got the chance to be a little Besharam that day.
What role do you play in Besharam?
Myself and Rishi play bumbling cops on the trail of Babli, trying to deal with his shameless acts.
Abhinav Kashyap Q&A
Talking about the film’s songs, why did you pick Ranbir Kapoor to take the lead in singing?
When the concept was formulated, there were no second thoughts about Ranbir singing this song as it is almost in verse form and no other sound would have worked.
What are your Box Office predictions?
Of course I do hope the film enters the new ‘Crore club’…but this isn’t my sole motivation.
As a director could you have changed a few things in Besharam’s production?
No, this film turned out exactly as I would have wanted it too. I’ve written over 14 drafts of scripts before finalising the last piece and undergoing production
If you don’t mind me asking, why so many drafts?
I’ve worked exceptionally hard on this film. But it isn’t like I had a hardbound script. I wrote 14 drafts because every time I gave the script to a friend, to my star cast, or even to my brother Anurag, they all made suggestions towards it. All of them asked questions. I incorporated all those changes in my final draft. I believe that if a script has to deliver then it has to answer the various questions that people who hear the script ask. A good script has to flow smoothly. And since I have followed that philosophy, I’m confident that Besharam will deliver.
Is it true you will feature in your own movie?
Yes, but only as a cameo appearance, as it was Ranbir’s idea to have both me and choreographer Remo D’souza to groove on the title track with him. Not only did the young actor suggest this idea to me, he also choreographed the dance routine. We had an amazing time shooting for the song. Ranbir told me he thought that featuring me and Remo would just enhance the fun quotient of the song. And I totally agreed with him.
Pallavi Sharda Q&A
Before the TV industry, what were you doing?
I was a famous Indian dance instructor in Australia then I changed paths when I came to India.
What was your experience of working with director Abhinav Kashyap?
It was great working with Abhinav; he’s put his foot down to choose me for this role and so I wanted to do my best to impress him while we were on set.
What was the hardest element to shoot for this film?
The hardest element during the shoot of the film for me was the dancing parts of the film, as we did so many takes until Abhinav was happy with what we had. Also, I had to really get in close contact with Ranbir during our dance scene and it was really hard to keep those same emotions throughout that many takes.
Why should audiences see this film?
Audiences will want to see Ranbir’s new side, as an on-screen Besharam!