Shahid Kapur & Vidya Balan in Dubai
Kismat Konnection's charming Shahid Kapur and Vivacious Vidya Balan chatted to Amelia J. naidoo about their new hit.
Fast rising Bollywood stars Shahid Kapur, Vidya Balan and renowned director Aziz Mirza were recently in Dubai to promote their newly released film Kismat Konnection, a story about destiny and love with a few twists and turns along the way.
The build-up to the release has created much hype — after Kapur and Kareena Kapoor's shocking break-up, a romance is said to have blossomed between the Kismat Konnection stars. The pair, however, has remained tight lipped on the status of their relationship.
The film is also the director's first after a five-year absence from the film industry after the death of his wife in 2003.
Do you believe in destiny?
I'm a complete believer in destiny. Life brings you up to a certain point and then what you make of it is up to you. So it's a combination of both. I pray a lot. I suppose that is a lucky charm in a way.
Are you anything like the character you play in this film?
All of Aziz Mirza's characters are ones you can relate to. Priya could be you, me or your neighbour. Priya is impulsive — she'll scream when she's angry or cry when she's upset. She's cheerful too but will stand up for what she believes in.
Are you ready to take on more sexy roles after having played good girls so far?
(laughs) I don't have anything against sexy roles. I'd definitely like to try different kinds of roles so if there's an out and out sexy role so to speak, I'm definitely game for it.
Did you find the dance scenes challenging?
I haven't had the opportunity to dance in my films so far because I have done very emotional high-strung roles. Shahid Kapur danced a lot and it's very inspiring watching him. I'm not claiming to be anywhere close to him.
We hear that a very close friendship has bloomed between you and Shahid.
We've definitely supported each other and there is a professional rapport. There is a nice give and take and when that exists between two actors it brings out the best in everyone. You have to get along with your co-actor and director.
You are known to be quite a prankster. What did you get up to on the set of this film?
I like having a good time when I'm working. I'm a people's person — if it means pulling people out of their shells, I'm always game. I've been doing that since I was in school.
You must be exhausted from promoting this film.
Actually I'm quite excited despite having flight delays. Before a film releases you're in that state of mind where you feel nothing is enough. You feel you should do more and more and more. We've been promoting for the past couple of weeks and Delhi is next.
Are you like the character you play?
I think there's phase where everybody goes through what this character does. This guy's a struggling architect and nothing is working out for him. I remember going through 50 to 60 auditions and getting rejected before I became an actor. I've travelled in trains, in rickshaws, in buses and I've had times where I've had to decide whether I travel by rickshaw today or eat something nice.
Has your father (actor Pankaj Kapur) supported you during your career?
I was 22 when I signed up for my first film and that's very young for Bollywood where most actors take off at around 27. My parents were taken by surprise. My father told me not to become an actor just because he is one. The advice he gave me was that if I was going to act then I should do it to the best of my ability.
Do you think you are at the pinnacle of your career?
I think I've just started. I've been fortunate to achieve what I have today. I would like to work for the next 20 years.
Dancing seems to come very naturally to you. How hard do you train?
I've always loved dancing. I think to some extent you have to be born with a sense of rhythm but eventually it takes training to make it look good. I got training for four years.
So who is he connected with?
Is it Shahid-Sania or Shahid-Vidya? Shahid Kapur has learned that it is better keep his personal life just that — private. But according to reports, Kapur and tennis star Sania Mirza are getting closer. The two are spending a lot of quality time together.
Mirza and Kapur decided not to bother about gossip-mongers, and spent nearly eight hours on the set of director Vishal Bharadwaj's Kaminay.
Reports say that Kapur and Mirza were almost inseparable. What was surprising was that they were very open about their relationship. Their body language said it all. When Kapur was not facing the camera, he spent all his time with Mirza.
The rumours about Kapur and Mirza's relationship have been doing the rounds for a long time, and these rumours gained momentum when the two were seen together at a Bangalore hotel last year. After that, they have been spotted at many food joints and restaurants, engrossed in each other's company.
Director's cut: Aziz Mirza
What have you been up to since your last film in 2003?
After the release of the film Chalte Chalte in 2003, I lost my wife. I was in great turmoil. Then I started working on scripts, which takes time. And I have the tendency to reject scripts. I may have worked for months on a script but if I'm not happy, I'll reject it and work on something else.
What were the highlights of making Kismat Konnection?
Directing is an attitude. Everytime I work it's a high. I have always worked with Shah Rukh Khan, but this film required a younger boy. And Shahid is a fine actor, which is why I decided to go ahead with the film with him and Vidya. It's a pleasure working with actors who respond.
Do you believe in kismat?
If you're young and if you believe in destiny, you're stupid. And at my age if I don't believe in destiny then I think that I'm stupid. The effort we put in should never stop, but luck does play a part in all our lives. When you are young there's a certain energy which is essential. But I still believe that there are certain forces we don't have control over.
You also love working with Juhi Chawla. Why is that?
Juhi and I go back a long time. She's been in practically all my films. She's a fine actress and her sense of comedy is brilliant. But besides that, she's a lovely person and that's very important. I'd love to work with Juhi all my life.
Kismat Konnection is also director Aziz Mirza's first after a five year absence from the film industry. It is a story about Raj Malhotra (Shahid Kapur), a newly graduated Canada-based architect who is struggling to make his mark in the industry. In spite of his successes during his school and college days, he is unable to do so at work. One of his friends Hasina Bano Jaan (comedy veteran Juhi Chawla), who has fortune telling abilities, tells him he needs a lucky charm or person who can change his life. He then meets do-gooder Priya (Vidya Balan) and his life miraculously gets back on track. Raj pretends to help her with her cause while pushing his own agenda but is wracked with guilt because he has fallen in love with her.