In an earlier interview with Manju Ramanan, the Bollywood star shared that he would love to direct someday and also revealed the genre
If talent had a face, it would be Ranbir Kapoor’s. His performances over the years say it all and this talent is backed by mammoth success of his screen outings. Post-Rockstar, he was at the crossroads of superstardom and the whopping success of Barfi! and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani cast the die in his favour. Films like Tamasha, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Sanju… bear testimony to his true-blue superstardom. Everyone loves Ranbir Kapoor. Excerpts from a quick chat:
Why did you choose to name your production house Picture Shuru Productions instead of carrying forth with the RK Banner?
I wanted to establish my own identity as a producer and not be under the shadow of a banner known to make legendary cinema. I cannot tamper with that reputation. What if some films don’t do well? So, Anurag Basu and I decided to launch Picture Shuru Productions. Our first film together was Jagga Jasoos.
Is this the best time to be in the movies?
I’m getting the opportunity to work in fantastic new-age films. Anurag Basu, Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali and many directors today are making the kind of cinema we always wanted to watch. And all these directors are using me as a vessel to tell their stories. What can be a better situation? Also audiences have turned discerning. But I also believe that you are as good as the movie you do. An actor cannot stand taller than the film. I work with that simple notion and I am grateful to those who have given me the opportunity to do what I love doing and to the audiences who have supported my cinema. To put it simply, it feels like being in Disneyland.
You started out assisting Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Will we see you donning the director’s cap someday?
Yes, eventually I would like to direct a film. Writing though is not my cup of tea. I am too lazy to write a script, though I do have ideas. My grandfather wrote, produced and directed a film when he was 21. I am 30 and have just turned producer. So there have been people from my family who have achieved more than I did. But I do believe that direction is a more satisfying job. As a director you can express so many life experiences. Acting is easier than being a director or producer.
What will a Ranbir Kapoor story be like?
I want to make a war romance. An epic war story that has great war scenes. I’d love to take the war as a backdrop and weave an epic love story around it. I get these visions and imaginative spurts, but I’m too lazy to write. When I muster up courage and intelligence to do this kind of a film, I will do it. It will be a cross between Braveheart and Lord of the Ring.
As a producer what kind of cinema do you want to create?
We have talented directors making a foray in the industry. Though the studio culture has taken over Hindi cinema, there are young producers who can make a difference. It is a great experience to make a film, stand by it, market it and put it out there for audiences to see. Earlier a producer would sell everything to make a film, including mortgaging his property, selling his wife’s jewellery and being reduced to poverty for his passion for filmmaking. Today a producer invests in five different kinds of films and if one flops, the rest have a chance of making money. I have a vision about the kind of cinema I want to make and I’m excited about it.
But what about being a producer to other directors?
I would like to open a new production house with every director. Films are a director’s medium and they need to be given equal profits. It should be a shared partnership venture. I am clear about one thing – I’m not producing movies to make money. I’m producing films so that I can tell my stories with my directors.
So, after turning producer, does the actor in you view producers more kindly?
I’ve always been kind to producers. I come from a family of producers and I know what it takes to be one. I’ve been taught to not take liberties with producers when they hire you as an actor. Actors can have things for free. But I have never taken advantage of that situation because I know the other side too well. I’ve always paid for the extra things I need on my shoots – things that are not in the producer’s purview. Films are an expensive proposition and free tickets, free rides, freebies for an actor is taken for granted. I don’t do that. I foot my own bills.
Do you see yourself evolving through your films?
Yes, of course. You grow up with notions of right and wrong and you better yourself all the time. It’s like it is in relationships. You tend to evolve and grow. With each film, you evolve as a character and as a person.