By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Ram Kapoor ,who is currently among the most sought-after actors on television, is now lunging towards the big screen.
This week he’s being seen as the legendary Asha Bhosle’s son-in-law in Mahesh Kodiyal’s feature film Mai. And according to reports Ram is unhappy with his role in Mai. Coming up next is a lead as a loud Punjabi dad in Ashima Chibber’s Mere Dad Ki Maruti.
But it’s the pairing with his wife in Shaadi Ke Side Effects with Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan, that really has Ram kicked. In this sequel to the successful Pyar Ke Side Effects, Ram gets to work with his wife Gautami Gadgil again.
Says Ram fondly, “While he is enjoying looking after our two children (daughter Sai and son Aks), she is also doing a few film with me. She did Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year where she played my wife. Now she’s again playing my wife in Saket Chowdhary’s Shaadi Ke Side Affects .She has 4-5 nice cute scenes with Vidya. I play one of the biggest problems in Farhan’s life.”
About his role in Mai Ram says, “I did my best in the given role. The rest was not up to me. But I am not unhappy with my role at all.Whatever I was given to do I did full justice to it.If I wasn’t seen promoting Mai, it’s because the film got delayed by a year. When they announced that the film was being released in February my business manager informed them that I would be unable to be present. This is the busiest time of my career.”
Apparently the makers of Mai didn’t pay heed. “They presumably didn’t take my warning seriously , hence their disappointment at my unavailability.During that time when Mai was first supposed to release and when it was finally released, so much happened to my career. My plate was suddenly full. It has become an impossible task to balance out my schedules. Whatever my feelings about my role in Mai the only reason why I wasn’t seen promoting the film is because I’m shooting for two television shows and also dubbing for Mere Dad Ki Maruti and attending workshops for Shaadi Ke Side Affects.It’s virtually here there and everywhere.’
Ram says he was unable to attend the premiere of Mai on Thursday. “I was shooting for a reality show Welcome that evening till 2 am in Madh Island. A reality show is shot in a different way from a soap. I couldn’t get away.So there is no hidden agenda here,no sensational scoop here.”
Ram is trying to balance out careers in cinema and television. He admits long hours on television tires him out. “My producers Balaji Telefilms and my channel Sony are very accommodating. I am contracted to shoot with them for only 15 days a month. I use the rest of the days to shoot for my films.My business manager allocates my dates very professionally.Also, let me tell you,I am a trained actor. Training in acting taught me that if I manage to make a career in acting then I am really lucky. Acting is very precious to me. I feel blessed to be living out my dream for the last 12 years. Whatever career plans I made have worked. The smaller work has got me bigger work.”
Ram is gravitating towards cinema. “This year audiences will see me in much bigger roles in films than earlier. So the career graph I planned is working out .I’d have to take a sabbatical for a while from television because my roles in movies are growing.I know I can’t keep doing both mediums simultaneously.I am very happy with where I’ve reached in television. I am trying to break into the character actor’s slot in Bollywood. It doesn’t matter what the shade of role. I want to be where Boman Irani is in films.That would be my short-term goal.I’ve a long way to go.”
Ram is very pleased with his next film Mere Dad Ki Maruti. “It’s a father-son story.I play the father to a 18-year old actor. It’s a hilarious over-the-top film. I’ve never played such a loud character . Fingers crossed about the film. I’ve a lot of patience.I know I’ve achieved a helluva lot on television. Young actors treat me like a role-model. But it isn’t easy. It took me 12 years to get there.If it took me ten years to reach the top on television it’d take me that many years to get where Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor and Boman Irani and other character actors have reached.That’s where I want to be in films.One day I wish I am looked at with the same respect as these actors.”
In the meanwhile Ram’s daily soap Bade Achche Lagte Hain continues to rule the TRPs. He raves about his co-star Sakshi Tanwar. “She is one of the best co-stars I ever had.We always respected one another’s work and always wanted to work with one another. Within the first week of shooting we were behaving as if we had been shooting together for years.The comfort level shows in the soap.For me it is very important to trust my co-star.”
Ram’s sizeable girth raises eyebrows. But the actor is unfazed. “I’ve always believed one has to love oneself for others to love you. I am very comfortable with myself. However I don’t want my followers to think being fat is good. Be healthy. And love yourself.”
Ram says his wife is fine with his girth. “I am probably one of the luckiest guys in marriage. After so many years we still feel like newly weds. We are such good friends.She has a sense of humour about the absurdities of showbiz.”
Ram says his children are being kept away from the entertainment industry. “I want them to have a normal upbringing. As it is,they hear things about their parents in school .We want to shield them from the scandal and gossip as much as we can.”