By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Bass. Enough is enough. The rotund Rishi Kapoor, currently going through what he calls the best years of his acting life, has finally decided to take his weight issue into his hands.
No more of those excess pounds. Apparently, Rishi with notable help from his diet-conscious wife Neetu Singh, wanted to shed the flab a year back. But director Nikhil Advani had a particular girth in mind for Rishi to play an international terrorist in D Day.
But now Rishi has gotten seriously weight-conscious. He has started yoga and will cut down drastically on his alcohol intake.
Says Rishi, “Yes, I’ve already started doing yoga. That gives me peace of mind. I am unhappy about the fact that I can’t kick my habit of consuming alcohol. It’s not good for my health. That’s one thing I’d like to change in my life.And I will.I’d also like to cut down my weight. But my producers get worried about the continuity in their films. ‘Please finish my film and then lose weight,’ they say. Uss chakkar mein nahin ho raha hai.But now I will certainly take care of my weight.”
Rishi is getting rave preview reports for his performance in D Day.
“It feels good. I know it’s happening quite frequently these days,” he chuckles. “I’ve waited very patiently for this rush-hour. I am getting the variety of roles that I always craved for. If in D Day you see me as a terrorist, in Maneesh Sharma’s Shudh Desi Romance you’ll see me as a Marwari wedding planner. And you won’t believe, ‘Yeh Rishi Kapoor kar sakta hai?!’
Rishi has seven releases in 2013. He couldn’t be in a better personal space either
Chuckles Rishi, “I must tell you, some people close to me disapproved of my presence in Housefull 2. Some felt this was not my forte. But I wanted to prove that I could do equal justice to my villainous character in Agneepath and the goofy dad’s role in Housefull 2. I enjoyed myself doing that part. I wanted to work with Dabboo (brother Randhir Kapoor) and Sajid Khan. I said no to Sajid for Himmatwala although there was a lot of keenness that I do the role. I wanted to do one film with Sajid, and I did. And didn’t it make it into the 100-rupees club?”
The actor has been going through a continued spell of success with films like Student Of The Year, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Chashme Buddoor doing well in a row. “I did one scene for Yashji’s sake in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. I haven’t seen the film. But I’m told that scene is very important to the film.”
About the current boom-time in his career, Rishi cribs good-naturedly, “I don’t know whether it’s because of the multiplex culture. But I’ve been saying no to more films lately than I’ve ever done in my life. Or maybe other younger actors are not available. Why else would an actor of my age get so many pivotal roles? The only 60-plus actor in our industry who was doing main roles was Mr Bachchan. In my earlier days no one gave me a chance to experiment with my looks and my character. I was only made to sing songs and romance pretty girls. I am doing performing parts only now. We were all trapped in our respective images in the 1970s and 80s. Even Mr Bachchan was mostly doing action roles.”
Rishi’s voice lights up at the mention of the Big B’s name. “I am looking forward to working with him again after so many years in Sudhir Mishra’s Mehrunissa. We’re starting the film in July. I am also looking forward to working with Paresh Rawal in Sanjay Chhel’s film. We did work together in Damini many years ago,” he says.
Besides acting, Rishi Kapoor also enjoys being on ‘Face-time’ with his grand-daughter. “If I raise my voice calling her name she gets scared. If she sees me playing these baddies in my recent films she’d stop talking to me. Jokes aside, I didn’t play villain in recent films because I wanted to be bad on screen. I did them because they were interesting roles. One role that I was really scared of playing was that of Rauf Lala in Agneepath. All the credit for seeing me in that role must go to producer Karan Johar and director Karan Malhotra. Hats off to their foresight. And then Karan Johar cast me in radically different role in Student Of The Year (SOTY).”
However Rishi has a regret regarding SOTY. “My role was edited. In fact my best scene was cut out. If you see the DVD version you’d see the vital scene where I pour my heart out about my gay character’s insecurities. That scene was eliminated from the film. I don’t know why. I was a little upset about this.But it’s okay.”
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