Anil Kapoor is basking in the success of his new film Mubarakan, where his role of Kartar Singh is being singled out as the most popular character in the film.
Humble as ever, Anil brushes off the claim to individual fame. “I feel any film is a team effort. There are so many films with an ensemble cast featuring me, where others have been liked more. Sure, my character was liked. And it contributed to the film’s success. But my nephew Arjun was liked. I was surprised by how dedicated and focused he is at his age,” he said.
This is the first time Anil played a sardarji. “I loved getting into a turban. I really enjoyed my character. Kartar is destined to be iconic just like my characters in Mr India, No Entry, Naayak, Ram Lakhan and my TV series 24. I played characters in these films that are remembered to this day. Even now people identify me as ‘Lakhan’ for my character in Ram Lakhan or ‘Kishen’ from No Entry,” Anil added.
Prod him to name his favourite co-stars and Anil gets evasive. “Favourite, I don’t know. But I’ve done maximum films with Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Amrish Puri and Jackie Shroff. And in many of these films they had more footage
than I did. There was more of Sridevi in Judaai and Mr India than me and more of Madhuri in Beta. But I never felt that I was overshadowed by them,” he shrugs. Amrish Puri is one actor he misses. “I don’t think Mr India or Naayak could be possible without Amrishji. He was one of my most formidable co-stars. I learnt so much from him.”
Anil is incredibly stumped by the way he is welcomed by audiences in his films. “In Mubarakan, they love my character because I am not playing Anil Kapoor. I am playing Kartar Singh. Somewhere, you have to forget yourself and remember only the character you are playing. My biggest compliment for any role was when Rajkumar Hirani told me that he had conceived his Munnabhai after Munna in Tezaab.”