Mumbai: Rishi Kapoor is outspoken person who is known for his nonchalant behavior. Recently, during the interaction sessions owing to promotions of his film '102 Not Out' co-starring Amitabh Bachchan, and directed by Umesh Shukla, Rishi Kapoor may have given a piece of his mind to the media. In a stern voice - questions like - How ? When? And What? need to be asked, he said. Slowly and gradually he also shared a very co-cordial chit chat with all of us.
Working on doing '102 Not Out', Rishi says, "It's an interesting character. The focus of the film is the relationship between father and son. This old father who wants to beat the world record of being the oldest and he wants his son to go to old age home. He feels that the son is so finicky. As his son I am so tensed I wear long loose kurtas [clothes]…I live in denial, I scream on small little things and I am grumpy. So what I mean to explain is – I am not Rishi Kapoor on reel…I always don the character in totality."
About his experience working with director Umesh Shukla, he says,"I can't teach him anything good. He is very patient and he is from theatre. He takes his stance and you can't tell Amitabh Bachchan what to do and not to do, but Umesh used to do it. Even if Mr.Bachchan disagreed, I am not disciplined I have lot of fights with my directors always. But Umesh is a controlled director and it's his work.
On qualities of Amitabh Bachchan to adopt, Rishi says,"It's too late to adopt. It’s a pleasure to work with him. He's a great and disciplined actor. I am a student of cinema and I am learning from juniors. This time we connected after 27 years. We had done six films and Ajooba was the last film. This is my sixth film together. A lot of water has flown under the bridge. Our experiences have grown. He flirts with his characters. He actually romances his character with himself and after two situations he found himself and I learnt from him. I told him recently and he is the ever modest Bachchan. You get the best from him. Acting is reacting and your work gets enhanced.
Rishi-ji is immensely happy working in today's time, on feeling liberating to do such roles he tells," I didn't get work of this kind in my career. Now times have changed. The audience was forgiving during those times in 70's to 90's. Every actor had three to four films of lost and found. Either it was a rich boy poor girl and vice versa story. I did only this. Only Hrishikesh Mukerjee and Basu Chatterjee and Gulzar did such films and we never got a chance in those films. Nowadays kids are lucky they have so much variety. They get to see so many films and series like Netflix, Amazon, so the choice is high. Multiplex theatres have come up and different cinema is being made. A Dangal can run in single theatres. A rickshawala wants to see fights, cheap songs but the audience has changed in multiplexes they are ready to pay to see something different. We are improving in technology and content. A film like Barfi or Dirty Picture would not run during our times. Because of Mr. Bachchan actors like me are getting work. Hindi cinema is running because of youth today. Only a good actor will survive if you are mediocre you will be washed away. This is the time for good cinema."
Not appreciated as an actor at any point in your career, speaking on that Rishi-ji says, "There is a reason for it. That's my fault I never gave the critics and audience to like me doing something. I was only doing romancing heroines, running around trees singing songs in Ooty ad Kashmir. I was wearing jersey. I was known as the sweater man of the world. I never got characters to play. My contemporaries had got character to play. I was the biggest romantic star f the country and lasted for 25 years. No actor had survived non-stop for 25 years. The Khans have survived because it was easier. I didn't get credit as an actor. I had lovely songs to sing. Barring, Tawaif, Damini, Prem Rog. You succumb to distributors or agents as they dictate terms to filmmakers. Now it does not work like that."