Mumbai: Bollywood buffs love chat shows featuring their favourite stars in it. From 'Rendezvous with Simi Garewal' to 'Koffee with Karan', the poluraity of this kind of chat shows reveals that fans like to see stars getting candid about their lives. But with every chat show comes the challenge of offering something unique and novel in order to engage audiences. That’s where Neha Dhupia decided to make an interesting audio-only chat show, 'No Filter Neha'. In the absence of glaring cameras we can hear Bollywood celebrities speaking up comfortably which feels like a drawing room conversation.
In the latest episode, Neha invited Rishi Kapoor on her show where he talked about his working style and his equation with people in the industry. ‘Chintuji’ (as Rishi Kapoor is fondly called) was as usual in his top form who spoke with all honesty. We have some highlights from this no-holds-barred conversation.
On finding it difficult to work with today’s directors
“See, what has happened is the inception, rather the introduction of this digital era. You know with film gone, and everything has become digitalised. Your editing is digital, your shooting, you're filming also right now in digital. The whole pattern has changed, there's no film now so there's no wastage. So what happens is that directors like to cover the whole scene, not to say from all angles but they do this in circumference, 360 degrees, north south west east. Whereas the actors getting screwed in the bargain. We got to do the whole scene in every angle and for actors like me, who are spontaneous; actors like me find it difficult to reproduce the same shot, same emotion from all those angles. So it's become very, very difficult.”
He also mentioned that his contemporary and a dear friend, Amitabh Bachchan, was complaining about the same, too.
Rishi Kapoor admits that he is difficult to work with
“I'm a very difficult actor to work with. It's because I function within my own functioning. I don't think I'm ahead but I sometimes feel like I'm arriving the scene within me, at my own rhythm, with my own self. Like I'm very, very particular about my look, my clothes, in and around my surroundings, how the scene should be played, how my fellow actors should be participating. I'm totally involved in my work and I expect the same thing out of the other artist.”
His tussle with one particular director
“Shakun Batra and I are not on the same page ever! Like during the shooting of ‘Kapoor and Sons’ but yet the result was what he actually got.”
On refusing a film because it was an only night shoot!
I was doing two shifts a day. First shift used to be in Madh Island for some producer, the next shift was in RK Studio, which is pretty far from Madh Island. The director was pretty mad, he was after my life - "kahaani sunani hai, kahanj sunani hai." So I said listen, why don't you come to Madh. I'm going to pack up a little early by about 1, 1:30. We'll have lunch and then you tell your driver to follow my van. We'll sit in the van and then we'll go chatting. That's what happened. Bas yahan wahan ki baatein and then I said, "chal bata teri kahaani kya hai?" He said sir, “kahaani badi asaan hai. Ek raat ki kahaani hai. It's actually a whodunit kind of stuff. It's like ek murder hota hai”...and I was like.. “ek minute yaar, tu 15 second pehle kya kaha? Tune kaha ke yeh ek raat ki kahaani hai? I was like matlab tu poori picture raat mein hi banaega?” “Haan sir, zaahir hai raat mein hi banaunga.” So I shouted out at my driver – “Tukaram gaadi roko!” He stopped the car and I was like…gentleman, please get out of my van and step into your car. I'm not doing this picture! I've just finished ‘Sagar’ and I'm forever shooting in the night in that film!
On how he was offered Amar Akbar Anthony
“I was shooting for ‘Laila Majnu’ in Bikaner. No mobiles, no television in the rooms, no telephones in the room, nothing. So when after pack up, at about 7 o'clock we used to meet in the billiard room. So it was one of those evenings when someone came running from the reception saying – “Rishi Kapoor saab ka lightening call aaya hai.” Now lightening calls those days was something to worry about. We were like lightening call kiska aaya hai. My secretary said Mr. Manmohan Desai would like to speak with you. He was like haan haan main Manmohan Desai bol raha hoon and I was like yes sir what can I do. I'm making a film called Amar Akbar Anthony and I want you to play Akbar in that film. Now there's a backstory you must remember that Manmohan Desai had become a huge commercial director. Manmohan Desai could do anything at that point of time. So suddenly when he offered me the film, a thought ran in my mind and I was like but sir, how can I play my grandfather?! He said I want you to play that role called Akbar and I said but I cannot play my grandfather. I thought he was making a film with Amar, purane zamane ka basuri bajanewala and bed make Akbar Mughal-e-azam wala. And Anthony I'm thinking he's making Cleopatra in Anthony. So that was my first encounter with Manmohanji when he offered me the film on a lightening call at Bikaner from Mumbai. But I can't forget how he offered me that film and what I made of that film.”
His revelation on the famous Kapoor photograph
“First of all, this picture that you're talking about with all the Kapoors is the photograph that was shot for Vogue magazine. And it's shot in four portions. It's not one. It's dissected into four different parts. I think one was Shammi uncle, mickey and Neetu I think. Then the other was myself and somebody else. They were done in parts and then they were of course, integrated together.”
The one thing that the Kapoors are obsessed with
“This was someone else's observation that when the Kapoors have breakfast, they talk about what they want to have for lunch. When they're having lunch they talk about what they're going to have for dinner. Food is a conversation that they're all occupied by.”
Raj Kapoor's motto
“Crew walon ko khilao jamaiyon ki tarah, kaam karao kasaiyon ki tarah”
So that was Rishi Kapoor at his usual candid best on 'No Filter Neha'. For full conversation, tune in to the show....