Mumbai: After Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Ranbir Kapoor took the Kapoor legacy forward, the latest on the block, Aadar Jain, is all set to mark his acting debut with YRF’s upcoming release Qaidi Band, directed by noted filmmaker Habib Faisal.
In a candid chat with Deccan Chronicle, Aadar talks about his childhood days spent with his cousins, his love for sports, being launched by YRF and much more. Excerpts:
How were you as a child with Kapoor cousins?
For me, it was like any other family. I am also the youngest grandchild, so they showered me with all the gifts. My maternal cousin Natasha spoils me the most. It is a big misconception that we come from a royal family. We talk the same thing other people talk, we wear the same clothes and eat the same kind of food. Every Sunday, we all try and catch up for a family lunch in Chembur. It is a mad circus out there. My mom and Chintu mama (Rishi Kapoor) are the closest to each other and they keep fighting all the time. We hang out all together. On Christmas, we go to Shashi nana’s house. I think while growing up, I was closer to Ranbir and Riddhima, but little lesser to Kareena and Karisma, because they were very busy in doing films. I, my brother Armaan and Ranbir bond over football and same kind of films.
How do you feel when people call you Ranbir look-alike?
I am not a look-alike, it is a family thing. We all look the same in some or other manner. My brother Armaan looks like Chintu mama. There has to be some sort of resemblance, considering we are same family.
Are you under constant pressure considering you are from Kapoor family?
There is no pressure from my side. The only pressure I have is from outside. My family has never put pressure to achieve what my grandfather achieved. They told me to do what I love, make the most of it and learn from it. Successes and failures aren’t in anyone’s hands. I want my films to be critically acclaimed and commercially successful.
Did Ranbir or anyone from your generation give any tips to you?
They told me that everyone has their own journey. Whatever they will tell won’t work for me. I have my own challenge to face. I also told my family that I only want blessings and no tips. I want to do everything on my own. I have a great mentor like Aditya Chopra and a great director like Habib Faisal. I have learned a lot from both of them.
You always wanted to become an actor?
No. People think that I come from a film family, so I always wanted to do it. While growing up, I had no clue about acting and all. I was a back-bencher and a poor student. I never had an inclination towards studies, but I love sports. I played drums and theatre is a big part of my life, not because I wanted to become an actor, but I wanted to bunk my classes. That’s when I thought I would be an actor. I told my parents soon after. Ranbir, Karisma and Kareena must have wished to become an actor since their parents are one and mine are not. I went to America, studied there for two years and came back to assist Farah Khan in Happy New Year and Karan Johar in ADHM. I spent a lot of time with Ranbir on the sets.
How did Qaidi Band happen to you?
When I assisted Farah and Karan, I had no clue how to go about acting, because I never wanted to be an AD for the rest of my life. The first time I went on the sets was on Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. I was shocked to see Kajol and Amit ji performing in the mall. I had no clue what was happening there, but I was curious. I kept on asking my mother about retakes. After ADHM, I was doing my regular stuff, dance and acting classes. Shanoo Sharma was looking for someone, and I bumped into her. She knew my family, but I met her when I was very young. She asked me what I want to do; I told her that I want to act. She called me to audition and it went on for three months. I did few scenes from Salaam Namastey, Band Baaja Baaraat and Ishaqzaade. One fine day, I got a call from her and she asked me to meet Aditya Chopra. I honestly thought that he will screw me and suggest me not to do films, but surprisingly he told me that he and Habib sir liked my auditions and this is how I got the film.
How was the reaction of your family?
It was great. Ranbir, of course, can’t keep anything up to him, so he told all his friends. I got calls from everyone including Karan Johar and all. They were very proud and happy, especially Chintu mama and Neetu aunty, since they have worked with Habib Faisal in Do Dooni Chaar. I met Arjun Kapoor too and he wished me.
You believe that your journey wouldn’t have been the same if YRF wouldn’t have launched you?
I guess I would have not got a three-film contract, not got a chance to be mentored by such great people like Habib Faisal and Adi sir. I got lucky to audition for a YRF film. But I feel that if I was launched by someone else too, I would have been equally happy to see my dream coming to reality.
There are reports that Qaidi Band and Lucknow Central have similar plots…
I didn’t know about that. We shot the film, and I was dubbing for it. Someone showed me the trailer saying Farhan Akhtar’s film Lucknow Central looks similar. I am a great admirer of Farhan and a big fan of the entire family. Despite the same backdrop of jail and music, I am sure we have own interpretations towards it. They are different films at the end of the day. Sultan and Dangal also have similar plots, but both are different in their own ways.