I only wanted to be an actor, but I got to become a star too

Anil Kapoor looks back on his early days, struggling to establish himself in Hindi cinema

Anil Kapoor initially found it difficult to get work in the Hindi film industry, and turned South. It was only after he worked in Telugu and Kannada films that offers from Bollywood started to come in.

He talks about his early struggles and how he became ‘saleable’.

“It’s not easy to get work in the film industry. I was lucky to get small roles, which I grabbed immediately, as work is worship for me. I also did not consider any work as ‘small’ or ‘big’,” says the star. “But since I wasn’t getting work in Mumbai, I shifted my attention to the Telugu film industry and got some work in Kannada films too. And after that, offers started pouring in from Bollywood. I never expected to get work here, but luckily, projects started raining down on me,” he adds.

“I began getting script narrations from good writers and directors, and I was happy that my prospects soared in course of time. I not only got the opportunity to work with great and popular directors but also with well-known leading ladies in Hindi films,” Anil reminisces.

“For a small actor like me, to get to work with Yusuf saab (Dilip Kumar) in Mashaal was a huge opportunity. I also became known because Naseer saab and Padmini ji agreed to work with me in Woh Saat Din. Because of all of them, I became accessible, tradeable and saleable,” he acknowledges, adding, “I feel blessed to belong to this profession.”

Recalling a trend set years ago, and which continues, he says, “Wherever I went, I was never called by my name — Anil Kapoor. People would hail me by the names of the characters I played — Mr. India, Munna, Lakhan or Majnu Bhai. In the recently released Animal, I play Ranbir Kapoor’s 65-year-old father. Surprisingly, even the new generation of viewers are addressing me by my character’s name — Balbir Singh. I only wanted to be known as an actor. But because of these characters, I also got to become a star.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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