Ekta Kapoor cheated me: Rishi Kapoor
Monday, December 20, 2004 13:59 IST
By Santa Banta News Network

Thank god for the sunny role in "Hum Tum". The last time we saw Rishi Kapoor, he was a ghoulish murder suspect in Ekta Kapoor's "Kucch To Hai" and watching him as the empathetic, humorous father of Saif Ali Khan after that was so welcome.

Fumes Rishi: "I couldn't help doing that film since my good friend Jeetendra was involved. Ekta is like a daughter to me. She told me it was a small cameo of a murder suspect. My role kept getting changed throughout! This is what Ekta does all the time.

"No wonder all the actors, including Sohail Khan, are so unhappy with her. The director has to wait to decide what Ekta does next. I was so unhappy. It was a rubbishy role. Ekta should stop making feature films. They make films like serials. She should do only television."

But there's plenty of other action on Rishi Kapoor's career front. He's just completed a comedy and is on the verge of starting a new film with Percept Pictures.

"But let me tell you about all the films I haven't done. I turned down 'Kya Dil Ne Kaha' (the role went to Rajesh Khanna), 'Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao'... Then I turned down Dharmendra's role in the new film 'Kis Kis Ki Kismet'. So many films that I didn't do.

I've just completed a very interesting film by choreographer Tharun Kumar who earlier did 'Nayee Padosan'. It's a sweet, naughty film called 'Love Ke Chakkar Mein'. I play a guy my age who has reached that stage where he gets a little raunchy, roving eyes and all. I had great fun doing it. It's raunchy but not sleazy. I'd never do anything that compromises me. Of course there's a lot of oomph in it. But I had fun doing it. You'll love watching 'Love Ke Chakkar Mein'. It has Rishi Kapoor doing comedy."

But haven't we seen him do great comedy in many films in the past, including "Amar Akbar Anthony" and "Raffoo Chakkar"?

" 'Love Ke Chakkar Mein' is different. You'll also love my next film 'Pal Tham Gayaa' which I'm doing with Dimple Kapadia. It a story about companionship between two lonely elderly people, yes, I am elderly in the film. I play a widower and Dimple plays a widow. What makes this film interesting is that it has two generations of actors a la 'Kabhi Kabhie' where I played the younger generation."

In "Pal Tham Gaya", Dimple and Rishi play the older generation along with actors like Neena Gupta, Farida Jalal, while Sammir Dattani and Soha Ali Khan play the younger generation.

Rishi guffaws: "You don't like the idea of me cast as an elderly? Arrey chodo na yaar! You see the picture. I love the idea of Dimple and me coming together again after so many years. You'll see a very different me. I play a father who's about to become a grandfather. I'll underplay throughout.

"And I like the organised way in which the film is being made. We'll shoot non-stop from Nov 10 to Jan 4. We're all so excited about it. It's being made in a professional way. With corporate houses coming in to make films, you need professional actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh and me." Rishi's experience of directing a film wasn't too pleasant, thanks to an undisciplined actor in the cast.

"But that isn't why I didn't direct a film after 'Aa Ab Laut Chalen'. It's just that I didn't get a script to get excited about. If I find one, nothing can stop me from making another film. Right now I'm busy again with my acting career. I feel I need to keep my family's name alive through my performances.

"My ultimate aim is to get the Dadasaheb Phalke award like my grandfather and father. I've to work hard for it. I've been working for 31 years entertaining the audience. I've never had any recognition. If Kamal Haasan and Naseeruddin Shah can get the Padma Bhushan, why not Rishi Kapoor? Why has no Kapoor after Raj Kapoor got any recognition? Haven't Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor or Rishi Kapoor contributed anything to cinema?"

Everyone wants to know what plans Rishi has for his son. "Ranveer is training to be on screen. He has been trained for the three years in New York at the school of visual arts. Thereafter, he assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Now he's being groomed into a complete actor, diction, dancing, riding -- the works. As a father I don't want to see my son spending his time at Barista during the day and at pubs during night. I just want him to be disciplined."

"I've never had any recognition by the government or the press," Rishi grumbles good-naturedly. "But whenever my 'Karz' comes on television, there's a deluge of messages. I'm quite surprised that the current generation likes it. Maybe it's the fresh sound of the music? Me? Nah! I just did my job."

There are two-three other major assignments on the anvil. One of them is a comedy "recommended" by Shabana Azmi and directed by Vinay Shukla where Rishi gets to do a grey character. There's also an offer from actress Bhagyashree who's turning director.

Is this rush-hour in Rishi Kapoor's career triggered off the by the success of "Hum Tum"?

"Well, I was always there. I still get the same kind of offers that I got before 'Hum Tum'. It's just that I won't accept any and every film that comes my way. I need a good wicket to bat on. I'd never venture blindfolded into a film like I did with Balaji's 'Kuchh To Hai'. I'm really upset with them.

"They cheated me. I've to guard my interests as an actor. It's very important for me to have the newer generation of moviegoers recognise me as a good actor. My endeavour is to find the right roles. At my age there aren't too many promising parts available."

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