How are you holding up, Kapil?
Running around from one city to another promoting Zwigato. Right now Nandita Ma’am and I are in Hyderabad. The flight was delayed , so the entire schedule went for a toss. Now I need to be back in Mumbai to shoot my show with Ajay Devgn.
The film will be out on Friday and hopefully it will be a hit.
Sir, aapke mooh mein ghee-shakkar.
The idea of playing a delivery boy must have been so alien to you.Why did Nandita Das pick you?
That is the first question I asked myself. Nandita Ma’am had never even seen my show. She had had only seen a clip of a video where Karan Johar and I were hosting the Filmfare awards on the social media.Nandita Ma’am thought I was very natural in the clip.As for playing a delivery boy,main aapko sach bataoon?
If I had been asked to play a doctor or a scientist, it would have been a lot more difficult.Playing a delivery boy came very naturally to me. I know this character. I’ve lived life on the fringes, not as a delivery boy.Lekin maine bhi chote chote kaam kiye hain. Before I came to television, I did small jobs. Even the environment in the delivery boy’s house is familiar to me. A large joint family all sleeping in one room. Yeh duniya dekhi hui hai maine.
Jugaad wali zindagi?
(laughs). Jee jugaad wali zindagi. For my fans on television it may seem odd that I should be playing such a character. But I know this world.It existed before I began my career on television. I know this character.I’ve met him.It wasn’t so difficult playing him.
Nandita told me she would not have taken a more established star even if he offered his services?
She paid me a huge compliment when she said I had the face of an aam aadmi.
What was your preparation like to play this character?
Life…Life had prepared me to play this character. I didn’t have to prepare ..except that there was a small problem with the language. This character is a migrant from Jharkhand. I asked Nandita M’aam to help me with the accent through voice notes. My observation powers are very good. If I sit with someone for even a few minutes I catch the accent and mannerisms.
Of course. That’s what makes you such a successful stand-up artiste?
Jee. So if you ask me, I could tell you that I did no preparation. Or I could tell you that I’ve been preparing for this all my life.
Kapil, the film industry is going through an unprecedented crisis. Why do you think people who watch you at home would want to go to the theatres to see your film?
It is true that a lot of films are flopping. At the same time, apart from Pathaan,we’ve had hits like RRR, Kantara and KGF. Why do we look at these film as South Indian hits? Isn’t the South of India as much as part of our filmmaking universe as Bollywood? We the makers of Hindi film should think of where we’re going wrong with the content.
Where are we going wrong?
We must understand that today’s moviegoing public is aware of world cinema. With Covid world cinema has reached all our homes. So it is a very aware audience today. Going to the theatre to see a film is an expensive affair.On OTT they have world cinema on their fingertip. They will come to the theatres only when you offer them something new.
Do you think Zwigato offers that incentive to the theatre audience?
I think it does. It is the story not of a larger-than-life hero , but the common man. The true hero. Eighty percent of India is the working class. How many belong to the class that owns big cars and lives in huge homes? The majority in India belong to the world of Zwigato.Nandita Ma’am my co-star Shahana Goswami and I have travelled across the country and we can see there’s a connect with the audience.Bahot pyari si film banayee hai and the credit goes to Nandita Ma’am. We are happy with the response.
How different was it working with a female director in Zwigato as compared with your other films?
It is true that I haven’t worked with a female director. But women have played an important part in my life all my life.Whether it is my mother or my wife or now my daughter. They have all ruled my life , and I am most happy to be ruled by them. As for Nandita Ma’am, I wouldn’t like to think of her as a female director. There is no difference between the male directors and Nandita M’aam.