“I was skeptical about accepting Luck by Chance” – Sanjay Kapoor

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Sanjay Kapoor hails from one of Bollywood’s illustrious families. Both of his brothers, director Boney Kapoor and actor Anil Kapoor, have seen success in great abundance and the youngest Kapoor brother too has seen highs in fourteen years of his career. In the past, he received acclaim for his performance in Raja and Shakti. Looking to the present, Sanjay Kapoor will now be seen in the much awaited Luck By Chance. Excited and elated with his role of the movie, BollySpice spoke to Sanjay Kapoor about his experience in Luck By Chance.

What can you tell us about your role in Luck By Chance?

In Luck By Chance, I am playing a film director called Ranjeet, and his character is basically very influenced by the Marlboro man or Clint Eastwood so he dresses up like them; so he wears tight jeans, checked shirts and waist coats. He likes to wear a hat. He’s a director but he’s very influenced by Hollywood DVD films. I won’t say he’s a caricature, but that’s what his character is like. I’m not trying to be a comedian or funny, but the situations and the way they are presented which will make people love this character.

What made you say yes to being in the film?

Well honestly, it was really difficult choice. I’ve known Zoya for a very long time and when she approached me for the role, I was very skeptical because when you are used to being the main lead all the time, and suddenly a role comes and you are part of an ensemble cast, you are not sure whether or not you should accept it. But when I heard the script and Zoya was very confident because she always felt that I had this wacky sense of humor and all my friends also say that I do and they all said we’ve never seen you in a movie doing anything funny. Zoya said to me, I just know “you are Ranjeet and I want you to play Ranjeet. I know that you will do a wonderful job.” So, I thought over it and went by her conviction. The supporting cast was really wonderful. There was Hrithik Roshan, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Juhi Chawla and plus Konkona and Farhan were obviously there. I knew I was in a very ensemble cast so I said, let me just get into it. And I’m so glad I did it. If for some reason, if I had taken a back step and not done the film, I would have really regretted it and today I would have been feeling terrible about it. I’m really looking forward to and excited for Luck By Chance now.

How would you rate Zoya as a director? How was it working with her?

Superb! It may be Zoya’s first film but she has been in the line for a while now. This whole culture of sync sound and the AD’s (assistant directors) was introduced indirectly or directly by her. She was working for some international projects and she was one of the few who got it in with her to Bombay. She was the chief AD in Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya, and she was the one who as taking care of all those things. All those things put together plus her family tree; she’s Javed Sahib’s daughter, Farhan’s sister, Honey Irani’s daughter so she just has it in her. She’s been living with this script for a long time and it was absolutely wonderful working with her. I’ve acted in a lot of films; it’s been over 14 years. But in 14 years, I can count the number of directors who may be good and who know something about acting and I felt Zoya knows. Nowadays, you very rarely have a director who comes and explains your scene. They say you can do it this way or that way and the actor can choose, he doesn’t have a thing to tell you about what he wants you to do. But when she comes and explains the scene, she will tell you, I want you to try it this way which is very rare. I felt Zoya is one of the few directors in recent times I have worked with who knows a bit about acting too.

What was the best thing about working with the cast?

Well, for me, it was working with people I know very well. Chintu and I are playing brothers, and I’ve known him for years and years and years, donkey years. We are very close family friends, his younger brother is a great friend. I treat Krishna Aunty like an elder mom, and we’ve literally grown up in that family. I’ve worked with Juhi in Kartavya she was opposite me. In fact in the same film initially, Dimple was going to be playing my mother and then for some reason, it didn’t work out but I’ve shot for 40% of that film with her. So I’ve known Dimple for a long time but besides working with her, on a personal level I’ve met her. And Farhan obviously, we’ve partied together and known each other for a while. Ritesh, Farhan and Zoya – all of them. So it was not something that I was going into blindly, although it was a new film for me, but the people around me, I was very comfortable with them. And that’s the reason it was even more fun!

Is there any moment that stood out for you while you were shooting?

The whole film! It is very difficult for me to pinpoint a moment, but the whole film was great, great experience! The only thing I remember that was really funny was that on my first day of shooting, I spoke to Chintu’s younger brother, and I told him that I was shooting with his brother and I have a seven o’clock shift. He said “Seven in the evening?” I said, “Seven in the morning.” He said, “What the f! Rishi Kapoor and shooting at the seven in the morning is impossible! For his own film, he’s never shot so early!” So I turned up eight o’clock and they said sorry, but we starting late because Chintu is coming at nine. And when he came at nine, and he said, “They called me and they said come at 7 a.m., and he said ki mein dhoodhwala hoon ya actor hoon ki mein saath baje aaonga soobe. (“am I milkman or an actor that I’ll come at 7am.”) If you want me to do the film, I’ll come only by 9 o’clock, 7 o’clock only dhoodwalas (milkmen) come.” It was so funny, absolutely funny! He said “I’d rather walk out of the film than come at 7 o’clock.” He said “I’m an actor, not a doodhwala. I don’t come at 7 o’clock.” The whole unit always remembered that whenever Chintu was there. So for me, that was the funniest incident that happened on the sets. And I think they had just started filming; they had just done a small schedule with Farhan and this was first schedule they were doing with the other actors. So I said shit Zoya is facing this on the first day, where Chintu is saying mein dhoodhwala ki mein saath baje aaonga!

Did you take any real life experiences in account when performing the role?

I’m playing a Hindi film director and I’ve worked with a lot of them, though there are none who are as cool as Clint Eastwood in the film industry, but there are a lot of directors in the industry who are influenced by DVD films. So, like I said, with Javed Sahib who is writing the dialogues, he’s so experienced, that the lines he wrote, I felt like I wasn’t saying any dialogues. It was literally very natural just the way I am speaking to you now, just in Hindi. I think that the crew and technicians were so experienced, besides me being experienced because now it was been 12 or 13 years, so it really helped, we really gelled together.

If you were really a director in real life, which movie do you think you could have made better?

Well, I haven’t seen the film but the kind of feedback I’m getting right now, I would have definitely done this role, though it is not a lengthy role. But with the amount of characters that are there, you would miss this character if he was not there and you’ll love the character. I would definitely have played this role again. I haven’t seen the whole film to complete the question.

Is there any chance that you will step behind the camera as a director?

Well, I’m producing a film as of now and that’s the reason I haven’t done any movies for over a year and a half as an actor because I was starting my production company, and as a producer I had to give a lot of time for my production and everything. So, I’m behind the camera as a producer, but as a director, not now. I don’t think I’m ready for it. But very soon you’re going to see a film of mine which I am producing, and its called It’s My Life, directed by Anees Bazmi, who is the hotshot director of the country and has given three blockbusters: Singh is Kinng, Welcome and before those two No Entry. The fourth film is going to be mine and I’m just crossing my fingers. I hope my film is going to be a blockbuster too. So, that’s production for me but as a director not now. You never say no to anything. You never know what happens tomorrow, but I’m happy being a producer and an actor.

What do you think makes Hindi films so special?

Well, Hindi films are special because they have lots of music, lots of entertainment; you don’t take these films so seriously. Indians and Asians are worldwide, and we entertain people all over the world. Hindi pictures initially did not have much exposure in a lot of places, but today you go anywhere in the world, the kind of exposure Indian movies have, we’ve reached everywhere in the world now. So I think that is the best part of Hindi films. Today Indian actors are well known. Slumdog Millionaire wins a Golden Globe with Indian actors; with Anil in it and Rahman winning, so we are right there in the international market today. Anil being a part of a film that has won the Golden Globe for best picture – that’s huge!

What do you love about being an actor?

Well, I feel it’s a very creative thing. It’s not like a 9 to 5 job. You’re not stuck just playing one character. You get to play a lot of characters. In one lifetime, you get to experience so many lives. I think that’s great. You also get to meet a lot of new people, get to travel. Obviously the fame and money is definitely there, but money is in a lot of jobs. But the kind of fame, the kind of happiness you get when you meet your fans, it’s a great feeling. It’s really a big high!

What’s been your favorite role that you’ve played so far?

Well, I’ve had a few favorites. But what comes to my mind immediately is Sirf Tum. It was a great character in a very unusual film, an unusual love story. So Sirf Tum and then, I did a negative role in Koi Mere Dil Se Poochche, and people felt that with the kind of face I have that I would not be able to pull it off. But I pulled it off and people liked and loved my work, so I would say take that movie into consideration and obviously Prem is a film too, although Raja was a very successful film, but they say your first love is your true love so Prem is my first film so I’ll always say it was my favorite. Without mentioning Prem, I can’t take a step ahead. And there was another film of mine, where I thought my role was very well etched out, which was Shakti; it had Nana Patekar, Karisma Kapur, myself and Shah Rukh Khan. I think to name a few, these are the few that come to my mind immediately.

You have It’s My Life coming up, but do you have anything coming up as an actor or as a producer?

As a producer, I have It’s My Life and as an actor I have Luck By Chance, which is releasing on the 30th of January. I’m doing another movie for Tips, its called Prince. It’s got Vivek Oberoi, myself and a couple of new girls. Then I’m doing another movie called Kirkit, which is a satire subtle take off of the IPL cricket and how in a small way, kids from the galli’s (streets) are taken to play cricket. Basically, the movie is about how even cricket is now a business – something along those lines. So in 2009, I have lots to offer: a film as a producer and three films as an actor. I think that’s a lot!

We look forward to seeing Sanjay in a funny avatar in Luck By Chance, it sure seems from the promo he has gotten the character spot on. We are also excited that we will be seeing a lot of him in the coming year. We wish him the best for his upcoming projects in front and behind the camera. In the meantime, make sure you catch Luck By Chance releasing January 30th 2009!

Stay tuned to BollySpice.com for some more exciting interviews with the cast of Luck By Chance!

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