Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor was in London recently to promote his latest release, Karan Johar’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. The young award-winning actor teamed up with Johar’s production house, Dharma Productions and with director Ayan Mukherji again after the success of Wake Up Sid (2009).
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani also unites the Kapoor lad with his ex-girlfriend Deepika Padukone on-screen after Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008). The film also stars Aditya Roy Kapur ( Aashiqui 2) and Kalki Koechlin.
In the film, Ranbir Kapoor plays the character of Bunny who is charming and fun-loving, full of spirit and an indomitable spirit of adventure. He rejects mediocrity and longs to leave his life at home behind to travel, see the world and embrace the freedom of being unattached.
Audiences will see Ranbir as Bunny grow from a young student full of unconventional ambitions to a hard-working videographer on a travel show, chasing and concretizing his dreams. He embraces a modern value system and wants to be answerable to no one but himself.
In Conversation with Bollywood Reporter Sunny Malik, Ranbir Kapoor talks about the film and much more…
You came to London last time to promote Barfi! and had just wrapped up the schedule of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in France. How does it feel like to actually be promoting the film here now?
It is really strange as for my last release Barfi!, I kick-started the promotions in London and now I have started the promotions of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani here. I hope the love I get for this film will be similar. I am really excited as it is my second time collaborating with my most favourite person in the world, Ayan Mukherji. I have immense belief in him as a person and filmmaker. I am really excited that we collaborated on a movie like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
How was your experience playing the character of Bunny after doing different roles in Rockstar and Barfi! ?
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was a really hard film for me because I had played characters in Rockstar and Barfi! and it is easy for an actor to hide behind characters. They have certain nuisances – the way they walk and talk. In Barfi! I didn’t even speak and I feel those characters are easier to play. Now when you have somebody who is real in an urban and contemporary setting, there is so much of yourself that you have to put out there. It has to be organic and moment to moment. I feel that it’s very tricky as it’s hard to, in some ways, reflect your own personality onto a character. However, I feel if the film and my performance are appreciated, all credit must go to Ayan. He did so much of work for me as an actor and I will always be grateful for that.
Ayan Mukherji had you in mind while writing the story but could you picture yourself playing the role when you first read the script?
Ayan is a dear friend of mine and because of that, he wrote a lot of me into the film. My character is a detached boy who has this desire of wandering around the world, meet people and see different cultures. The story is basically of him coming of age. The simple philosophy of the film is that happiness is only real when it’s shared with someone or with people around you. I think it’s a beautiful philosophy to make a film on.
Ayan also said that he wrote the character of Naila Talwar keeping Deepika Padukone in mind. But you said in an interview, before Deepika was announced as the heroine, that Katrina Kaif is starring the in the film. What happened?
I don’t know what happened at that time. There are certain dates of actors that keep fluctuating and I was under the impression that he was talking to Katrina to do the film. I wasn’t aware that Ayan had written the character keeping Deepika in mind. He had not shared that with me. I am very glad though that I collaborated with Deepika. This is the perfect film for us to do together after Bachna Ae Haseeno. I have closely followed her career and have seen all her films. To see her growth as an actor and to see her success is just amazing. I had a wonderful time working with her.
There was some criticism to the trailer as fans said that one could make out the story of the film from the three-minute footage. Was that bothering you?
We have very carefully tried to blend entertainment with the kind of films that Ayan, the director, believes in. You have to do that to get the audience into theatres. You have to add a little bit of glamour and so called poppy culture. But at heart, the film is very unadulterated and very new. It is one of the newest films I have worked in and I am not saying that because it’s coming out now. I don’t have a reference to this film. It’s not like Bachna Ae Haseeno or Deepika’s Love Aaj Kal. Yes, the setting is contemporary and urban but that is the only similarity. The characters and nuances and the dynamics between all of the characters, all of that is very new. It’s very heart-warming. I feel that if the heart of a film is in the right place and there is warmth, then that’s what really matters.
Your character, Bunny, travels a lot in the film. Is it easy for you as an actor to travel all around the world?
My work makes me travel a lot. But besides work, I am quite lazy and if I have a few days off, I will just travel to London or New York. My job takes me to such wonderful places like Barfi! took me to Darjeeling, Rockstar took me to Prague and I shot in Delhi for a very long time. For Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani I went to Manali, Kashmir, Paris and Udaipur. I am really grateful to the kind of places my job takes me to.
You also shot with Madhuri Dixit for a special song, Ghagra.
Well, I love Madhuri. She broke my heart when she got married (laughs). The opportunity I had to work with her completes me as an actor. As the director is a dear friend, I bribed him into letting me kiss her on the cheek (laughs). It was inspiring to see her at work.
The film was supposed to release in January, then it was postponed to March and now it’s releasing on 31st May. Why were there delays?
I always believe whenever you give a film a deadline to release on a particular date, you kill the movie. A film is a piece of art. It needs to evolve and then there is editing, background music and that takes time. Sometimes you say that a film is coming out a certain date but then there are some production issues like what the correct release date is and what other films are releasing at that time. We want everyone to see the film and sometimes delays are in nobody’s hands. Sometimes you are fortunate that you get a correct release date and I think, 31st May is a great date since the IPL (Indian Premiere League) is over and most colleges have holidays. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a movie that families will enjoy.
Everyone is going gaga over your Badtameez Dil dance moves. The music has also become very popular…
The composer, Pritam is really instrumental in the success of so many movies nowadays. He is just such a great musician. He provides so much entertainment and joy through his songs. Badtameez Dil has a swing dance and the choreographer, Remo wanted to try something new. Even the hip thrusting move, even though it was simple, was catchy and that’s what matters. People said that we are trying to emulate Shammi Kapoor. Just because I am from his family people saw the similarities. The concept of the song was that we are all getting old and we all will get old at some point in our life and let’s just enjoy our youth before that. It’s a cocktail party song and the re-entry of the character Bunny in all his friends’ life. He is just trying to infuse some laughter into people’s life.
Jacqueline recently confirmed that you are doing a film, Roy, with her…
Yes, it’s directed by a childhood friend of mine. I am not the lead in the film. It stars Arjun Rampal and Jacqueline Fernandez. I have a very interesting character role and I am really looking forward to it. I will start shooting for it by the end of the year. I hope that my friend, Vicky, makes a good film.
She said that she is a big fan of yours and looks forward to learning a lot from you…
I think she is just pulling my leg (laughs).
Everyone from the film industry keeps praising you. How does that feel?
I don’t take it in because I don’t believe it. I am still struggling as an actor, inside my head. I have so much to learn from people. I can’t really be content with so much love coming my way. I have to shut it out at some point. It feels great at that moment but then you just have to switch off and focus on what you are doing.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani opens in UK cinemas on 31st May 2013.