The Kapoor Family Site by Shammi Kapoor

Rajiv Kapoor

Rajiv Kapoor

"NOBODY CAN BE COMPARED TO RAJ KAPOOR"

Clad in jeans, he sits comfortably on a couch at Mehboob Studio, Bandra, giving final touches to the recording of his first directorial venture, Prem Granth. You are amazed at his enterprise... He fixes up lunch with his brother, instructs his driver to pick a packet from home, entertains guests and even listens to the background music. And all this during the course of the interview. He's confident, young and ambitious. His much delayed directorial debut, is now all set to hit the theatres. Meet the third scion of the RK family, Rajiv Kapoor...

Prem Granth carries very good reports. What do you feel about this?

I am very happy with the way the film has shared up. I feel grateful towards everyone who is associated with the film. My brothers, Randhir and Rishi, have also been very cooperative and supportive.

How difficult was the job, considering it's your first directorial venture?

(Smiles) Well...there are always ups and downs in any profession. Problems are a part of life and I have had my share too. But what was the reason for Prem Granth's delay? It has been in the making for three years... It is not possible to make this kind of a film in a short span of time. To begin with, it has very busy stars in the cast. Coordinating everybody's dates and getting them together wasn't an easy task. I insisted on bulk dates from all of them and this caused the delay. But once we started the film we worked non-stop. We shot for more than 200 days, unlike others who wrap up their films in 50-60 days.

Were you disappointed when you had to replace Sanjay Dutt?

Not really... Yes, I was worried, but for him. He is a very close friend. But I'm sure things will work out well now that his problems have been sorted out. I console myself with the thought that I'll get a chance to work with him now.

Why did you opt for Rishi, over other stars, to replace Sanjay?

Initially Prem Granth was written with Rishi in mind. But Rishi could do only one home production at a time and he was already committed to Randhir. My second choice was Sanjay Dutt. Later, of course, due to obvious reasons Sanjay had to be replaced. It was already a year by then and getting another star's dates would have been very difficult. Rishi was the only one who could match his dates to our schedule. So I went ahead with him.

Will PG be on par with the other RK films in terms of leaving a mark on the audience?

(Shrugs his shoulders) I don't know. It's very difficult for me to answer that question specially when it's my film. I only hope that I can reach somewhere close to what I have envisioned.

Does the thought of being compared to Raj and Randhir Kapoor disturb you?

It doesn't upset me. Moreover, you can't compare me to Raj Kapoor. Nobody can be compared to him. There will never be a legend like him again. If I am able to accomplish even one percent of his work, it would be a great achievement for me. I know my work is bound to be compared, especially when my family has a history of achievers. I definitely want to follow the RK tradition. That's all I can say!

Women in RK films are rather buxom and overexposed, what's your idea of a sexy `n' sensuous woman?

I don't accept that women in our films are buxom. What's important is that a woman should be sensous. She should be delicate, virtuous and glamorous. There's a thin line between sensuality and vulgarity. The Madhuri-Rishi pair (in Yaarana and Sahibaan) has not done well at the box-office. It's not a star pair that makes a film... it's the whole team. The scenes, the story, the background, the songs... everything counts. It's like a family effort. If a film is made with sincerity and is well-packaged, I'm sure it will make a difference...

Would you accept that you got into direction because you failed as an actor?

No, I don't agree. You see, I did fail as an actor but let me tell you that I became an actor because I hail from the Kapoor family and secondly, the opportunity to act was offered to me on a platter. I always wanted to be a filmmaker.

Earlier it was Divya Rana, then Nagma and now it's Madhuri. You have never denied any of your link-ups. Why?

What will I gain if I react to them? All these rumours are absolutely false. My life isn't built around link-ups. It revolves around my work. I am a very different kind of man, in the sense, I don't get cheap thrills when people talk or write about me. If there are girls in my life, there are girls in my life. What about them? I'm not scared of anybody to deny my affairs. My life doesn't depend on the media, just as their life doesn't depend on me!