Thursday, June 01, 2006
From a flamboyant debut in the campus caper Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao, to a completely deglamorized look with no strand of hair on his body in his second film, Akshay Kapoor has made a radical transition. Let's check how Alag Akshay Kapoor is...
Tell us about your character in the film Alag.
The character I am playing in this movie is quiet unusual and unconventional. My character in this film, Tejas, has no hair on his head, no eyebrows, not even eyelashes. But the strangest part of all is that he possesses special powers. He has remained in isolation for nearly 20 yrs, away from the society, away from people. However, the story of the film begins from the point when he comes out in the open. He wants to start living his life like a normal person and wants to understand the society. But then there is this saying that goes 'first impression is the last impression' which applies to all of us. We as people have the habit of judging others instantly without even knowing them well. Similarly in this film, people start judging Tejas on his appearances, on the way he looks, rather than understanding his heart and his inner soul. We generally judge people on their looks, material possessions, but Tejas is not like that and he tries to change this view of the people. Whether he becomes successful in it or not is to be seen.
What kind of preparations did you do for the role of Tejas?
There was lot of preparation process involved for me to get into the skin of the character. I read two books - The Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Life a Pie by Ted Martin. Both these books revolve around the concept of isolation. I tried to study the characters in these books and understand their behavior, their thinking and what they did in isolation. Besides, for one whole week, I locked myself in my apartment, disconnected the television, switched off my cell phone and stayed all alone without meeting anyone, just to understand how it feels to stay in isolation.
In this process, I also started writing a personal diary upon the life of Tejas. What he did when he was 5, when he was 6, 10 and so on. Also, what his trials and tribulations were at those points of his life. Once I had these details written down, it became a little simpler for me to adapt to this character.
What do you look out for before signing a film?
Whenever I sign a film, I see how strong the script is. For me the hero of the film is the script itself. It is something that I strongly believe in and that is what I have learned in this industry. Besides the fact is that I am just like two films old and I don't know anyone here, so it is big learning process for me. Therefore, every step I take I am going to fall and rise up again into the occasion.
How did you bag this role?
The producers called me for a screen test. They handed me the part and I gave my audition. Somehow I found the part very interesting. Therefore, after returning home I started working on the character. Through my understanding of the character I tried to work on things like how he will walk, talk and behave. I then gave a call to the makers of the film again, and showed them what I had worked on - the different qualities of the character, his behavior, etc. It was only then that the whole script was narrated to me and I was told that the character has neither hair nor eyebrows. For me as a newcomer, it is not a risk; I rather take it as challenge. Because, this is like the first time such character is brought in front of Indian audiences and I have to justify it to them. So I feel it is a big burden on my shoulders but that's the name of the game.
How was it working with Dia Mirza?
Working with Dia Mirza was a very nice experience. Dia is a very down to earth and humble person. As a person, she is a gem. Throughout the making of the film I called her my 'safety net'; she really was my safety net, supportive all the time.
Any favourite scene in the film?
There was a scene when Tejas goes to college for the first time and the boys in the college start ragging him. That is when he takes a spoon and just rubs it. While shooting that scene I don't know what happened to me. Maybe it was one of those days when you just want to be yourself and I thought that I will do the shot all by myself. Anyways after that, when I saw the scene while dubbing, I was amazed. Because the scene was shot in such a brilliant manner that it took my performance to a whole new level completely. It was mind-blowing.
Tell us something about the music of the film.
Aadesh Shrivastav's music is brilliant in the film. My favorite song is the title track called Sabse Alag Hai. It is picturized on number of big Bollywood stars. The video shows the journey of my character in the film, how he goes out in open, how people react to him and how his life goes on. And these big stars come turn by turn like angels and narrate lines about him. It is very neatly done.
What do you think will be the audiences' reaction to the film?
It makes me a little nervous. But at the same time, I am so sure that the audiences will love the film. In fact I would request the audiences to go to theatres and watch the film, take your family along, your kids along, because it is the kind of film which all can enjoy together.