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Ranbir recited Bachchan's dialogues as a child

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Neetu Singh belongs to the first family of Bollywood and is the wife of Rishi Kapoor. Her son Ranbir Kapoor is all set to debut in with Saawariya and is working with none other than Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The actress gives a no no nonsense interview about her son and the bond between herself Rishi and Ranbir.

Are you nervous about Ranbir"s debut?
Both my husband and I are nervous. But since I"m stronger I keep it inside while he"s a nervous wreck. He won"t even be here for the release of Saawariya. He"s off to Chandigarh for a two-month outdoor shoot. I feel the same way about Ranbir"s debut as I felt when my daughter Ridhima got married. People keep complimenting us about Ranbir. But until the film comes out we won"t know the actual verdict.

Ranbir seems closer to you than to his father.
Isn"t that the way it is with most children? Kids are a reflection of the mother. Both my kids are gentle and in school they never behaved like star-children. My husband"s work was such that he was never home. He never knew about homework, PTA meetings and the kids" daily routines. We were together for lunch, dinner and vacation. Ranbir didn"t get a chance to be close to his father until he assisted him when my husband directed Aa Ab Laut Chalen. Now that my husband has been home more often Ranbir has become close to him too. He"s much closer to me.

As an actress and mother do you feel Ranbir will match up to expectations?
How can I say? I"m told he has a lot of grace and rhythm. And that he has a cute face and an athletic body. And he isn"t a chaap of his dad either. It"s impossible to imitate my husband. Johnny Lever once told Rishi he"s the only actor he can"t ape because Rishi is such a natural. I did 11 films with him, I should know.

How do you feel about 'Karz" being remade?
I don"t think you can replicate any of those classics. People are doing it. And I wish them all the best.

Did Ranbir come and tell you he wanted to be an actor?
He always wanted to be an actor. Even as a kid he"d recite Amitabh Bachchan dialogues. He"d always be dancing at birthday parties. Even now when he cries or gets angry he looks for a mirror to see how he"s looking…

After being pampered at home, Ranbir had to work really hard on his first film.
But I never pampered Ranbir! I pampered Ridhima because I always knew she was going to get married and go away, so I gave her everything. But Ranbir had it much tougher. I never gave him anything on a platter. Ranbir still gets a fixed pocket money. I like the ritual. Even when Ranbir is earning in crores I"d like to continue giving him pocket money. I"ve given him a good foundation in life. I"ve taught him to be nice to people, no matter what.

What"s your equation with Ranbir now?
We"re friends. He tells me about everything, and I mean everything… girlfriends included. I guide him. But I don"t force him to do anything. And I"ve got to see him once a day. That"s enough. I don"t want him to sit on my lap or go to movies with me. All three of us go out for dinner every two-three days. Otherwise I don"t go out much.

And Rishi?
Oh, he can"t do without me even for a minute. When I go for my weekly movies with friends he calls me constantly. That"s why I don"t act in movies any longer. He never stopped me. But if I were away shooting he wouldn"t be able to take it. He can"t be in the house without me. Since Rishi and I grew up together and sort of merged into marriage I don"t mind his dependence on me. By the way he looks I can see what he"s looking for in the house.

Would you and Rishi like to play Ranbir"s parents?
I"d like that.

It should be a home production.
Yes, provided my husband finds the right subject. Ranbir has a director lurking within him. One day I"m sure he"ll make a film and I"d love to be in it.

Why didn"t your daughter become an actress?
We never stopped her from doing anything. From childhood she wanted to do fashion designing and said acting wasn"t her cup of tea. I must say she"s very gifted and an excellent mimic. She got lots of tempting offers but desisted. And I"m happy for that. This industry is sometimes harsh on women. Men have it easier. But a woman has to be very strong to take all that goes on.

Ranbir is constantly being written about.
I know! The other day there was a story that he was in a fistfight with someone at a public place. In his 24 years I"ve never seen him lose his cool. Even in school Ranbir sorted out all the fights among his friends; he"s the eternal peacemaker. He came home and said, 'Mom is that really me? I do normal things like go out with friends, have khana at a restaurant. Next thing I know they"re running me down." I tell him it"s part of being part of entertainment industry. Of course he can have as many girlfriends as he wants but let him have them first.

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