If I had to describe Anil Kapoor, I'd say he is the most eminently likeable rebel. He is ruling the big screen since three decades. He looks enviously young, almost in his late thirties and then you see his two beautiful daughters in their twenties - Sonam Kapoor (actor) and Rhea Kapoor (producer), and you start to question - How can it be possible? But that's Anil. He is an easy going dude who can make you slide down the sofa while interviewing him. I remember the time I met Kapoor on the red carpet in London at the BAFTA's during the Slumdog Millionaire nominations. Today, when I meet Anil at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai, he came across as the same person I had last met. He is relishing the conversation we are having about his film as a producer titled Aisha, which stars his daughter Sonam. He is all dressed up in his grey jacket which adores his white shirt and black jumper which fits perfectly with his black jeans. Anil offers me some Ferrero Rocher chocolates along with a hot cup of coffee to make the interview more relaxed, just like him. He stretches his legs and makes himself comfortable and candid while I look in disgust and question - Why can't I be on the other end? This special correspondent meets the unstoppable Anil Kapoor.
Aisha is a family affair. How emotional are you?
I don't really have words for this question. It's a feeling I can't honestly express. It's so many emotions mixed into one. Sometimes I'm worked up, sometimes I am very detached, sometimes I am very aggressive and sometimes I am patient and compassionate.
After watching Aisha, did you recall the days when you saw Sonam, your daughter when she was a teenager?
Not only Sonam, but all the other characters in the film are relatable. It's a cultural mix of young dreams and values stuck in between. The characters in Aisha don't know where to draw the line and that's the grey area of the film. Sometimes they overstep and sometimes they don't. Aisha is a perfect film for those youngsters who have their cultural values intact and are still known as 'new school' with 'old school' mentality intact.
You see the film working well in the overseas market?
Of course yes. The UK and the US are two big territories for our Indian films. Aisha will do well in both these countries because of its common factor - youth and their aspirations. The films look is the first thing that makes the audiences gauge or calculate, to a certain extent, how the film is going to be. So far, we have got all positive response from the first look and a few trailers and an even fantastic reports coming in after the launch of its music.
Yes, the music is topping the charts.
Thanks to Amit Trivedi who has composed some of the most melodious tracks in recent times. The title track 'Suno Aisha', 'Sham' and 'Gal Mithi Mithi' are being loved by all. It is Amit Trivedi's finest work so far.
Are you motivating both your daughters so they rule the industry for three or more decades as you've done?
(Laughs) At the moment, they are motivating me. 'Bacche Baap Se Badhkar Hai'. Immediately after Aisha releases, we've got a few more films which we will be bringing to our audiences. Aisha is Rhea Kapoor all the way.
After your popularity in the West, do you think it will help Aisha garner more attention?
If I was acting in it, probably yes. Aisha stands on its own merit. It doesn't need my name or my presence to take it higher. It's right up there at the moment. Even if I was not involved in this film, Aisha would still stand tall. I am not trying to sound biased here because both my daughters are involved.
How different is it to see Sonam act in an ensemble film?
I think, any actor, including Sonam, flowers much more when they are in an ensemble film. If you see Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti, Sholay, Deewaar, etc are great ensemble films. Every character makes the entire film look real. That's the good thing about seeing many actors contributing to make a film. And that's how the film script is written. Plus, if you are surrounded by good actors, it adds up to the film as one gets inspired and motivated to perform much better.
What do you think about the quirky Abhay Deol?
I don't think Abhay is quirky. He is a normal man with a great acting ability. It's just that quirky is just an image he is enjoying right now with many of his films released (laughs). Abhay is like any other actor who I've met since I started acting and what makes all the actors different is their individuality.