Shahid Kapoor is today considered one of the most talented actors in the Hindi film industry. Debuting with the light-hearted romance movie, Ishq Vishk, he has evolved manyfold; the performance he delivered in his latest film, Kabir Singh is proof for that. One of the unique qualities of Shahid as an actor is that he is constantly pushing boundaries with the kind of roles he portrays on screen, and also the kind of scripts he chooses to work with. In a recent interview, Shahid spoke about the challenge of portraying an alcoholic, being a teetotaler.
As a celebrity who brings a breath of fresh air to mainstream Hindi cinema, Shahid Kapoor is invaluable. In his latest film, Kabir Singh, which is a Hindi remake of Arjun Reddy, a hit Telugu film, Shahid had to essay the role of an alcoholic, but he didn't have personal experience in the aspect as he is a teetotaler. So he revealed in an interview that he connects with the emotions of a person, instead of the external experience in such roles.
As reported by Pinkvilla, he said, "I don't touch alcohol. People who do are comfortable having it for a scene. It's not something I'd like to try. I might have come across people like that. But that's an external experience. If you want to internalise it, then you need to connect with the emotions."
Shahid had faced a similar challenge in his 2016 film, Udta Punjab, in which he had to play the role of a cocaine addict. Although he has never used drugs, his acting in the film was so convincing that it showed the depths Shahid reaches into his personhood to bring out the emotions necessary to play a role.
Kabir Singh received a lot of flak for presenting a seriously flawed character on screen. Shahid defended the role of art in presenting complex characters instead of spoon-feeding audiences with simple ones. He said, "Why have we loved Mr Bachchan playing 'an angry young man' down the years? Why is Devdas considered a classic? Why Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are considered the greatest actors in the world? Why is Haider one of the greatest films in my career? Why is Vishal Bhardwaj considered one of the greatest filmmakers? Grey characters are exciting. Filmmaking is an art. The more complex the art form, the more commendable it becomes. When you see a performance, which is complex and demanding, you appreciate more."
Kabir Singh is directed by Sandeep Vanga Reddy, and it stars Kiara Advani in the lead opposite Shahid.