Born to Bollywood royalty, Ranbir Kapoor makes new film a family affair

By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor is one of Indian cinema's most bankable young stars, and his latest film, "Besharam," which also stars his parents, is set to become one of the most widely released Bollywood films worldwide.

Kapoor, a member of India's "first family of film" and the grandson of veteran Bollywood director Raj Kapoor, plays a charming but vulgar car thief in the Hindi-language action comedy that opens on Wednesday in 4,700 cinemas internationally, including 210 in the United States.

His parents, leading Bollywood stars Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, play police agents in the film, marking the first time the three have been in the same movie in what distributor Reliance Entertainment chief Sanjeev Lamba called a "casting coup."

Bollywood refers to the Hindi-language film industry centered in Bombay, or Mumbai, which is known for mass-appeal productions featuring lavish song and dance numbers.

"Besharam" is a slang term in Hindi for someone who is shameless. Kapoor, whose 2013 coming-of-age film "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani" was among the five highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time, said the role was a departure from his previous films as he plays a "vulgar and repulsive" character.

He said he was attracted to "Besharam" by its simplicity.

"It wasn't trying to be too intellectual. It was entertaining. It engaged me and if it engaged me, I thought it would engage an audience," Kapoor said in an interview during a visit to New York.

Kapoor, 31, is the winner of several awards, including two Filmfare Best Actor Awards, the Indian film industry equivalent to the Oscars, for his role as a troubled musician in 2011's "Rockstar" and as a blind, deaf man in 2012's "Barfi!"

Acting with his famous parents for the first time in "Besharam" came easy for Kapoor, who said he never felt any pressure growing up to carry on in the family business.

"It was lovely ... to see how they are on set because I had never seen them on set before. That was the good part. I got inspired by my father working with him," he said.

ACTING ROYALTY

Kapoor's family has been a part of Bollywood, which is celebrating its centenary, for more than 80 years beginning when his great-grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor started in silent films.

After studying filmmaking in New York, acting offers in India started coming in for Kapoor. Despite his huge success, the heartthrob is not completely comfortable with his superstar status in India and said he is trying to protect his private life from becoming a reality show.

"The paparazzi have just entered the Indian film industry. I am not married yet so there is a lot of the spotlight on me because the other actors are married," he explained. "So I am the scapegoat now for the media. I take it with a pinch of salt. It comes with the territory."

Although directing is a long-term ambition, Kapoor said for now he is content to stick to acting. He has two films set to open in 2014: "Bombay Velvet," a crime drama set in the 1950s and 1960s, and "Jagga Jasoos," a children's detective film that he is producing.

He also has no plans yet to make an English-language film.

"I think I would rather make a film about my people, my land, my language because I connect with it more. But never say never," he said.

(Editing by Eric Kelsey, Piya Sinha-Roy and Cynthia Osterman)

Latest News

  • '...Byomkesh Bakshy!' gets U/A certificate

    Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) In a refreshing departure from the norm, Dibakar Banerjee has no reason to be miffed with the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) regarding his film "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy", which has been granted a U/A certificate with only some cuts. Shravan Kumar, CEO of the CBFC, said: "A screening was held for Examining Committee, which recommended the grant for U/A with excisions. No request for constitution of Revising Committee has been made by the producers as on …

  • My films are commercial, but different: Akshay Kumar

    Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, who will next be seen in "Gabbar Is Back", says his films have always been commercial and his choices of films has always been different. "My films are commercial. I don't give any speech (on social issues) in my films. "Gabbar Is Back" is directed by popular southern actor Krish and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. …

  • DD documentary on Mrinal Sen handed over to filmmaker

    Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) As part of its tribute to India's living legends, Doordarshan has made a documentary on legendary film maker Mrinal Sen, the DVD of which was handed to the nonagenarian movie maker here on Wednesday. Titled "Celebrating Mrinal Sen", the four-episode documentary is primarily based on conversations between the maestro and renowned film critic and analyst Sameek Bandyopadhyay. Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawhar Sircar handed over the DVD to Sen and his wife …

  • Surprise! Abhishek Bachchan shoots for his special appearance in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's JAZBAA
    Surprise! Abhishek Bachchan shoots for his special appearance in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's JAZBAA

    One of Bollywood's hottest couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had created their magic on screen last in GURU which released in 2007. …

  • Swastika Mukerjee and 4 Bengali bombshells who went bold in Bollywood
    Swastika Mukerjee and 4 Bengali bombshells who went bold in Bollywood

    Swastika Mukherjee has become the talk of the town because of her bold scenes and hotness quotient in DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY! …

  • Fools' Day Special: Here's why Uday Chopra and Nargis Fakhri made us go 'aww'
    Fools' Day Special: Here's why Uday Chopra and Nargis Fakhri made us go 'aww'

    The funny man in the Chopra family, Uday Chopra (of DHOOM fame) knows how to take a dig at himself as he said that he is proud to be a fool. …

  • Ayushmann Khurrana: We actors are over pampered
    Ayushmann Khurrana: We actors are over pampered

    At the recently concluded FICCI Frames 2015, Ayushmann Khurrana confessed that actors are over pampered. …

  • Madhuri, Shriram Nene now Aquaguard goodwill ambassadors

    Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene and her husband Shriram Nene have been roped in by Eureka Forbes, a pioneer in the water purification systems market, as the goodwill ambassadors for Aquaguard for a five-year term. …

Loading...