Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bollywood Actor Arjun Kapoor's Journey toward Stardom

He may look like just another ‘star’ actor in the making, smart, handsome, successful and fighting the fight- to make it in the tough, competitive, cut throat world of Bollywood, but that is just a case in point to show that appearances can be deceptive.

It seems like yesterday when I sat with good friend Mona Kapoor, wife of producer Boney Kapoor of ‘Mr India’ fame. Boney had walked out on wife Mona to be with his lady love Sridevi, infront of the whole world. Mona was sad but holding it together for her shy little kids. A young, introverted, quite obese boy walked into the room, mumbled something, slinked out of the room. He was awkward and grew up to be a slightly under-confident teenager at hundred and forty kilos- stroppy and hiding the pain of a father leaving home and going away with actor Sridevi. In the earlier years his parent’s quarrels had frightened him and it all turned out to create an intense, silent boy who is today power house performer Arjun Kapoor. Channelizing all that past angst into powerful performances that can leave audiences spellbound.
Trained in his skills, conversant with the fight and dance requirements of ‘Bollywood’ , disciplined, hardworking and able to project the right image -Arjun delivered three hits first shot with Ishaqzaade, Two States and Gunday. 

Aurenzeb got him critical acclaim and even though it did not set the box office on fire his performance had his characteristic stamp of nonchalant passion got noticed. The unfaltering fiery reckless stamp of acting he has developed comes from all the emotion and life experience that exist just below the surface. I watch with interest this powerful, unassuming performer, who chats candidly, unemotionally about matters of the heart –painful and past.

“However healthy it is to cry and vent pain, not everyone is able to let it all out, but we find solutions in our own way. It is important to make one’s peace and find a positive outlet to pain” he shares.

 Just days before the premier of his first film Ishaqzade, which Mona had looked forward to so longingly- her now slim, tall, macho son would fire up the screen and all those years of hurt and trial would fade into oblivion – she gave into her fight with cancer.  In life, some are dealt more difficult a hand than others. Being an intense and silent young man, Arjun candidly admits that the pain was so deep and yet he was unable to cry. 

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“In the days that followed I found it a waste of time to play the blame game and to dwell of the past. Instead I celebrated my lovely sister Anshula and channelized all energies into work. I find a release in work, perfecting the art, acting and understanding the medium of film-making. Unable to let out the angst, I used work to externalize the pent up pain and allow my performances to be the much needed release for all that transpired.”

This intense performer has gone on record to say all his sorrow at losing his mother and the lacuna left behind by her comes out in his performances -he vicariously lives through his roles, where he channelizes his emotions and takes out his pent up pain and trauma at having to deal with tough life issues. He went into his audition at Yashraj never mentioning he’s Boney Kapoor’s son, and got the role and contract with Adi (Chopra) on his own steam and acting prowess.  His close buddy Ranvir Singh says about him ‘He’d
 take a bullet for a friend”

He’s unusually articulate, the words valour, bravery, never say die come to mind “I’ve hardly ever moped about cards that I’ve been dealt. I have over the years developed a resolute ability. Mom was a fighter and I saw her battle with my father leaving us, cancer, trying always to be cheerful despite so much loss, looking out for us so caringly. I saw so many ups and downs with my parents. Mom fought valiantly until her last day. Resultantly I grew up into a better understanding of life, and learnt never to put my hands up. Mom going (her sad demise happened on the eve of Arjun’s first film) made me awaken to more reality and we grew up overnight. Anshula (his sister) and I learnt to look out for ourselves and we became mature.”  These experiences, myriad as they are, come out in his work which is viewed then as multi-layered.

 “I began to internalize that good things and bad things happen to us all. I do not blame anyone, and have taught myself to find a deeper meaning. I always wanted to be there for Mom. I miss her terribly but I now live for my sister, she is my biggest strength. I have learnt that you don’t spend life in regret but must spend time loving and celebrating those people that are in your life- my sister Anshula.  Eventually you have to develop the attitude of acceptance, take it on your chin, and move on.”

“On a personal level yes I have had poignancy, it makes me relate to my characters more feelingly. I am honest with the moment and deal with all situations organically. I never lay back brood or even celebrate a hit, I just carry it all into my work. I am malleable and understand that you have to learn to deal with loss and pain. 

There is no other way out! ”.

Arjun Kapoor is a revelation. A man one could learn to cope with tough life situations. What he says is from the heart and comes across that way. No positioning. No pretense. Its all out there, like it or not. He's not out to please, but to perform. 
Like he says, its all inside, imploding in his work....

Nisha JamVwal



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