Anil Kapoor, who was one of the most bankable stars of the ‘80s, is having a successful second run at the box-office. So much so that he is giving stiff competition to Amitabh Bachchan. There have been several instances in the recent past when producers decided to settle for Kapoor rather than Bachchan. Kapoor says, “I got back to the grind thinking that occasional films will keep me busy. Fortunately, I bagged the right scripts, best directors and everything fell into place. Trust me I have never enjoyed doing films as much as I do today.”
The story goes that Aditya Chopra also discouraged Tashan director Vijay Krishna Acharya from signing Bachchan to play a crucial negative character in the film. The role eventually went to Kapoor. Apparently, Bachchan’s portrayal of the modern-day Gabbar in Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag was one of the reasons why he wasn’t offered the role in Tashan. A source from the production house reveals, “Adi (Aditya Chopra) felt that Anil will portray the sexual streak in the character more effectively than Mr Bachchan. Also, unlike Mr Bachchan, Anil isn’t overexposed
Similarly, Percept Picture Company was insistent on making Johnny Walker with Kapoor. But director Shoojit Sircar took the same script to UTV Motion Pictures as he was rooting for Bachchan in the lead role. It’s a different story that Kapoor begged out of Percept’s Johnny Walker as Bachchan has already shot for Sircar’s film, which is now titled Shoe-bite.
Kapoor explains, “I clearly told Shailendra Singh, Joint Managing Director of Percept Holdings, that there is no point in making a film with the same content. It would have only resulted in negativity and that’s why I stepped down.”
Trainspotting director Danny Boyle also cast Kapoor as the Kaun Banega Crorepati host in his film, Slumdog Millionaire, which releases in October.
Kapoor’s young looks, ability to convincingly play flamboyant characters, and his conscious decision to stay away from brand endorsements have only worked to the actor’s advantage. “Like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor, I have never believed in brand endorsements. Although my children think that I’m a fool, I will never endorse any brand. Naturally, I’m not overexposed and it has definitely given me an edge over the rest,” adds a rather frank Kapoor.
A trade analyst, on condition of anonymity, says, “Anil Kapoor has suddenly become a very, very interesting option for filmmakers.
The second coming
He is a good and versatile actor and he has been choosing his roles very cleverly. Welcome, Black and White, Race, Tashan and Main Yuvraj is a great and varied line-up. Also, he is playing a prominent role in all these films. Kapoor's biggest asset is that he still looks young and fresh and he can confidentially carry off roles alongside Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna. His market value has certainly gone up recently.”
After having essayed the role of the Kaun Banega Crorepati host in Slumdog Millionaire, Kapoor will be soon seen on television as a chatty host. Without giving out too many details, Kapoor says, “I have been offered two television shows, and I'm looking forward to hosting them.”
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