BY AVNEET SINGH
ORANGE, CA – If there were one word to describe Anil Kapoor, it would be as simple as – mellow. He was available to meet his fans at Chapman University on April 24 where the film he produced, ‘Gandhi My Father’ was screened. A resilient film star, he has been around the Bollywood industry for a long time and notched up successes with several hit films in India and now in his latest international turn in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ he still comes across as humble.
Kapoor, who likes to think of himself as a story teller, talked about ‘Gandhi my Father’ as the untold story that had to be shown. At the Q and A that followed the showing of the film to a full house, he described Gandhi as someone who is looked upon as god-like but in fact was human first, who also made mistakes.
While talking to India Journal he reminisced on the start of his film career. Kapoor began acting when he was 12. He said he had heard about an audition for the role of an ‘extra’ in a film. After the audition, he loved the idea of being in a film so much that he didn’t take off the makeup for a few days, he said, just so he could go to school and show his friends that he was going to be in a film! Narrating the story, the actor seemed 12 again, with the enthusiasm and love for cinema that showed on his face.
Kapoor said his role models were actors that caught his attention and connected with him. He clearly looks upto Charlie Chaplin, Dilip Kumar, and Raj Kapoor.
On where he thinks he is headed career-wise, he said, “There is still so much to do in life! You would think that my career is almost over but then I am in one film which changes my life and now I’m considered a newcomer. It is like I am barely starting my career. I consider myself a student, I am always trying to learn. I have learned to value my career, and I have learned a lot from my past mistakes.”
His longevity in the business, he said, was likely due to his thinking that “You should be ready to fail.”
Reluctant to give advise, he said “I have never been the type of person that is good with things like that. I try to listen to others more instead and get as much input as possible. I think that is the best advice I can give, zip your mouth and learn from others.”
Anil Kapoor’s son, Harsh is enrolled at Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and is studying screen writing.