After a year of embarrassing controversies and incredible setbacks, Kapil Sharma is back. Following the release of his movie FIRANGI, he is now planning to push the envelope when he returns to the small screen with his television show.
FIRANGI features him as an innocent villager grappling with the Colonial Raj. It is a charming performance in an endearing film. Kapil has discussed his career plans and some personal decisions in an interview.
Kapil, that's quite a departure in FIRANGI from your first film KIS KISKO PYAAR KAROON and from your image as a stand-up comic?
You liked it? Thanks. My friend Rajiev Dhingra who directed Firangi sat with me… We exchanged ideas on what we would do together. We decided we would do a period film for sure. But we didn't want to do the usual 'evil Colonisers and innocent peasants' movie. We wanted to do a fresh take on the Raj. I think we succeeded in doing that.
Yes, Rajiev has ensured that your fans get what they want from your innocence, but he has also ensured a new avatar from your comicality.
'Haan, mera character bholepann mein hi bahut kuch kar jaata hai.' (My character does a lot of things without knowing the repercussions). I think Rajiev knows me better than almost anyone else. We've been friends for years. 'Kai baar aisa hota hai ki kuch log itne kareeb hote hain ke woh aapko khud se behtar jaane hain.' (Some people are so close to you that they know you better than you know yourself).
Rajiev knows me well enough to know what I can do and can't do. He directed me accordingly. Sometimes I would go over-the-top. But he would bring me back to normalcy. He knew the audience wanted to see me playing a normal guy who can make others laugh.
Do you like pushing the envelope?
It will be boring for me and the audience if I don't. That's why I am planning a radical change in 'The Kapil Sharma Show'. As far as feature films go, I will try to do something different each time. I already have an idea for my next film. Audiences are open to all kinds of experiences now. I saw Newton. It was so different yet successful
The film is too long, though?
Oh, you will be surprised at how much we left out.
Have you shown FIRANGI to your film industry friends like Shah Rukh Khan or Akshay Kumar?
Not yet. We had a screening for the cast and crew and family on Thursday. They will say only nice things. Very often, we actors and entertainers get cut off from reality because we surround ourselves with yes-men. It's very important to listen to people who don't flatter you and who correct you when you're wrong. Rajiev Dhingra is one such friend. He tells when I go wrong.
[By Subhash K. Jha]