He enthralled the audience with his comic act in DELHI BELLY and NAUTANKI SAALA however they were multi-starrers. As he is gearing up for his first solo hero project, the supernatural thriller THE FINAL EXIT, Kunaal Roy Kapur is both excited and nervous about whether the audience will be able to accept him in this different space as it’s a big shift from comedy.
In an exclusive interview Kunaal talks about his excitement for his upcoming film, the reason behind losing so much of weight and why THE FINAL EXIT is not like any other run-of-the-mill supernatural thrillers.
Here are the excerpts:
Tell us about your upcoming film THE FINAL EXIT and also about your role in it.
THE FINAL EXIT is a super-natural thriller and has also got horror elements in it. Also there’s lot of suspense and mystery to it. It is a film that I think the audience will like as there’s a large market of audience for horror films out there right now. This film is definitely in space that people will kind of enjoy. My character is that of a photographer who is kind of very dissatisfied with life. He is always in the search for something but doesn’t know what. There’s like emptiness in his life which he can’t fill. He has a recurring dream and then he sees this girl in the dream and then meets her in real life too. He gets some clues and then goes off on this road trip in search for the thing that was troubling him. And then he gets into a world that he can’t get out of as there’s no escape from that world but he has to find a way out. So it’s a very interesting kind of space that people would enjoy watching.
With so many super-natural thrillers out there tell us how different THE FINAL EXIT is from the rest of them?
A lot of these films have more to do with bhoot pret, there’s lot of blood, gore and people are shown being possessed but our film will make you ask a lot of questions, will keep you in suspense and more like on the edge of your seats. Its little bit different from what’s been out there also in the way that it’s been shot as horror film which is been shot mostly in the day. It was challenging to create a world that is scary but is still all bright. So this is another thing that the audience will find interesting as it’s a very different looking film in that sense. There’s little bit of night scenes too but mostly its day in this film. It’s quite different from the horrors even from abroad which are also generally set in night and use darkness.
Do you personally believe in super-natural elements?
No not at all. (Laughs)
So how difficult it was to play someone who is trapped in this supernatural scenario. What all preparations you did for your role?
See one preparation which I think was the easiest was the part were Dhwanil (director of the film) wanted me to lose some weight so I lost some fifteen kilos to look a little bit leaner and fitter for the role. But I think the most difficult part was playing this genre because as a comic actor you are always thinking that how do I make this character or scene bit funnier? But in this film I didn’t get any such opportunity. I was just dead serious, lost and hopeless and there’s no comic element to it. Though it was not challenging as I have done it in the past in theatre , but when it comes to films this is my first pure serious role that I am doing so that was quite challenging. Dhwanil was also helpful in guiding me through it. The other preparation was in creating a character who is just fed up of his life and personally I am quite a happy-go-lucky kind of person and am quite happy with the roles that I get, but in this film my character always feels low and there’s emptiness in his life. So that was interesting to play.
So the main reason behind losing so much weight was this film?
After DELHI BELLY and NAUTANKI SAALA this is your first solo-hero project. So how excited or nervous you are about this film?
Actually I am both excited and nervous. I am happy that I am getting to do a film after DELHI BELLY and NAUTANKI SAALA in both I had comic roles. THE FINAL EXIT is in a completely different zone I am actually nervous whether audience will accept me in this different space as it’s a big shift from comedy. While I am excited about the fact that I got the opportunity to do a role that is so out of my zone but am also nervous whether the audience will like it or not.
What are your expectations from this film?
I hope that people who are fans of this genre and otherwise also will come to watch this film because I feel that this is a film which people will enjoy watching on screen. Horror, thrillers, supernatural stuffs are mostly enjoyed in a darker room shared with other people (theaters) because films like comedy and light dramas you can still sit at home and watch but horror is such a genre where you really feel like watching it in theatre.
You have also dabbled into direction, so which role you personally enjoy the most-Being a director or being an actor?
When I am feeling energetic and full of life then I think I can be a director because you need tons and tons of energy to be one and I think as an actor you still get breaks. You are able to retreat to your vanity, have a little bit of comfort but as a director there is no break. For 6-8 months you have to be working on a project and look into every aspect of the film. I love that but it is definitely much harder so when I am feeling very energetic and full of life then direction and when I feel lethargic then acting (laughs).
Your elder brother Siddharth is a producer, while younger Aditya is an actor, so do you guys have any plans of coming together for any project?
Not as of now. I think we are all happy doing our own things but who knows may be in the future we might have a project where we can all contribute and we definitely will but as of now there’s nothing on the table.
Majority of your family members are from the same industry, so when you guys come together so what is the general topic of discussion?
Definitely films, I mean we talk a lot about films in India, abroad or television shows and platforms like Netflix and Amazon those are also very good and very high quality. Then of course we talk about general stuffs like every other family does.
And do you guys seek advice or inputs from each other?
Well sometimes we do but not very often. We all make our own decision and we respect that we all have gotten this far making our own decisions but yes we do ask for their opinion from time to time like how was it working with so and so director or any person or who is good in this so yeh discussions toh hoti rehti hai but we leave the final decisions to ourselves and that’s the way we function.
Tell us about your upcoming projects
After THE FINAL EXIT I have KAALAKAANDI which will be out later in the year. And just few days ago we released on Amazon Prime ‘Going Viral’ which was another comic web series which I really enjoyed and that’s about it. I have shot a couple of other films which I will discuss later when time comes.
Do you feel that the debate on nepotism in Bollywood has been blown out of proportion these days?
I don’t think it’s been blown out of proportion, as I think it is something that needs to be acknowledged and addressed in the sense that we need to realize that we can’t live in denial, we have to accept that it does exist and it exists in every industry it’s not exclusive just in ours. But it is part of our culture and it is something we need to acknowledge and we need to address it so I think that is the effort as a society that we need to make.