Mumbai: Actor Kunal Kapoor says he channelises his restless energy in acting.
The actor, who has worked with popular filmmakers like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Rahul Dholakia, Pradeep Sarkar and Gauri Shinde, doesn't take up acting projects in bulk. Why is he so choosy?
Kunal said: "I get this complaint from well-wishers... 'Why such less number of films?' But honestly, I always do films that I believe in, and they are very few and far between. These days, my kind of films are happening so, I am working quite a lot."
He added: "Since last year, so far, I have done some films. I did Veeram, Dear Zindagi, an English language film The Noblemen, Raagdesh is coming and there are two more projects I will be working on. So yes, it's quite an interesting phase of my career."
Starting as an assistant director with Mehra, Kunal made his Bollywood debut with the film Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities, directed by M.F. Husain.
Talking about his true calling in acting, he said: "I was a restless child from the beginning and I didn't know where to channelise that. And then when I started assisting and working on a film set, I understood that film is the platform…
"Even though I was an assistant director, most of the time I was in front of the camera rehearsing with actors. Gradually, I realized that I actually want to be in front of the camera, I want to be an actor. I channelise my restless energy in acting."
Kunal is quite excited about Raagdesh, in which he plays Major General Shah Nawaz Khan of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army.
Talking about the Red Fort trials, he said: "Isn't it quite shocking? I mean how come we were not taught about an important part of our history in school? It's really sad that our generation knows so little about the Indian National Army that contributed to the Indian freedom movement... nothing less than any other political parties or individual."
"After reading the entire story, I felt there's a deliberate attempt to wipe it out of our history books. It is unfortunate," said Kunal.
Kunal went the extra mile to get under the skin of the character. The actor read up a lot on Major General Khan, met his grandson, spent time with their family to get a better insight into his personality and worked on an Urdu-Punjabi accent to capture a certain speaking style of the 1940s' era.
What about his experience of working with the film's director Tigmanshu Dhulia?
"I always wanted to work with Tishu sir (Dhulia), and the interesting thing I have observed is that all actors perform well in his film…Everyone acts the best in his film! You know why?"
"Because he is an amazing actor, director, and writer. Being an actor, he understands what exactly I need to know to perform the character…it's a dream come true to work with him," said Kunal.
The story of Raagdesh revolves around three soldiers.
"I loved all the three characters in the film, whether it was Shah Nawaz, Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon or Prem Sahgal, I love them all," he said.
"Tishu sir was looking for a combination of Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Shashi Kapoor in these three characters. While Dhillon's character played by Amit (Sadh) is an emotional man who is ready to give his life for the country at any point of time, Sahgal is a little romantic by nature like the image of Shashi Kapoor. Shah Nawaz is calm, composed and intense," he added.
Raagdesh will release on July 28.