You may remember him best as a drunk has-been singer from Aashiqui 2, Mohit Suri’s version of A Star Is Born, or as Ranbir Kapoor’s always drinking man-child friend from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, but Aditya Roy Kapur has been active in the Hindi film industry for much longer.
Years before the release of his only two above-mentioned successful films, Kapur made an unlikely debut in 2009 with Vipul Shah’s London Dreams as a guitarist in Ajay Devgn’s band. Though the film tanked at the box office, Kapur still managed to star in two major projects the next year— Shah’s Action Replayy and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish.
Whether as Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s son who time travels to set right his parents’ failing marriage in Action Replayy or as a young man keen on learning magic from Hrithik Roshan’s crippled genius in Guzaarish, Kapur was distinctive. However, not as much for his acting prowess as for his chiseled good-looks, heartbreaking smile and an enviously thick mop of curly hair.
Thanks to his supporting roles in his first three films, Kapur established himself as an urbane-looking young actor with passable talent and a knack for landing big projects. But despite it all, it took him another three years to get to Aashiqui 2—his first film as a solo lead—that finally made people sit up and take notice of him. The film was a major success, with its songs blaring out of every stereo and speaker that entire year.
However, it’s been six years since Aashiqui 2 but Kapur is still waiting for a hit. In his 10-year-old acting career, he has starred in eight films, playing the lead in four, all of which (OK Jaanu, Dawat-e-Ishq and Fitoor) except for Aashiqui 2 came and went without a trace. Kalank, therefore, is his one golden chance at reviving his failing career.
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Admittedly, it won’t be easy for Kapur to stand on his own in a film that also stars Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt—but that’s the challenge. Also, considering his filmography vis-à-vis the others, the stakes are much higher for him than for any of his co-stars.
Sure, Kapur is well connected (his elder brother Siddharth Roy Kapur is a noted producer) and can keep getting big films without delivering solid performances, but luck may not favour him for long. Bollywood already has enough examples to serve as rightful reminders.
It speaks volumes about your work as an actor when you are invited to Koffee with Karan and are asked to sing and play guitar because the host doesn’t have much to talk about your performances or your craft. It’s about time that Kapur understood and delivered, for no one has forever.
Notably, other actors, who started around the same time as Kapur (Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Rajkummar Rao, Kalki Koechlin, Swara Bhasker, to name a few) have proven through their work over and over again why they bag the projects that they do and enjoy the stardom that they have. Of course, it’s unfair to compare. But what’s also unfair is unequal opportunities.
Today, 10 years and eight films later, Kapur is still waiting for a breakthrough. So are we.
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