Forty years is a long time to not just stick to a single profession, but also be as dedicated to it as one was on the very first day. Ask Anil Kapoor, who started his acting career exactly four decades ago with the Telugu film Vamsa Vruksham in 1980.
“It’s been nothing less than a dream which I am still living in and never want to wake up from. It’s what I was born to do and will die doing,” says an emotional Kapoor as he goes on a nostalgic trip.
Sustaining a career for 40 years must not have been easy. “Keeping up with the changing times and demands…it’s challenging, but also fun,” he says.
While a string of hits such as Mr India (1987), Tezaab (1988), Ram Lakhan (1989) and Beta (1992) in the 1980s and 90s firmly established him as a bankable star, Kapoor didn’t restrict himself to any particular genre. He slipped into a Nayak (2001) as easily as he did a Welcome (2007). And Hollywood, too, came calling.
It therefore comes as a surprise when the actor shares that his talent hasn’t fully been explored till now. “There’s a lot more that I feel I can do, a lot more that I want to do. So I am always setting new boundaries and moving beyond them,” says the actor.
Kapoor, who was recently shooting for his upcoming film, Jug Jug Jeeyo, with Varun Dhawan and Neetu Kapoor, has seen a lot evolve over the years. And the actor feels that even the definition of being a public figure has changed drastically. He says, “There’s a lot more responsibility that comes with it [being a public figure] now and every step that we take is being watched. We have to make sure we’re doing what we believe in, and the right way.”
The 63-year-old had a close shave with Covid-19, when both Dhawan and Singh tested positive for the virus. Back in Mumbai now, Kapoor says that the Covid situation didn’t affect a certain thing in his day. “Fortunately, Covid hasn’t gotten in the way of my only consistent pre-shoot ritual — my fitness regime. My trainer Marc makes sure to adapt my training in ways that make the best possible allowance for the circumstances, and so I’ve never had to miss a day of the physical rigour that keeps me grounded and sane before and through shoots,” he beams.
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