When Arjun Kapoor appeared on the now-famous episode of Koffee With Karan with his BFF Ranveer Singh, it wasn’t just their bromance that had everyone talking. In the two years since Arjun was first seen on screen in Ishaqzaade, he had earned himself the reputation of being reserved and quiet. To see Arjun being fun was quite a revelation to many. “Really?” he asks with a laugh, adding, “I am someone who doesn’t talk more than what is required, but I am also a fun person.”
In the last couple of years, Arjun has heard people describe him as ‘stoic, arrogant, evasive, indifferent and rude’. “A lot of harsh words have been used to describe me, but that’s fine. I am just quiet. I don’t like to talk more than what’s required. That’s still not changed. But I am mentally in a better headspace now. Also, it’s taken me a while to get used to being an actor and get comfortable in my own skin. This comes from the appreciation you get and a sense of solidarity of belonging to something,” says the 27-year-old actor.
Boney Kapoor’s son has more than cemented his place in the young actors’ brigade in Bollywood. And the buzz around Gunday will only help cement his position further. Set in the 1970s’ Kolkata, Arjun describes the film as a ‘masala entertainer’ much like iconic films like Deewar and Kaala Patthar. “Gunday might not be the best film of my life but it’s been a life-altering film for me. This is the kind of film I have wanted to make all my life. I am a big fan of stylised commercial cinema. Through the shoot of this film, I had that ‘dha dha dha dha’ music that comes with our slow-motion running shot going to my head,” he says with a laugh.
Arjun insists that he had so much fun shooting this film across West Bengal, and the tough shooting conditions in live locations didn’t faze him. “When you are doing what you have waited your whole life to do, nothing seems tough or uncomfortable. It is only challenging in a good way. Imagine being in those coal mine in Raniganj in 40 degrees and your feet are getting f***ed because you can barely walk wearing those boots, but the director wants you to run. And, run you do. You run because that’s what you were born to do. The brain doesn’t tell you that it’s too hot or that you are slipping on the stones. All you can think of is ‘let’s try another take’.”
Apart from 2 States, Arjun has recently also started shooting for Tevar, a remake of the 2003 Telugu hit Okkadu. What makes this film special for the actor is the fact that his father Boney Kapoor is producing the film. “When I decided that I wanted to become an actor, I didn’t want my father to launch me. I wanted to make it on my own before working with him. So, I am very happy that we are able to work on a film that he wants to make. See, he doesn’t have to make a film that is tailor-made to showcase me. I have worked with him before on Wanted as a production hand, but this is the first time that he is seeing me act. He has only seen the final product in the past, but with Tevar he is going to be a part of my journey now. It’s nice.”
His father is not the only family member Arjun is happy to be able to spend more time with. His sister Anshula, who had been working in Delhi, after their mother’s untimely death in 2012, has moved back home. “It is so nice to have her back. She is my most honest audience. She keeps me grounded. She solidified all my emotions into that one feeling of absolute unconditional love. I am happy that I once again have someone to go back home to.”