Harshvardhan Kapoor’s Mirzya, inspired by the tale of the legend of Mirza-Sahiban, will hit the theatres on October 7 and while Anil Kapoor’s youngest child is confident and not stressed about the creative expectations, he’s nervous about its promotions.
“I don’t know whether we are doing the right thing or we should be doing something more. What if we had some more time in hands for promotions? I hope it reaches maximum people. I have been wondering about these things over the last few days."
"I am a strongly opinionated person and fortunately Mehra (director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra) and others involved with the project do listen to me because it’s very important for people to experience who you really are,” says Harshvardhan.
He has a lot to say about his debut film, Mirzya, “I was blown away by the complex, romantic and poetic script of Mirzya, which is also a musical. I realised that I was getting a chance to be a part of something so poetic, and beautiful, and it suits my personality. It’s very rare to find scripts that are poetic and very romantic. When I was 22, I was reading so many other scripts but I feel this is the most contemporary romantic script ever.”
The biggest challenge for the 25-year-old actor was working on the film for three long years and to bring the popular folklore on screen. "I have given so much to this film that a part of me will die when it's out. When it releases I will feel as if I have lost a part of me. I was so involved with every aspect of the film. I was doing something so creative for the first time with so much honesty. I can't describe the feeling, it is like falling in love for the first time," he says.
But why didn’t Harshvardhan want to start his career with a commercial candy-floss love story, a so-called safe film, as his launch vehicle, instead of picking up a tragic love story?
"If we look at what is happening around us we can see that some of the most 'unsafe' films have done well. So I feel I'm being safe by being unsafe. People are ready to see different cinema and if it doesn't do well commercially still our work will be appreciated. There have been so many incredible moments, everybody will take something or the other," says Harshvardhan, who considers Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor as his inspiration.
Being a star-kid, there is bound to be comparisons made between him and his actor-father, Anil Kapoor.
In fact, few days back at the music launch of Mirzya, the senior actor ended up saying that Harshvardhan was not one bit like him. But, however, one may feel that the father and son’s strategy might have been similar. Anil’s first Hindi film in a leading role was Woh Saat Din (1983) opposite Padmini Kolhapure, which wasn’t a commercial potboiler.
Harshvardhan’s take on this is, “After Woh Saat Din and Mashaal, my dad started doing more and more commercial cinema. Woh Saat Din was a surprise hit, nobody expected it to be so. But circumstances are different and we can’t compare our choice of cinema. That way I’m more artistically inclined and I go by my very first instinct.”
But there are definitely some lessons to be learnt from someone who has spent about three-and-a-half decades in this unpredictable industry. Says the new star-kid on the block, “Keep going and don’t dwell on success and failure.” Being raised in the industry environment and deeply influenced by the culture, Harshvardhan talks passionately about it and his growing up days.
“Even as the industry has moved into the world of studios, it still remains a family industry. That is the reason independent producers have survived. I like it when you make films in family culture. It’s amazing to be a Juhu boy as a lot of industry lives here. There is an interesting story in every house. Next to my home lives Ekta Kapoor, then there is Hrithik, the Deols, the Bachchans. When I’m free, I go to the beach in the morning and pass by all their bungalows and homes."
Mirzya pairs Harshvardhan opposite newcomer Saiyami Kher. Does Harshvardhan feel that if he was launched with a star daughter, the film would have generated more hype, say for instance Ranbir Kapoor and his sister Sonam Kapoor's launchpad Saawariya?
"Ranbir opposite Sonam was definitely a big deal, but Sayami has got a great image which may not be public and mainstream. She’s the granddaughter of yesteryear actress Usha Kiron, then she is Shabana Azmi’s niece, but I don’t think Mehra cast her for that. She is incredibly beautiful and very good for the role. After I was cast, he took good eight months to find his Sahiban," reveals Harshvardhan.
Unlike other newcomers, Harshvardhan, who is getting many offers, took a quick decision on his next film, Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi, a superhero flick. He informs, “I liked the story; it is about Bombay, it’s a vigilante film and about an ordinary superhero. I have grown up watching superhero films and I am also a Mumbaikar.”
The budding actor has no qualms about saying that he enjoys media attention and that he's ready to face the paparazzi. “I enjoy it. It’s wrong for people to oppose it because if you are a public figure then people would want to know about you, we should be open to it,” says Harshavardhan.