Shahid Kapoor's in the midst of a promotional blitzkrieg for his film, Teri Meri Kahaani that releases tomorrow, 22nd June, but he's got his funny on. In between wardrobe changes for photoshoots, getting the right music to suit his mood for the day and juggling his publicist's line up of media interactions, Shahid cuts a good picture and he knows it! But then again, what's an actor without narcissism?
Q: So, who's the Teri and the Meri in the Teri Meri Kahaani plot?
Well, from my point of view, Priyanka Chopra is Teri and Meri is me, and it is the other way around for her. It is also all of us in the audience and we are hoping it's everybody's story in some way.
Q: What is the role you play in the film?
The film spans three different time periods. So, in the 1910 time period, I play Javed Kadri, a Casanova, a good-for-nothing bum off the streets, who uses his shayari skills as his opening line to hit on women. It's his thing, his pick up line. It was a lot of fun playing Javed. Then I play a simple guy, Govind, who is a struggling musician in Mumbai in the 1960s time period. It's our little tribute to Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor and Raj Kapoor - the golden era of rock 'n roll. Then one day, he meets a superstar on a train as he gets into her compartment by accident and then, how they fall in love subsequently. Those days, superstars travelled by train unlike today. Then in the 2012 period, I play Krish, a character closest to myself possibly on film, to Priyanka's Radha. It's contemporary, very today.
Q: What's the part you enjoyed enacting the most? Which era?
Javed for sure! He does all the things I want to do, but can't!
What era does your heart and soul belong to?
I related the most to 2012, more than any other time period. I am a very modern person in many ways, very today, so it was the most identifiable.
You wear your star status easy, even as you are recognized as an
extremely good actor in the business. What's more fun?
It's very difficult to choose between the two since both are essential to your work as an actor. The greatest performance, without an applause, leaves you terribly dissatisfied. I am very passionate about what I do — I love what I do for a living. It's important for me to feel that I am good at it. Acting is not just a profession for me - it's more than that. Success is not directly attached to your abilities, not always. But I am happy that I enjoy stardom as well as respect from my audiences as an actor.
Q: So you're a star and a terrific actor - what's left to prove?
Lots! I hope that by the time my career comes to a close, I can fill up an entire wall in my house with all the movies that I am proud of. I have so many more films to do, so much more to achieve.
Q: What do you enjoy most on a filming schedule - a song picturisation, an emotional scene, a comedy sequence...?
I feel a sense of nervous excitement when I'm doing challenging scenes in a film. It's apprehension, trepidation, that sort of feeling actually. Leonardo Di Caprio said something once which I truly believe in - "If I read a script and understand the character, I turn it down." But then, he's Leonardo, who has worked with some of the world's best directors. I too, feel that if I am not going to be pushing myself, adding something more to the part, then it's not challenging to me as an actor. So, challenging scenes are the most enjoyable on set.
Q: What are you most fanatical about when you're at work?
Music! I need it all the time, from the time I enter my vanity van and start my makeup for a shoot. Right now, I am listening to a lot of house music.
Q: What are the films that you're working on next?
There is a film with Maneesh Sharma, produced by Yash Raj Films with Parineeti Chopra, then Bijoy Nambiar's next produced by Mubina Rattonsey and a full on, masala film with Prabhudeva.
Q: So, Ranbir Kapoor and you are just good friends and Priyanka Chopra and you are just neighbours right?
Ranbir Kapoor and I are just good friends and Priyanka is my neighbour. I prefer it that way and not the other way round! (laughs)
Q: Describe your friendship with Ranbir - what do you guys talk about, other than girls of course?
Can I answer that next time? And really, you think that's all we guys talk about - girls?
Q: One word to describe how you feel when a film does well at the box office...
Relief!!! After all the hectic promotions and domestic and international travel, it's a big relief!
Q: What do you think of the current shutdown on Mumbai's nightlife on ACP Dhoble's moral watch?
Government rules are rules, but I think we should all find places to party that do not in any way disturb others. You can have a good time pretty much anywhere. I'm a teetotaler, but I love a good party! I don't know why people assume that people who don't drink do not like to party. You have to party with me to know how much I enjoy a good party. Personally, I enjoy house parties a lot more than going out in the city. I love partying in my van and when I really want to get away, I fly off to Goa!