One crazy trip, a model and a luxury camp site! Even arjun didn’t know that the wilds of leh will be this beautiful.
Arjun Kapoor, a sexy model and a luxury tent was all that we needed for a successful shoot. Coming from 30 degrees of Delhi to a staggering 10 in Leh, we didn’t have much time to acclimatise. But what got us going was the spunk, charm and a wicked sense of humour of Arjun. At a time when actors prefer to stick to a safe genre to work, Arjun has shown great variety with his choice of films, creating a fan frenzy of his own. From the rugged charmer in Ishaqzaade to the women’s favourite in Ki & Ka, he has worked with a different female lead in each one of them. Walking ahead in full tashan there’s something about the man next door that tells you he’s bound to go places. When the idea of shooting in the luxurious base camps of the serene Himalayas struck us, we wanted someone who had no qualms about travelling and everything that revolved about the basic notion of experimentation. We knew Arjun as an actor who’s always ready for new try-outs and goes without any hang-ups, whatsoever. Hence the obvious choice. When we first met him, our cover guy seemed too carefree to even pose for the camera, but as soon as Taras went about clicking, there was a different version of the actor, assuming ‘the’ attitude and improvising on it. Speaking with him, we got to know a lot of things about his restricted childhood (which is the case with every boy who has paranoid parents) to sharing a great camaraderie with Ranveer Singh. After a day long shoot and a lot of memories to carry, it was time to say good bye to the land of Lamas with those grand old words, Haminasto! Haminasto! Haminasto!
I am a loner, but I don’t mind the company of like-minded people.
Hi Arjun, how did you like the concept of the shoot?
It was really good and interesting. I have never been to Ladakh and it is always good to get out of Mumbai as you manage to get more out of every location and every outfit. The team comes together and it’s more about pushing the envelope. Let’s see how it comes out, because I don’t like judging my own work. It is best judged by others. All in all, it was really fun!
So, did you have fun shooting with Thayna?
Oh, yeah. She is very sweet and fun to be around. She is taller than me (haha) and I also noticed that she has bigger feet than mine. She’s just come to India and is discovering a lot of things in our country. She will be a succesful model for sure!
Do you like the idea of DIY camping?
Honestly, I have never done it, but the idea sounds nice. All the ideas sound nice, however, really doing it is a different thing. What we have done here is a 7-star glamorous camping with all the facilities available, so I got the feeling of camping without actually doing it.
Thyna is very sweet and fun to be around. She is taller than me (haha) and I also noticed that she has bigger feet than mine.
Do you have any funny story to tell about your attempts of camping with friends?
I have a lot of funny stories to tell, but none of them are about camping. I think my parents were too paranoid to send me for these kind of trips.
That means no crazy trips with your friends…
Yeah. There was one. I, my best friend and my cousins were just sitting at home and at that time, internet was a new phenomenon (I know, I sound really old when I say this, but it’s a fact) and were surfing the net. Kingfisher Airlines was at its peak then and they were offering an introductory 20K ticket to London. We decided to go for a long weekend. We convinced our parents easily and I think they too wanted to get rid of us for a few days. So, we reached London and for three days, we were totally smashed… so much so that we couldn’t even get back to our apartment one day. We somehow managed to board the flight back home and that, I think, was an achievement.
Do you like travelling in general?
I love travelling. The most amazing aspect of being in this profession is that I can travel all across the world and meet all sorts of people. You know, when you work in this industry, you live with the same structure of people all the time. But travelling is the only time when you really get to experience different thought processes and different kinds of people from all walks of life. I am really grateful to be an actor because that has given me so many opportunities to travel to some really amazing places.
I love travelling. The most amazing aspect of being in this profession is that I can travel all across the world and meet all sorts of people.
Do you like company while travelling?
Totally depends! You know, everybody tells me that I like being alone. I am a loner, but I don’t mind the company of like-minded people. I am a very anal traveller, so some of my friends may get irritated with that. I like to travel in a certain way and time. I’m very sorted in that way. I like travelling alone as well as with people. If you are working, it’s nice to have some company. When not working, I have travelled alone and the feeling isn’t actually that bad (haha).
What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve eaten on a tour?
Umm… I tried octopus once. And there was nothing to write home about it for me. It was disgusting! I don’t have an appetite for sea food. I’m allergic to them. However, I ended up trying for the sake of it and that was pretty weird.
If not working, where would we find Arjun chilling?
In bed… Alone!
I tried octopus once. And there was nothing to write home about it for me. It was disgusting!
We’ve seen you as an angry young man in your movies, how are you in real life?
I’m not angry at all. It’s just that I’ve got droopy eyes and dead face so everybody thinks I’m in a bad mood. But that’s not the case. I smile very rarely, because I actually don’t like my own smile. I’ve been told by a lot of people to smile more often, but I think it’s a bit of an issue. I became an angry young man out of the movies I’ve done and not purely of choice. You know, there was a vacuum at the time I came for a young actor who had a bit of hardness to him. One who was rough around the edges and not the quintessential boy next door! I got branded and packaged through the eyes of my fans and the media, and it got stuck on my back. It’s not that I don’t like that tag. But I have more to me than just that. Slowly I have managed to encompass my other elements as well. There are different shades to my personality which I managed to show in Ki & Ka or 2 States. I would actually like to balance between being an angry young man and a regular guy. I think it would be nice to do that.
What’s the manliest thing you’ve ever done to impress a girl?
I think the manliest thing one can do is be a nice guy to impress a girl.
So, what have you done?
I think it’s a very generic question. To be a man is to be there for her when she needs you the most. Possessing some clichéd Indian masculine tendencies and not being there for her is not being a man.
I think the manliest thing one can do is be a nice guy to impress a girl.
Are you seeing someone?
No. I don’t have the time for it. Also, I am very bad at connecting with someone.
Who has been the most fun co-actor you’ve worked with?
You know what has happened with me is that I’ve got to work with a new co-actor in every film till now. I think there are two reasons for it. Either they don’t want to work with me again or I’m so cool that I get a new co-actor every time. The most fun co-actor is Ranveer Singh, for obvious reasons. He is not a female, but we share great camaraderie, which translates to whatever we do together. Among women, I love working with Kareena whom I’ve grown up being friends with. Alia is fun. She doesn’t know what her capabilities are; she has her moments of magic and then she has a moment of being a child in the same second. Parineeti and Priyanka are fun too. I’ve learnt a lot from all of them.
What are the other things that interest you apart from acting?
Aur kuch aata nahi hai yaar. I’m not formally educated, and I’ve made it apparent with all the jokes I crack on myself. I’ve grown up with cinema. So for me, if I wasn’t an actor, I would have been a director, which I still intend to be at some point in my life.
I am very bad at connecting with someone.
Have you ever been turned down?
Of course! I’m a human and it happens to everybody. Any man who says that he hasn’t been, is lying.
What was the weirdest place you ever made out at?
Weirdest? Umm… In a plane. The idea sounds really nice but it isn’t. A public place too seems cool, but then eventually that too is not nice. I think a plane is best left to imagination as it doesn’t work out very well if you do it in an aircraft. You’ve got be extra careful to an extent that it’s almost a touch n’ go situation. It doesn’t work out well for either party.
Moving on… how easy is it to act like a Bihari?
Honestly, it’s not been easy at all. It’s been difficult in a good way for me. I had to unlearn quite a bit of my acting prowess to get into feeling like a vulnerable character that I’m playing in Half Girlfriend. The character goes beyond being just another Bihari. He is not the clichéd character you see in Hindi films. He is not the Gangs of Wasseypur kind of a Bihari character. In Hindi films, Biharis have been given the same treatment for all these years. I didn’t want that with my character. The book too makes sure that the guy is a very intelligent and sorted kid. He is sincere and honest. He happens to hail from Bihar, but that’s not his identity. In the film, people look at him in a certain way because he is from Bihar, but the outlook changes over the course of the movie. I really like the fact that you can take the cliché and then turn it to show that there are a lot of other things to know about him. We have this tendency to brand people from where they belong. It is like, ‘Oh you are a Punjabi, so you have to act in a certain way.’ I am just hoping that Half Girlfriend changes the stereotype of a filmi Bihari.
We have this tendency to brand people from where they belong.
So, did you learn the typical Bihari slang?
No yaar. But when I am talking to my friend in the movie and they are reacting to the fact that I met a hot chick, I say, ‘Sala reaction to aise de rahe ho jaise current tum hi se le rahe hain. Dhatura Kha liye ho kya?’ These are the things you do in the flow with your friends. But when I am with her, I try to curb the Bihari accent. I say, ‘Aap bahut hi achi lag rahi hain aaj.’
What else are you doing in near future?
I’m doing a film called Mubarakan, with Anil chachu and me in the lead. It’s been directed by Anees Bazmi. It has me, Ileana, Athiya Shetty and Anil chachu. It’s a destination wedding setup based in London, where I have a double role. I am playing both a sardar and a cut-surd. And Anil chachu is playing a sardar. I think people in Punjab would love it. I think I’ve covered almost half of Indian states with my movies (haha).