Anil Kapoor has been entertaining us onscreen for more than 40 years and continues to, with two upcoming releases – Shelly Chopra’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga and Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal. We asked him to take us down memory lane and talk about his early films, particularly this photo of one he recently posted on his Instagram page:
Anil Kapoor (AK): This is the best. What happened is everyone was talking about Ranveer Singh a lot ki woh aise kapde pehenta hai aur yeh hai, he’s go this mad style and all. Maine bola yaar, dekh tera baap khada hua hai. This is from Insaaf Ki Awaaz. I’d shot with Mani Ratnam, Sathyu, with Javed saab, Yash Chopra. I was meeting Shyam Benegal and Aparna Sen and wanting to work with him. I wanted to work with all of them, met them also. I was in that zone of Prithvi Theatre. So suddenly this offer of Insaaf Ki Awaaz came to me.
Anupama Chopra (AC): You said, “I must be in a red banyan?”
AK: I said, “I can’t do this yaar. I can’t do this film.” Then I flew down to Chennai and Ramanaidu saab sat down with me and said, “You must. This is a commercial film.” I said, “But mein thoda sa thinking actor hoon.” Which of course, I am and I was. But then I said, “Okay, I’m an actor, let me take a chance.” So everybody brainwashed me into doing the film. And the corruption of Mr. Anil Kapoor started.
AC: I love it. What exactly are these (the shoes)? This is like plastic.
AK: I’ll tell you what used to happen. The budgets were bad at that time. There must have been some shoes to tie. Kam se kam ek ghanta lagta hota, joote pehenne mein. These were homemade shoes.
AC: They do look homemade.
AK: Cottage industries hoti hai humari industry mein. Where the dressman makes the shoes. Not the way it is today, where there is designer stuff and the films can afford it. We couldn’t afford it. Ghar mein banaya hua joote. Look at my hair yaar. Look at the chest and look at the shoulders. Actually, that’s a jacket, you know?