Actors playing aggressive characters in past were called superstars, now it’s critical, says Shahid Kapoor


PTI, Apr 13, 2024, 9:52 AM IST

Mumbai: Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor says actors playing aggressive characters today are criticised when in the past, they would become superstars for doing such roles.

Shahid, who most recently appeared in romantic comedy Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya, believes a distinction should be made between an actor’s performance and the actions of a character.

“This whole thing of ‘yeh aisa, woh waisa hai’, I think it’s very extreme. Over many generations, there have been actors who’ve done characters that could be deemed aggressive but they are called superstars or legends. Now, suddenly, it’s very critical,” Kapoor told PTI in an interview.

“I feel if something is done well and if the emotion is coming through (to) the audience, we should be respectful of that. You can like it or dislike but the quality of the performance and traits of the character should not be confused,” he added.

Hindi cinema has witnessed a fierce debate in recent times about characters that have been accused of perpetuating toxic masculinity.

Incidentally, the films at the centre of the debate were directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga — first with Shahid-starrer Kabir Singh, a remake of Telugu hit Arjun Reddy, and then Animal, headlined by Ranbir Kapoor.

According to Shahid, the traits of a character are defined by the “script and the filmmaker and quality of a performance is defined by what the filmmaker has brought out from the actor”.

“That’s what connects with the audience. That’s how I see things, but everyone has their point of view,” he said at an event here.

His upcoming movies are action films — Deva and Ashwatthama — but both the films are different from one another, Shahid said.

“I enjoy change, variety and I’ve been trying to do that. If you see the body of work that I’ve done in the last ten years, I always change my look in every film or pick a new character. There are only so many genres in the world of cinema, so you’ve to choose from what’s in front of you, and what comes to you,” he said.

Deva is helmed by Rosshan Andrrews, known for Malayalam blockbusters such as Salute and Kayamkulam Kochunni. Also starring Pooja Hegde, the film is set to release on October 11.

Shahid said the character he is playing in Deva is very “challenging”.

“Deva is half way through. It is a very challenging character for me, it’s very exciting. It has a lot of action but it has a lot of story, it has a strong sense of thrill, and what’s going to happen next. The character is very surprising. I’m excited and having a good time on the sets,” he said.

Post Deva, Shahid will work on Ashwatthama: The Saga Continues, which will be directed by Kannada filmmaker Sachin B Ravi.

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