In conversation with actor Harshvardhan on working with his father Anil Kapoor, preparation for the role and how being an actor in this age of digital boom is a boon.

Actor Anil Kapoor and his son Harshvardhan Kapoor will be seen together in their upcoming action thriller film Thar. Harshvardhan turns producer with the film. Directed by Raj Singh Chaudhary, the film also stars Anil Kapoor, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Satish Kaushik. Harshvardhan feels that it is a great time to be an actor. He likes the idea of Thar releasing on Netflix because he wants the film to reach global audiences. He feels that the best part of the film is that it doesn’t have larger-than-life characters, overbearing punch lines, or loud background music. Excerpts from the interview:

How is Thar different from other films?

The beauty of the film is that the world that is shown is unique. But besides the world, the narrative is not a traditional narrative in terms of it is not clearly outlined to the audience as to who are the good guys and who are the bad guys or who the protagonist or the antagonist is? They are just a bunch of characters and it is really up to the audience to realise how to feel about these people whether they can love or hate these people. That’s the uniqueness of what we tried to promote. I think it depends on how you see the world and how you see people and what you find entertaining and interesting can vary from person to person which will kind of determine where it leads you to in this film. It is a world where my character is of an outsider and he is kind of an urban man who comes to this city.

What do you have to say about the film releasing on the OTT platform?

It is great because it’s worldwide and it’s instant and there is no interval. I honestly only see positives of the digital platform and Netflix has been an incredible partner not only in terms of their financial support but also in terms of sharing the same vision. Being on the digital platform is about not being fearful and trying to do something innovative. I want to share Thar not just with the Indian audience, but the global audience because it is a film that will appeal to people from different parts of the world. It’s a very Indian story, but the aesthetic is global. It has no got larger-than-life than-life characters, overbearing punch lines, or loud background music. It is not a typical mainstream film in that sense. I think it fits with more of a global sensibility while keeping the Hindustani sensibility alive. It is unique.

OTT doesn’t put you inside boxes. I have done Spotlight with Vasan Bala which was part of the Ray anthology and definitely not meant for a theatrical release. I have also done a supporting role in AK vs AK which again did well on Netflix. I have had a good amount of positivity and success and some really good reviews. I want to do films for the young Indian, for the global citizens and for internet consuming India. These people don’t really gravitate towards typical mainstream Bollywood movies.

Your responsibility towards the audience…

I always tried to push the boundaries and do new things. I have never done anything that is conventional or the typical Bollywood mainstream film. So, for me it is a great feeling to do diverse projects and keep my audience happy. India is a multicultural country where I do believe there is an audience for different kinds of movies. So, what I feel is that OTT streamlines the audience and helps the film find its level quicker. We are in an exciting time.

Was it that you always wanted to be an actor or was it an obvious choice because you are in a family of actors?

I see myself as an artist and I can’t think of a life where I don’t get the chance to create. I have been watching films from a very young age and am a passionate person. So, it was the perfect fit for me. I did screenwriting and acting. I am also producing Thar. I have been acting and I want to direct a film too. I want to be part of the whole process of filmmaking.

You are working with your father for the second time, first in AK vs AK and now Thar. How strict is he on the sets and how is it working with him?

He is very laid back. I think there is no hierarchy in the sets. I am very new and this is my fifth acting credit. Raj Singh Chaudhary is a very new director and even for Shreya Dubey, this is her second film as a cinematographer. Working in Thar was like being with a bunch of young film kids making a film but at a slightly higher scale.

What are the other projects that you are working on?

Well, I am currently unemployed because I am kind of waiting for the right thing to come my way. But I am doing the Abhinav Bindra biopic. It will require quite an intense preparation for it. I always love doing different things and playing roles with a lot of layers.

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By akagami