Following three flops with the films Shikhar, Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! and Deewane Huye Paagal within the same month of the year 2005, a 24-year-old Shahid Kapoor was led into the space of self-doubt. In a recent interview, the actor shared how he had depression during the shoot of the blockbuster film Vivah (2006) and asked director Sooraj Barjatya if he wanted to replace Shahid.
“Obviously people don’t like me”, he had thought to himself, he shared in the interview with Pinkvilla.
How Sooraj Barjatya responded to Shahid Kapoor
Vivah is a blockbuster rom-com co-starring Amrita Rao, which revolves around the story of an arranged-marriage set-up.
The shoot for the film had been ongoing for 8-10 days and Shahid had been sitting in his vanity van in a wedding outfit for the upcoming scene of a wedding sequence. Director Barjatya walked in and Shahid asked him if he wanted to cast a different actor for the film.
Barjatya, shocked and clueless, asked him, “what happened?” Shahid told the director how he felt responsible for his last three films being flops. He compared himself to the other actors of the time, who were superstars, and stated how none of them had been in a situation like his.
Shahid stated that Barjatya must have thought to himself how he would be able to make a good film when his hero was in such a bad mental space.
The Vivah hero shared how director Barjatya “looked [him] in the eye” and asked him “do you know what to do between action and cut?” Shahid responded with a yes. Barjatya then asked, “do you know how to do your job as an actor?” Shahid responded with another yes. The director then said to the actor, “just focus on that, everything else will come and go”.
Barjatya’s statement became Shahid Kapoor’s mantra for all his films. “Since then, that’s what I do. I just focus on my job, success and failure will come and go”.
‘Vivah was a new universe for me’
Vivah’s world was unrelatable and completely new to Shahid, and so he relied heavily on his director to understand it. “I had never used the word jal in my life”, he said.
The actor stated that it was the unfamiliarity and newness in the world that drew him towards the film. “I learnt so much from Sooraj ji”, Shahid added.
Vivah was Shahid’s ninth film and it was the first film after his debut movie, Ishq Vishk (2003), which had performed well.
Teenage Shahid on the big screen
With a desire to support his family and be on film sets, Shahid said yes to everything that came his way. For a long time, people in the industry did not know his father was Pankaj Kapur. “My father always told me: let your work prove to people that you’re worthy, not your name”.
In fact, did you know that Shahid’s introduction to the big screen happened as a background dancer? He appeared in the films Taal and Dil Toh Pagal hai when he was a teenager.
Shahid on the importance of believing in yourself
Today, Shahid Kapoor has given us several brilliant performances with movies like Jab We Met (2007), Udta Punjab (2016), Haider (2014) and Kabir Singh (2019). Even though before, after and between these there have been several flops with films including Kismat Konnection (2008), Phata Poster Nikla Hero (2013) and Batti Gul Meter Chalu (2018); Shahid has continued to live by Barjatya’s advice. “Even at a time when nobody else believes in you, you have to believe in yourself. Because you have to prove to other people that you are worthy of their belief”, the actor said
Any upcoming rom-coms from the actor?
Upon being asked when his next rom-com appearance would be, the actor shared that his upcoming film, co-starring Kriti Sanon, is of the genre.