Annu Kapoor on Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal: ‘It has received criticism, but the makers have made Rs 200 crore’

Annu Kapoor on Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal: ‘It has received criticism, but the makers have made Rs 200 crore’

Writer-director-actor Saurabh Shukla has come up with a film called Dry Day now streaming on Amazon Prime Video which stars Jitendra Kumar, Shriya Pilgaonkar, and the evergreen Annu Kapoor. Kapoor and Shukla spoke about the movie, collaborating with each other, and many of their experiences while shooting it in an exclusive interview with Firstpost.

Edited excerpts from the interview

Saurabh Shukla, where did the idea of the film come from?

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This is our bread and butter. We try to look for ideas from the people and happenings around us, and Dry Day is one of them, based in a small-town. There was a time when I also drank a lot, and we have tried to show what’s good, bad, funny, and deep about all of this. Every story is a façade; in the garb of a story, you actually tell your worldview. That’s why we selected this story.

Annu Kapoor, you have completed over four decades in Hindi cinema; is there any change in your craft or the way you prep for your character?

Not really. I didn’t take all of this seriously before and not even now. The only difference is that I get paid a little more than before. And be it working with Saurabh Shukla or Satyajit Ray, I’ll work with equal amount of hardwork and honesty.

Saurabh, what’s so fascinating about the milieu of heartland for you, since your first film as a director Mudda was also set against its backdrop?

The idea of Dry Day demanded a small town that brims with chaos. This is a world with minimal opportunities and directionless youth. The culture of small town is deep-seeded which is beautiful I think, and it also has the passion to compete with the bigger cities and their prosperity. I would also like to thank Annu Kapoor as he’s an absolute great actor. He may look the same but becomes a completely different character every time.

Annu, how was your experience of working with Saurabh Shukla?

I really enjoyed it. There have been a couple of directors I have worked with who have also been actors, and working with them can have their own advantages and disadvantages. I recently refused to work with a star actor-director but I really wanted to work with Saurabh Shukla. I have worked with an actor-director four times in my career- Shekhar Kapur, Vijay Maurya, Subhash Ghai, and now Saurabh Shukla. And all the four experiences for me have been out of this world. Subhash Ghai came to become a hero, did a couple of films and stepped towards direction, the same thing happened with Shekhar Kapur. With Saurabh Shukla, he’s successful both as an actor and a director. Not too many people can score this double whammy.

Also, do you feel things have become a lot more equal ever since the advent of OTT, with the lines between a star and an actor finally getting blurred?

I have said this before that I don’t see any of these things, I don’t even read a newspaper. But what I would like to say is that people passionate about cricket and cinema can never die of hunger, these two religions will continue to live on. We now have bloggers, TickTockers, YouTubers, India is a rich country where poor people live. During the pandemic, over 38,000 cars were sold in Mumbai. I have mastered traveling to Europe in the last 27 years but I never expected I would end up encountering Indians in Switzerland. Quality has taken a backseat and it’s all about making money. I’ve heard about the film Animal that has received severe criticism, but the makers have earned Rs 200 crore, that seems to be more important.

Saurabh, what has been the one takeaway for you from the film?

Whenever you write a film, you are definitely thinking about actors and writers and directors that have inspired you. I was signed by Emmay Entertainment six years back so it has taken six years to make this story. I always knew that Annu Kapoor is going to be a great choice for this character that he has played. There’s a scene in the film where you get to see a Vajra Roop of this character called Dau Ji, there’s a physicality to him, and you should see it. And no one has seen this avatar of Annu Kapoor before.

Annu Kapoor adds, “Saurabh Shukla’s vision is very clear and I’m very happy to work with him. A lot of directors get scolded by me ever since the digital platform has come in. But with him, the experience was smooth and I hope I continue to have experiences like these.”

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