My process changes with every project: Actor Rajit Kapur

“I have always trusted my gut. There is no system or rule that I follow, be it for theatre or cinema. The key is to focus completely on the character and work at hand. The process may be different for each project, and that is where the challenge lies. You find a new process for each project,” actor Rajit Kapur tells IANS.

Recently seen opposite Neena Gupta in Pushan Kripalani’s film ‘Threshold’ on Hotstar, the actor, known for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in ‘The Making of the Mahatma’ for which he won the National Award for Best Actor, and ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ aired on Doordarshan, made his film debut with ‘Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda’ (1992) directed by Shyam Benegal.

Talking about his experience in ‘Threshold’, Kapur says, “I have known Pushan for a very long time and he always comes up with extraordinary stuff. There’s a different kind of synergy working with someone who you already have a basic trust with. It always helps to push yourself more.”

Lamenting that crime thrillers and whodunit have taken over OTT platforms, the actor says that they are easy to write and any content that is more engaging or difficult to pen is also difficult to execute.

“So, either we are not willing to put that effort or not in the mood to pay for that effort. They do not want to do either of these things — as a result, the charm of OTT, the midway between TV and film is beginning to go away. And it is going the television way.”

Kapur, who is active on the Mumbai theatre scene, says that things have become tough lately and it is now difficult to do regular shows. Adding that the per unit cost of hiring everything has doubled, he asserts, “People are still not going all out to the theatre. And it is a problem. Even the corporates are also facing their own issues and everyone is struggling to come back on their feet.”

While during the pandemic-induced lockdowns, he did dabble in digital performances, the actor maintains, “It just cannot replace the magic of live at all. We attempted it as there was time on our hands, it was something new to learn. But frankly, it is not something I would like to do.”

Unlike many theatre persons, Kapur does not believe that there is a dearth of young playwrights in the country. He feels the problem is that no one is willing to give them a chance.

“They want to learn, but who is ready to pay and allow them to showcase their work? The auditoriums are finding it difficult to survive, and so are the producers. Even people like us who have been doing theatre for the past three decades are finding it tough to stay afloat.”

When it comes to independent cinema, Kapur feels the absence of state support has made things tough for young filmmakers.

“Of course, one could raise money through crowd-funding but it is very tough to sell a film today. There are so many films that are just waiting to be sold off/distributed or screened. Supply is in huge excess. Who is going to buy them?” concludes Kapur, who will be devoting the next three months to theatre and will be starting on a film post-January 15.

(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at sukant.d@ians.in)

20221004-065003

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