A Bollywood acting legend for over 40 years, Anil Kapoor has established a formidable screen presence in both homegrown cinema and Hollywood blockbusters like Slumdog Millionaire.
He's back on Cineworld screens now in Race 3, the third instalment of the successful Race series, directed by Remo D’Souza and co-starring Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Bobby Deol.
We were delighted to catch up with Anil to discuss the making of the movie, and his status as a contemporary Bollywood icon. Scroll down for the full interview.
So, Anil, interestingly this movie actually has no connection to the previous two Race movies, and you play a completely new character from the one before. What warranted the changes?
Yes, it’s completely new and has no relation to the first two films. It’s a film that you can enjoy with your family. It will definitely appeal to a younger audience, but we changed it so that it can be enjoyed by all ages. You've got to watch it on the big screen to enjoy it. It’s not something you could enjoy on TV or a smartphone, which has become a popular medium for films nowadays.
The first two Race films were directed by directorial duo Abbas-Mustan, while Remo D’Souza is helming Race 3. As you’ve been part of all three, how different was it to work with Remo?
Race 3 has been written by the same writer who scripted the story for the first two films. I feel that was a smart decision, as traits of the preceding movies are in this one, which is great for the fans.
As for Remo, he is a very successful choreographer, and has directed some terrific films like the ABCD series. He brought his unique style and a certain freshness to the film, which was exciting for me as an actor. He is a very calm and relaxed director.
Being a choreographer, he also visualised each song in the film brilliantly. As a choreographer, he has created iconic songs like 'Badtameez Dil' in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, which was a huge contributing factor in that film's success. I believe that people who can direct songs well in movies have the ability to make really entertaining films.
What is the storyline of this movie?
Everyone will be really surprised when they see the film. It's nothing like we've ever done before. For example, a film like The Godfather, personally for me, is the best film of the century. It was about the mafia, but, crucially, it's more about their family dynamics. And Race 3 has a similar approach.
The car chases, action and thrills are still very much a part of this film, like in the last two. If you have an enemy in your family, it's far more dangerous than having an enemy outside of your close circle. Families have much greater capacity to hurt each other when we least expect it, and that's what we've portrayed here. It's not a film about a happy family, it's quite dark in that sense.
How was your experience of sharing space with Salman Khan again?
We've worked in several films together like Biwi No. 1, No Entry, Deewana Mastana and Yuvvraaj. It was a different experience as the genre and characters here were so different. We have some really exciting scenes together.
The trailer of the film only dropped a month ago. Why has it become a trend to have such a short promotional lead-in period?
We do it to create maximum buzz around the film, just before the release. I feel four weeks is enough to create hype around a film made on such a large scale. For example, the upcoming film Sanju, with Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, only got a trailer one month before the release date. The trailer is your key promotional asset. You perhaps need more time for smaller or medium budget films.
How has 2018 been for you so far?
This year has been phenomenal. It's been a golden year for Indian films. My production Veere Di Wedding was labelled an adult film and a so-called 'chick flick', and it performed brilliantly well overseas. It broke into the UK top 10 box office charts. You have to entertain the audience and can't predict what will work or what won't.Sunny Malik is a Bollywood freelance journalist who interviewed Anil Kapoor for Cineworld.