I Believe in Marriage but Will Not Jump the Gun: Arjun Kapoor

Arjun Kapoor talks about getting trolled for being a Kapoor, and more.

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Here is the second part of the Arjun Kapoor interview. He talks about getting trolled for being a Kapoor, his relationship with his sisters and the rumours about his relationship with Malaika Arora.

I read an interview, which was over a year back where you were asked about Janhvi and Khushi, and you said the relationship was non-existent. Now it has been a year, there’s been a sea of change. We see a protective, almost big brother kind of figure. You’ve stood up for them on social media. Are you now in a comfortable zone with your sisters?

I think the fact that I can call them my sisters pretty much answers that. I’m not saying we are the perfect family, I am still figuring them out. We don’t live together, I think that would have been a very complicated situation. I think the fact that we have breathing space to discover, has allowed it to be fluid, you know? We can have moments where we spend time together, then go back to our own independent lives rather than being in your own face. Because there are certain harsh reminders that neither of us want.

If my father is happy I would do anything in the world. He’s my father at the end of the day. And that matters to me. If my mother was alive she would want the same thing. I did it for my father, I’ve discovered two people who are actually quite similar to me in many ways. And similar to my father...it doesn’t take much to figure that out. And life humbles you. Sometimes you hold on to things when you don’t know what’s going to happen and suddenly life just comes and slaps you on your face and says “You know what, don’t be so passive. Take things head on. Just do it.”

There’s nothing wrong with being the right person. Sometimes it is tougher to do the right thing than it is to do the wrong thing. It is easier just doing wrong thing and saying “I don’t want to get involved.” But life slaps you and now you don’t have a choice. If you are a fair enough person to know right from wrong, then today is the judgement day. I guess for me it was just a thing I believed my father needed. And in that process I realised I am very happy having these two girls in my life. My sister feels more complete. You know, there’s a certain angst that is now reduced. And I am not saying it is that angst of “Mujhe Mandwa Chahiye” of Agneepath, it is not that I want to go and chase somebody down. It is just that there are some questions that needed answering, and today those questions don’t matter in comparison. Things pale eventually. You realise it is not worth holding onto something. Sometimes it is just ‘let go and move ahead’.

Watch the first part of the interview:

Arjun Kapoor with father Boney Kapoor and sisters Janhvi, Anshula and Khushi.
Arjun Kapoor with father Boney Kapoor and sisters Janhvi, Anshula and Khushi.
(Photo: The Quint)

I’ve seen you get massively trolled on social media and unfairly also, but it’s a time when everyone from a Deepika Padukone to an Ayushmann Khurrana gets trolled. But do you think the Kapoor surname adds to it, because people think that this guy has got things too easy and can you stay unaffected or does it affect you at times?

It really doesn’t affect me. It used to a bit when I came on social media in the beginning. I think my aspiration was always to be somebody that is an extension of my family but is also standing on my own feet... I didn’t want to climb on my father’s or my uncle’s shoulders. I wanted to go out and put myself out there.

Anyone who’s followed my journey even for 30 seconds when they go through, let’s say, Wikipedia or IMDB, you’ll realise that yes I’ve lived a privileged life in perception, but I’ve had my own upheavals and struggles. I come from a broken home, I’ve fought obesity, I’ve survived the death of my mother, I’ve managed to stand by my father and do the right thing over the course of the last year and in all that I’ve also managed to make a career and fend for myself. So, I don’t think my surname has anything to do with all that is happening to me, it’s not that because I’m a Kapoor these bad things happen to me, I’m a human being. So for all the good, I’ve had my roller coaster and I’ve survived hits and flops in the process.

I am just like anybody else. Yes, I have a tag, which I am very proud about, I’m a Kapoor, we are entertainers and few trolls will not take away my pride of being a Kapoor. I cannot always explain myself. I feel bad that people see it as a bad thing that I hail from the film industry and I’m still trying to make my own mark. They feel that I don’t care. People don’t know about things that go on in your personal life that affect your professional life also.  And you don’t always owe anybody a justification.

Trolling aside, what I do feel bad about is that the industry today is getting divided into two sections. It’s almost a divide and rule policy that’s coming in and that is why the trolling is becoming more important to people, because it’s almost like the haves and the have nots are being created.

What sort of divide are you talking about?

Suddenly in conversation what happens is that - you are a product of nepotism. Then Vicky Kaushal also is, he’s an action director’s son but I think that’s taking away from the boy’s journey. He behind stood in Bombay Velvet without a dialogue. He had a film called Masaan, which was an amazing film but didn’t get its due at all. He had Love Per Square Feet that went straight to digital at that point of time. In the last year you’ve seen Vicky Kaushal become a success. But he’s from the film industry, his father is an action director, he’s done 6 films with me. Not once has that boy come asking for work or nobody’s given him work because he’s Sham Kaushal’s son.

I’ve faced rejections from many producers and directors before I auditioned for Ishaqzaade. People tend to see only the part that they want to see, they don’t see that we all have our own struggles. Yes, it is very difficult for people coming from outside I will never deny that. It is very difficult. Financial constraints, going through a struggle, but the high of making it for a boy like Kartik Aaryan when I meet him today, the fact that he survived that 5-6 years and kept the belief in himself. Today he is in a privileged position, he’s getting to do an Imtiaz Ali film, there is a pay off. So your own fairy tale does exist in this profession, just give it a shot. I know what the problem is, yes definitely we get easy access but now is that my fault? Am I supposed to live an apologetic life for it? I think that’s a bit unfair. The responsibility I have is to do my job well. Not take it for granted, and I do that every morning now.

If tomorrow Kartik has a child and he or she decides to become an actor, he’ll also say the same thing, boss I made it with a lot of difficulty so conduct yourself with a certain dignity and put in a lot of effort and make your films but he will not say you cannot go in because other people’s chances won’t come through, right?

I read somewhere that you were more in favour of a live-in relationship

Till I discover if I want to get married to the person.

Arjun Kapoor with Malaika Arora.
Arjun Kapoor with Malaika Arora.
(Photo Courtesy: Instagram)  

You still stand by that?

I live with my sister. It is practically two people living in a fairly comfortable house where there’s space. For me, personally, I believe in the institution of marriage but I do not believe that you need to jump the gun. If you want to see if you are capable of living together you can just live together for a bit and see.

What is marriage? It allows you to live together. Today we live in a modern enough society and Mumbai is a place where living-in is not going to be questioned. At least my family has never questioned it. I am independent person. If I make that choice, they will respect it. If it allows me to make a choice fundamentally where I feel okay this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, then I’ll culminate it in marriage. If tomorrow I decide that it is not working for me for whatever reason then at least we have the ability to walk away without more collateral damage. That is the reason I have always said that in interviews.

Today where I am sitting, I think I have to enjoy what I have before I start planning the future. I’ve had a roller coaster life. Personally and even professionally for that matter if you look at my ups and downs. But if there is stability that has come my way, then I need to learn how to handle the stability also. Stability came my way earlier also in the past in the form of relationships or friendships, but I was too scattered. I didn’t want it. I wanted to just work, work, work. I was chasing distraction because I had lost my parent. I had lost my mother. I didn’t care much for this side of my life. Because this didn’t feel important. And six years in, seven years in, you realise that is more important, because this does allow you to focus on that, in a very strange sort of way which makes sense only when it makes sense to you. It is the most philosophical thing but you have to be hit by a truck to realise it. So today I am in a place where I value my professional life, but I cherish my personal life.

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