The TBIP Tête-à-Tête is a series of in-depth and intimate interviews with film personalities who are critical to this era of filmmaking. It is an attempt to understand their body of work. And their minds. Because who they are intrigues us just as much as what they do. Because what they do is because of who they are. In certain cases, despite who they are. Because integral to the love of cinema is the love of cinema's idols— the chosen few whose mystique remains intact despite the tabloids' obsession with their lives.
As soon as Ranbir Kapoor walks into the room, you know is a star. Not because he is saleable. Not because he is from the Hindi film industry's 'first family'. Not because he is likely to be mobbed on the streets. Not because he is all over the gossip magazines. Not even because he keeps his dark glasses on.
You can tell Ranbir Kapoor is a star because he has that certain je ne sais quoi; that elusive glimmer we know oh-so well and yet can hardly sum up. But that is not all that makes him intriguing. Ranbir is a fourth-generation legatee of a family that has etched a place for itself in every era of the last 100 years of Indian cinema. The Kapoors are synonymous with style, panache, revelry, songs, success, glamour, brilliance and an unshakeable allegiance to the movies. Ranbir, named after his grandfather, is taking his own road to being a Kapoor. The Kapoor legacy for Ranbir is like the unseen backstory of a character that an actor uses merely as a reference in his process. The real journey of the character begins from the first frame of the film.
Ranbir is also the quintessential representative of his generation. This month he turns 30. Already an accomplished actor, he has experimented with different genres. But he is not one to rest on his laurels, let alone his family's. Infact he is not one to rest at all. He is in a hurry to keep moving and find out what happens next. He is not interested in mere laurels either. What concerns him most is his journey-- the question of who he is and who else he can be.
The one thing that sticks out about him is his single-minded curiosity-- a curiosity that borders on insatiable hunger. He is not satisfied. He is not smug. And yet, the surface is placid. He makes it all look effortless. Real cool. He says he hasn't found his identifiable star trait yet. That is precisely what makes him stand apart. He is enviably comfortable in his own skin. And as you watch him lie back and take on the world, never losing sight of what is real and what is not, you know a new kind of star is born.
- Pragya Tiwari, Editor-in-Chief, The Big Indian Picture