Success of Baahubali proves that language is not a barrier: Kunal Kapoor
The actor talks about his Telugu debut Devadas, working with Nagarjuna, and his shelved superhero film Doga
Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor is making his Telugu debut alongside Nagarjuna and Nani in Sriram Adittya's Devadas this week. The 39-year-old actor, who made his Malayalam debut in 2017 with Veeram, regards the recent exchange of talent between Bollywood and regional film industries as a healthy symbiosis.
"It's fantastic. And this is just the beginning. We are going to see many such collaborations now. Language should never be a barrier for an artist, and the huge success of Baahubali proves it's not a barrier for the audience either. In fact, some of the most successful films on television are dubbed versions of Tamil and Telugu films. Tollywood has always been at the forefront of great content and the scale of their films is awe inspiring. I think this symbiosis is a great opportunity for all actors and filmmakers," says Kunal.
He plays a negative character in Devadas. When asked what prompted him to pick the role, Kunal says, "I have always been open to good opportunities irrespective of the language. What was exciting for me was the story, the character and also a chance to work with such an amazing team. I have always been a huge fan of Nag sir, and was very excited about working with him. And after working with him, I have become an even bigger fan. He is so much fun to work with, and so down to earth."
After debuting in MF Husain's Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities, Kunal got his first Bollywood break as Aslam/Ashfaqulla Khan in Rang De Basanti (2006). The political drama film was headlined by Aamir Khan and co-starred Madhavan, Siddharth, Soha Ali Khan and Sharman Joshi. Kunal's last two Bollywood appearances--in Raag Desh and Gold--have also been as part of ensemble casts.
"I have never categorised movies as solo and ensemble. If you're part of something good, then the length of the role should never matter. A character can make a huge impact even in a few scenes. And I have seen that happen in my career," the actor stresses.
Kunal was earlier in the news for starring in a film adaptation of the superhero comic-book series, Doga. The film, however, was reportedly shelved by director Anurag Kashyap after the failure of Bombay Velvet. Meanwhile, Raj Comics, the original publishers of Doga, were supposedly planning to create a web series on the superhero character.
"Right now, it's on hold. I really don't know what's happening with Doga," Kunal reveals, adding, "Making a dark and realistic superhero film is definitely more challenging. If you look at the superhero films across the world now, all the superheroes are far funnier and more relatable. Having said that, anything that emotionally connects with an audience will do well. Whether it's dark or not."