Selection Day is for the whole family: Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor, who is the producer of the show, says that the idea behind producing Selection Day was to back Indian stories that can reach the whole world
There seems to be a connection between Anil Kapoor and stories that feature boys with big aspirations. There was Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, Anil’s first role in an international project. Now, there’s Selection Day, another story in which two young boys dream for a bigger future.
This time though, he is the producer and not an actor. The idea, he says, is to back Indian stories that can reach the whole world. “The book and its story are fantastic,” he says as we settle for a quick chat about Selection Day. “You wouldn't want to put so much effort and spend as much time unless you think it is special and consumers are going to like it. At least, we work towards that kind of storytelling. We wanted something that people could identify with. It is a series for the whole family.”
Casting, he says, is one of the biggest assets of this show that stars Mahesh Manjrekar, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Rajesh Tailang among others. “Casting is key for any show. If you see Lion or Slumdog Millionaire, it is the kids who made the film. Similarly, the kids have done a brilliant job here.”
However, staying in the background for this show seems to have been a conscious decision. “When I produce something, I forget that I am an actor. I have to do what is best for the film or the show.” He takes the example of Gandhi, My Father, where the director had asked him to play the role of Mahatma Gandhi.
“The director came up to me and said, 'I want someone as disciplined and professional as you to play Mahatma Gandhi'. I can go to certain lengths to play a character but I can't change my face!” he exclaims. It is not just about the craft but also about how you look, he says. “If you see Selection Day, there is no way that I would look convincing in any of the roles. If I thought otherwise, I would have forced myself to be in it.”
As a producer and actor, Anil says he has been fortunate with the kind of stories he got. “Even though I began my career as an actor, we have always had a production company. Initially, I never got into the business side.” But there are always things in production that interested him, he says, taking the example of Hum Paanch in which he was credited as a casting director. “Sometimes, you find a story, and other times, it comes to you. I have been lucky that way throughout my career,” he signs off.