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It’s very important to listen to people who don’t flatter: Kapil Sharma

After a  year  of  embarrassing  controversies and  incredible  setbacks Kapil Sharma is all set to make  a comeback with his feature filmFirangi which features him as an innocent villager grappling with the Colonial Raj. It is a charming  performance in an endearing film. Kapil discusses  his career plans and some personal decisions,in an  interview with Subhash K Jha

Kapil, that’s  quite a departure in Firangi from your first film Kiss Kisko Pyar Karoon and from your image as  a stand-up comic?

You  liked  it? Thanks. My friend Rajiev Dhingra who directed Firangi sat down with me for  one and a half years .We exchanged ideas  on  what we would do together. We  decided we would do  a period  film for sure. But we didn’t want to do the usual  Evil Colonisers and  Innocent Peasants movie. We wanted  to do a fresh take on the Raj. I think we succeeded in doing that.

Yes,  Rajiev has ensured that  your fans get what they  want from your—innocence—but he has also ensured a  new avatar from your  comicality.

Haan, mera character bholepann mein hi bahot kuch kar jaata  hai(my character does  a lot of things without knowing the repercussions). I think Rajiev knows me better than almost anyone else.We’ve been friends for years. Kayee baar aisa hota hai ki kuch log itne kareebhote hain ke woh aapko khud se behtar jaane hain(some people are so close to you that they know you better than you know  yourself). Rajiev knows me well enough to know what  I can do and can’t do. He directed  my accordingly. Sometimes I’d go over-the-top. But he’d bring me  back to normalcy.He knew that the audience wanted to see me playing a normal guy who can make others laugh.

Do you like pushing the envelope?

It will be boring for me and  the audience  if I don’t.That’s why I am planning a radical change in the Kapil Sharma Show. As far as  feature films go, I will try to do something different each time. I already have an idea for my  next film. Audiences are open to all kinds of experiences now.I saw Newton.It  was so different  yet successful

The film is  too long, though?

Oh, you’ll be surprised at how much we left out. There was this scene where my character asks the British  officer what financial constraints bring  his people to India because normally poor Indians go to Kolkata. They came  all the way from England to India.

Have you shown Firangi to your friends  from the film industry like Shah  Rukh, Akshay ?

Not yet. Wohtoh achchahi bolenge na(they will say only nice things). Very often  we actors and entertainers  get cut off from reality  because we surround  ourselves with  yes-men.  It’s very important to listen to  people  who don’t flatter  you and who correct you when you’re wrong. Rajiev Dhingra  is one such friend. He  tells when I  go wrong.

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