‘I feel Ishaan is destined to be in films’: Shahid Kapoor


This is not the first time we are talking to Shahid Kapoor about his newbie actor-brother Ishaan Khatter, who earned rave reviews for Beyond The Clouds and Dhadak.
And though this is a subject Sasha (as he’s popularly known) has been waxing eloquent about over the years, his enthusiasm, the generosity of his praise and love for chhota bhai is clearly evident. The award-winning actor tells us how he has paternal feelings for Ishaan and why the latter is a better dancer than him.
Ishaan has had two releases this year. Will you stay involved in his career or is he on his own now?
I was 14-and-a-half-years old when Ishaan was born. I was a single child living with my mom. I remember giving her a lot of emotional spiel about wanting a younger sister or brother and kept telling her, ‘Please give me a sibling, Maa.’ She was 36-37 when she finally had Ishaan. When he came into our lives, I was beaming with joy. I started working when I was around 20-21 while he was just around five or six. I had become independent, so I had only paternal feelings for him. As he grew up and showed signs of wanting to enter films, I was worried. I knew opportunities will come to him because people know he is related to me.
I feel Ishaan is destined to be in films. The circumstances were right. Yet, I never ceased to worry about him. I was always thinking I hope he has done his homework and understands what it takes to become an actor. This is round one for him. There is so much to learn over the years. He is extremely talented. His drive and passion remind me of my passion and drive when I started out. I feel happy about that.
Go on...
This job is not about finding success but staying successful. That’s a different journey altogether. Ishaan has seen me make mistakes and I hope he has learnt from them. My dad (Pankaj Kapur) was an actor, not a hero. After my first film, people were like, ‘Arre, yeh toh hero ban gaya.’ But I didn’t know what to do and how to go about it. I don’t want Ishaan to ever have that confusion. I’m here for him. So, I hope he does things correctly from here on.
Has anyone come forward with scripts for Ishaan and you?
It will be difficult to find one. When I started acting, I wanted to work with my dad if an opportunity came and both of us find it interesting. Shaandaar brought us together as did Dad’s film, Mausam. Ishaan and I might do a movie together in the future, but there is nothing concrete on that as yet.
It’s great to see Ishaan dance. He is so good...
Ishaan dances very well. Sometimes I get nervous around him (smiles). He has hung around me for everything I have done; whether it was a photo-shoot, dance rehearsal, film shoots or a live show. He dances like a dream. I think he is better than me.
The thing to learn when you’re naturally a good dancer, is how to have a good personality, too. The greatest performances have been those where actors have been able to express themselves with their face and body. When I see Sridevi, or Madhuri Dixit or Govinda in a song, I realise they delivered a 360-degree performance. You can’t take your eyes off them and you aspire to do that. You keep doing it and keep getting better every day. Otherwise, why are you here?
Why do you spell your surname differently than that of your father?
My grandfather spelt it with a double ‘o’ and we were always Kapoor. Somewhere along the way, dad changed it to Kapur. But I’m sticking to my grandfather’s name.

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