I'm first a director, then an actor: Rajat Kapoor

Aug 2, 2007 Prithwish Ganguly

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) He has starred in 17 films and is much loved by audiences for his distinct roles, but Rajat Kapoor insists that he is first a director and then an on-screen artiste.

Though Kapoor, who has given inspiring performances in movies like "Monsoon Wedding", "Bheja Fry" and "Mixed Doubles", says his directorial ventures "Raghu Romeo", "Mixed Doubles" and "Mithya" are closer to his heart than acting.

"Direction is my passion. I always wanted to be a director and though I'm into acting a lot more than directing, still I'm first a director and then an actor," Kapoor told IANS.

"I have studied filmmaking and always wanted to do good some good work and not make films just for the sake of making them."

His film "Mithya" (The Imposter Who Wasn't), a satire on the Mumbai underworld, narrates the story of an aspiring actor who ends up becoming a reluctant imposter in a dramatic turn of events, was applauded at the Osian's film fest in Delhi last month.

He says he has a long list of directors who inspire him.

"I have a huge, eclectic list of directors whom I love. I really like Chaplin. He is the best and then the others whom I like are Federico Fellini (Italian master filmmaker), Ritwik Ghatak and Martin Scorsese," he said.

Rajat added that the advent of multiplexes has been a boon for filmmakers who operate with small budgets as their films, which practically have no star cast, had managed to find audiences and were doing good business, sometimes even better than much hyped big budget releases.

This year Sagar Ballary's "Bheja Fry" did phenomenal business and even surpassed the collections of major star-studded films.

In the recent past, films like Dibakar Banerjee's "Khosla Ka Ghosla", Nagesh Kukunoor's "Dor", Madhur Bhandarkar's "Corporate" and Saket Chaudhary's "Pyaar Ke Side Effects" have also tasted success at the box office.

"If you look back at the last five years, you will see that things are really changing. With the advent of multiplexes, small budget films like 'Bheja Fry' and 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' have managed to find audiences.

"I can say that many more films like these will be made in our country because the producers, after seeing their success, are now coming forward to support such films even though they do not have an alluring star cast."

Though Rajat's first love is direction, he says he will continue to act if he gets good roles and is currently shooting for Sudhir Mishra's "Khoya Khoya Chand", which also stars Soha Ali Khan and Shiney Ahuja.

"I play a superstar of the 50s in this film. It's a glamorised role that I have got," he said, adding that he also features in Saurabh Shukla's "I'm 24", in which he plays the role of a 42-year-old man who has to hide his real age, and "Tere Sang" by Satish Kaushik.

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