Q: How was it working with Hollywood Greg Cannom to achieve your superb makeover?
A: When I met with Karan and Shakun, I suggested that take Cannom because I had heard of his previous work. I wasn’t sure whether they would go ahead with it because of the huge cost but they did. Shakun and I met up with Cannom to discuss some ideas and we decided the look should be a mix between Rishi Kapoor and A.K.Hangal.
Q: Were you surprised when the producers agreed to work with Greg?
A: I was very shocked. This film didn’t have a big budget so the cost of creating my face, as well as Cannom’s travel, hotel stays and assistants is exorbitant, almost Rs 2 crore. I don’t know of any producer who would spend that. But it shows that we are evolving and Hindi films are experimenting.
Q: After seeing how the special effects make up turned out it must have been worth it?
A: I give huge credit to Kanan who was so willing to have Cannom join the team and give this budget just for my make-up. We do have fantastic make-up artists in India but I think we lack the technology and materials. If we had this, then it’s not our people that couldn’t do it.
A: It actually took several weeks to design my face. He had to take a mould of my face and work from that. It took eight different applications on my face, with different sections for my bald cap, nose, cheeks, hands and quadruple chin! It was all made from Silicon so the trick was managing to blend all the separate sections together. It was like a second skin.
Q: You must have had some early starts to get the look finished before shooting started?
A: waking up at 5.30am for over a month took a lot of effort. Thankfully, we did a lot of shooting in Coonoor but I don’t know how I would have endured the makeup anywhere else. I’m a stickler for not normally starting work before 11am but I stuck with the early morning schedule. I think it showed just how passionate I was for the role.
Q: How different is your character in Kapoor & Sons compared to other roles you have acted?
A: I’m not getting roles that require me to act. I love to push myself and experiment with new roles that are different to anything I have attempted before. In Kapoor & Sons I play an 86 year old who is obsessed with death, but in a comic rather than morbid way! He is so cranky and funny and as he smokes with them, proves he has rather unconventional relationship with his grandchildren!
Q: Does this character remind you of anyone?
A: When I was offered this film, my one request was that I wanted to design the character. So he definitely has traits of my great grandfather who, I was told by my father, would share smutty jokes with him.
Q: You said you enjoyed this role because it was completely different to anything you have done before. Is there anything else you want to tick off your acting wish list?
A: I was always known as the romantic hero so after 25 years, I took a break to do some directing. I was then convinced to act in Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi now here I am. There’s no looking back now, it’s time to bring out the actor in me again.