‘Found Lear within us’
Rajat Kapoor is a busy man these days. His latest venture I am 24, has just released and he has finished directing Ankhon Dekhi, his first film that is set in Delhi. His film 10Ml Love [an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream] was screened at the Osian’s Cinefan that concluded in the Capital in July.
If that was not enough, he has also signed Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children and is all set to stage his new play based on King Lear. There’s more in the form of a sci-fi movie which he is writing and zips up when you want to talk about it. ‘I told you, it’s sci-fi,’ he says good-naturedly.
In Midnight’s Children, Kapoor essays the role of Adam Aziz. ‘I have a good part,’ he insists. Aziz is the grandfather of the protagonist Salim Sinai. But it’s the stage, really, that keeps Kapoor going. And he plans to stage his new play, which is an Indian interpretation of King Lear, next month. ‘There is nothing like Lear,’ says Kapoor.
In his version of the Shakespearean tragedy, there is only one character who is the clown, fool, Lear — all merged into one. ‘Lear here is a middle-class Maharashtrian man. It is set in the modern context,’ explains Kapoor.
Kapoor believes that the story of Lear finds an echo in today’s society. Besides, he also wanted to find a story from his and his friends’ lives. ‘We wanted to do our Lear. We found the play within us,’ he says. So what next? Kapoor says after doing two tragedies [King Lear and Hamlet], he wants to do a comedy next.
Is theatre lagging behind its more glamorous counterpart when it comes to money? Kapoor says that the situation is better now. ‘But I didn’t start doing movies because of money. I do it because it is my passion,’ says the actor-director.
Coming back to his character in I am 24 [he plays a writer who befriends a young girl on chat and claims to be a 24-year-old], has he ever lied about his age? ‘Never. I don’t even talk to strangers online,’ he insists, winking. Well, we believe him.