‘It was very scary to attempt this role (in Udta Punjab), when I have no way of understanding what it is like to be on a high. I wondered whether I would make a fool of myself or whether I would be able to push my boundaries.’
Shahid Kapoor comes clean.
Shahid Kapoor is revved up about his new film Udta Punjab, which sees him try out a role he’s never done before. The actor plays a rock star, addicted to cocaine.
After all the controversy associated with the film, it’s up for release on June 17.
“People, who did not want this film to release, have helped it become larger,” Shahid said at a press conference held recently in Mumbai.
How difficult was it for you to play a drug addict and a rock star inUdta Punjab?
The most difficult part was to play a substance addict because I have never ever had alcohol or any kind of drugs. This is very rare and I know you won’t believe me, but it’s true.
I have not even had half a bottle of beer or any kind of substance. I was never interested in them.
I was that boring guy whose friends would say ‘Jaa yaar, go from here and dance.’
So it was very scary to attempt this role, when I have no way of understanding what it is like to be on a high. It was challenging. I wondered whether I would make a fool of myself or whether I would be able to push my boundaries.
The characters in the film are fictitious, but the backdrop and the issue are real.
The journey of Tommy Singh is the fall of a star because the musician in him falls prey to the addiction and he becomes nothing.
I had to understand the state of mind of a cocaine addict. He feels the need to be high all the time because that is what gives him confidence; otherwise his confidence drops.
I found Tommy Singh bizarrely original; very entertaining but very deep at the same time.
You have a quirky look in the film with long hair and tattoos. How did you prepare for the role?
It took three months to get the physicality of the character. I ate less and trained for three hours a day.
My character is a star so he needs to look good and have a physique, but at the same time he is an addict so he also needs to look destroyed, messed up and depleted.
When I first heard about my character Tommy Singh, I felt the guy is crazy and I wanted the audience to feel a little shocked by him, for which he needed to have a very different personality. So I decided on the long hair with the streak.
There were 14 tattoos and we carefully selected each one of them. Every tattoo has a story behind it, except the black roses. We just added the black rose because it looked nice.
What do the tattoos signify?
On Tommy Singh’s left rib is a 10-digit number because if he is found whacked, this is the number that has to be contacted.
On the right side of his chest is a tattoo called King because Tommy considers himself the King.
On the left side of my body we tattooed ‘Mamma da boy’ because Tommy loves his mother.
My favourite tattoo is of the wings which start from my back and reach my arms…Tommy calls it ‘Born to Fly.’
Would you like to have a real tattoo?
I want to get a real tattoo but I have never been able to understand what I want. It’s a long-term commitment.
I just made one (referring to his marriage) I don’t think I am ready for another one (laughs).