There’s an age old debate in Bollywood about “star kids” having it easy and talented actors struggling for decades. That is, of course, a harsh reality behind the glamour of Bollywood.
But in today’s context, Bollywood is not what it used to be. The awareness and the work ethic is not what it used to be back in the 80s or 90s. And thus, this debate about “star kids” has become more of a grey area than a conclusive rejection of star kids altogether.
And one of the reasons for the dilution of this debate is Ranbir Kapoor. He hasn’t flown in the success of 500 crore films, he hasn’t played safe by doing the same role over and over again. He has consciously stepped out of his comfort zone to make a bigger statement about himself; He’s here to stay.
As he turns 34, we bring you 5 traits that Ranbir Kapoor possesses that might just make him, in terms of popularity, the Shahrukh Khan of his generation:
1. HE’S CINEMA LITERATE
This 4th generation Kapoor didn’t have to study anymore than his predecessors to have a career in films. But that’s not the path Ranbir Kapoor chose for himself. He’s not only the only male in his lineage to be a college graduate, he’s also a rare “star kid” to study films professionally.
Ranbir Kapoor shifted to New York to study film-making for 3 years from School of Visual Arts. Post graduation, Ranbir did a vocational course on Method Acting from the legendary Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
And that’s not his only credentials before making the jump to Bollywood. He has also assisted famous Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Black. His job as the assistant entailed cleaning the floors, changing light bulbs, taking care of equipment from 7am to 4am.
How’s that for being a “star kid”?
2. RISKS DON’T SCARE HIM
Ranbir Kapoor has been using his star power in the most empowering way, as far as his profession goes. Instead of choosing to play safe or feeding a perpetuated image that the audience will love him in, Ranbir went wherever the script took him.
9 years and counting and there isn’t a “type” or an “image” that can contain Ranbir Kapoor. And that’s because he chose to do scripts that other actors would deem “too risky”.
Be it a heartbroken rockstar in Rockstar, a young Sikh salesman in Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year, a boxer in the 60s in Bombay Velvet or a deaf and mute character in Barfi!
Sure he has seen failure in his short career of 9 years, his films have failed consecutively, but failure hasn’t scared him off from waking up every morning and working hard with the same zeal.
His intention to push the envelope of cinema in the country has made him work with some of the most skilled directors working in India today; Prakash Jha, Anurag Kashyap, Anurag Basu, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Imtiaz Ali and the list goes on.
3. HIS REFUSAL TO FEED ANY PERPETUATED “IMAGE”
Accept it or not, most big Bollywood stars have an image to live up to. The image they try to emulate in all films they do. Hrithik Roshan, for example continues to be the hunky dory guy in every film. Salman Khan has been playing the same role since forever. Shahrukh Khan, despite trying different roles in his career, is a victim of his own image.
Ranbir Kapoor on the other hand cannot be described in one such word that easily. People began labeling him as a “chocolate boy” but then Rockstar happened.
9 years and counting, Ranbir Kapoor refuses to be restricted by an “image” and that frees him up to do any kind of role. Whether it’s Rockstar or Barfi! or Bombay Velvet, he has had a wide range of roles and that’s how he continues to surprise the audiences.
Despite being a 4th generation Kapoor, Ranbir comes off as extremely polite and humble, more than the regular man on the street. He has trained himself to be extremely patient and humble while in the company of others.
This enables him to be open to criticism which is the biggest trait one needs in a creative field. His acceptance of criticism has made him a better actor than he was early on. He realizes that being the son of a famous actor got him his debut film but in order to have longevity, he has to be better at his job and that can’t be done without being open to criticism.
5. THE WAY HE TREATS HIS FANS
Despite not being on any social media platform, Ranbir Kapoor maintains a healthy relationship with his fans. In one of his interviews, Ranbir Kapoor shared that the owner of one of his most popular fan-sites is his friend in person.
He is known to be extremely giving and patient with his fans, never having said no to the an autograph or a selfie request. As many as they are, Ranbir makes it a point that he sends everyone away with a smile on their face.
All of these traits and more only make Ranbir Kapoor a bright prospect for inheriting the Bollywood torch from the likes of Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan.
Failure and success will keep taking turns, but Ranbir Kapoor is here to stay and the future of Bollywood is in safe hands.
Being Indian wishes Ranbir Kapoor a happy 34th birthday!