Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor wowed the audience in his conversation at the Red Sea Film Festival in which he received the Variety International Vanguard Actor Award.
Fans were eager to get the chance to hold his hand, give him an embrace or grab a selfie, as he entered and exited the theater.
During the talk – moderated by Variety journalist, Martin Dale – he discussed the highs and lows of his career to date, and his joy at marrying actor Alia Bhatt earlier this year and the birth of their first child in November. During the Q&A session several fans broke into song, prompting a chorus throughout the room, which delighted Kapoor.
With self-effacing charm and openness to answering a wide range of different questions – ranging from his personal life, disappointments and goals for the future – the audience was entranced by his presence.
He talked about his formative influences, such as his grandfather, Raj Kapoor, who incarnated a Chaplinesque tramp character, method acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, learning his craft as an assistant to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and advice from filmmaker Aamir Khan to travel India anonymously, before becoming famous, in order to understand his country.
He discussed his friendship and close working relationship with helmer Ayan Mukerji, having worked on his 2022 blockbuster “Brahmastra Part One: Shiva,” and on previous pics “Wake Up Sid,” and “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” and confided that the slacker character of Sid, is the role that he most closely identifies with.
He described the demands of method acting and the effort and sometimes significant personal discomfort associated to elaborate prosthetics required for roles such as his 2018 biopic “Sanju,” in which he played different moments in the life of scandal-ridden actor Sanjay Dutt and 2022 historical epic “Shamshera” for which he endured a fake beard in the blistering desert heat.
Kapoor also addressed his flops, citing the examples of “Shamshera,” and 2015 pic “Bombay Velvet,” revealing that his biggest disappointment was 2017 musical fantasy “Jagga Jasoos,” that he said was a passion project.
The actor revealed that he is open to shooting anywhere in the world and would be interested in filming in Saudi Arabia, citing the example of actor Shah Rukh Khan who recently lensed in the Saudi desert for his upcoming pic “Dunki,” directed by Rajkumar Hirani.
Kapoor beamed when asked about becoming a father and said that it’s “a joy like I never experienced before.”
Finally, looking ahead he says that he has high hopes for his next two projects – Luv Ranjan’s romantic comedy, partly shot in Spain, and gangster pic “Animal,” by Sandeep Reddy Vang, which he is currently shooting.