Aditya Roy Kapur is remarkably self aware. In a family of artistes, he says he was the least artistically inclined; but for someone who was averse to acting in Hindi cinema, he has gradually fallen in love with the profession.
"As I look back, I think I am an accidental actor. Just because it has been 10 years, I can't say I've been sure about wanting to be in this profession, even though I've started to love it now," Aditya says.
He started out as a VJ for Channel V and eventually made his debut as an actor in 2009 with London Dreams. Over the years, he featured in several films like Aashiqui 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Ok Jaanu.
"It all happened by chance," Aditya says. A casting call in 2008 for the Vipul Shah film gave him an opportunity to enter Bollywood even though he never "harboured any desire to be an actor." "I never grew up on a staple diet of hindi cinema. In fact, when I was a VJ, I was averse to it. Purely because I could never imagine myself being an actor."
The 33-year-old actor has seen highs and lows, hits and misses and received both appreciation and brickbats for his performances, but he feels more settled today than when he started out. "Over the years I've grown to love the industry, my job and the profession itself. It's been a journey full of ups and downs. For the first few years, it was a journey of self discovery where I grew to love acting while acting.
"By the time I finished my first three films, I realised this is something I want to do for a long time, learn and grow in."
It isn't surprising that Aditya decided to be an actor for he grew up in a family where everyone was associated with arts. His grandparents were choreographers, his mother directed school plays and his brothers Siddharth—who is now heading Roy Kapur Films—and actor Kunaal were both into theatre.
"It was a wonderful environment to grow up in. The arts had surrounded me but funnily enough I was the only one in the house who was not inclined towards it," Aditya quips.
Unlike his brothers, the only times he featured in plays were when he wanted to bunk classes. "I didn't like the idea of acting back in school. Both my brothers were into it. In fact, Siddharth did lots of theatre as an actor. He is the first director I worked under. I did a play when I was in Class 2.
"He was the dramatics society’s president in college. He was doing Sound of Music
and it had lots of kids, so I was one of them," Aditya says.
As a child, he recalls accompanying his mother to her dance classes, as often there was no one to babysit him. "My mom was working through my childhood, so I would be running around Mumbai, from one dance class to another, with my mom carrying the tape recorder with me. I would sit on the side and watch her teach dance."
That memory isn't in isolation, for it were moments like these which helped him understand what goes behind making art. "Growing up in the house, the influences were always there. It rubs off on you. Subconsciously you pick up on these things and have an appreciation in what goes into it.
"What we normally see is the finished product—someone's performance on screen—but behind the scenes, a lot goes into it. I grew up watching them work behind the scenes."
Aditya's latest film Kalank
is playing in theatres and after a sabbatical of two years, he now has three releases lined up. "There are lots of genres, several characters I want to play and explore. It has been ten years, phew. But I feel I've just begun," he says.