Interview: Shahid Kapoor on 'Badmaash Company'
Q. What is 'Badmaash Company'?
I started reading the script... and by the end of ten pages, I was hooked. I found it extremely fresh, young and entertaining. Obviously the film is about con jobs, it's called 'Badmaash Company'! It's about four characters -Karan (Shahid Kapoor), Bulbul (Anushka Sharma), Chandu (Vir Das) and Zing (Chang). These are the four people who come together to form the 'Badmaash Company' and perform all the con jobs. They are an extremely relatable foursome. The cons are so simple. They are there in front of your face and yet you don't see them. It takes a con artiste like Parmeet Sethi to see them and come up with scams like that.
Q. Tell us about your character Karan.
Karan comes from a lower middle class family. He always feels that only he should benefit from his hard work. He doesn't want to lead a mundane and boring life. He wants to start his own business. He is an introvert and is somebody who has a very sharp brain. He can think of things that other people can't. Karan also feels the burden of his father's expectations and the financial constraints that his family faces. That is the start of Karan. During the course of the movie, there is a big change in him. He turns from a boy into a man; he turns from an innocent boy to a bad guy, a Badmaash!
Q. The film is set in the 90s. What kind of research did you do?
We spent a lot of time deciding the look and styling of the film. We wanted it to represent the 90s correctly. It is also very important for a con job film to look slick, and we wanted to maintain that. We researched on the scenario of the 90s, and used the inputs in the film. For example, we used clothes that were in fashion like high waisted jeans, simple t shirts which used to be tucked in and the aviators. The calculator watch that was very much in fashion at that time was also used in the movie. The film starts in 1994 and goes on for five years.
Q. Did you get along well with your co-stars?
I don't think this movie would have been what it is without the other three. All of them have done so well for themselves. I have learnt so much from them even though they are relatively newer than me. All of them have done an absolutely terrific job. The film would not have been complete without their contribution. Anushka's doing something very different from her first film, and I appreciate the fact that she chose this script. She is a natural actor and very unassuming. She just goes with the flow which really works for me.
Q. What about Chang?
Chang was a revelation for me. He is really good in the film. When he gives a shot, it comes across perfectly. I told him that he had found the right career for himself because he is really good.
Q. What's your take on Vir Das?
Initially, I thought that Vir was wrong for the film. He has this American accent, but is supposed to be playing a very 'desi' character. The beauty is that now I cannot see anyone else as Chandu. He has gone through a huge transformation and pulled off the character of a boy who wants to be an actor brilliantly. Whenever he would come on set he would be wearing those waistcoats from 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun' and we would start singing "dulhe ki saaliyon hare duppate waliyon".
Q. You have many disguises in the film.
The disguises are actually the best part of the film. I had so much fun doing them. We actually did all the eight or nine disguises within three to four days. It was so exciting to do so many that by the end of it, we actually ran out of ideas. Vidya dada who is on make-up was responsible for all them. I just had to sit patiently and he made it all happen. He did a brilliant job. All the credit goes to him.
Q. Any particular scene you liked from 'BC'?
There is a scene in the film where I call up my mother after a really long time from a phone booth. And I begin to cry. That was my last shot in the US schedule and it was shot at five in the morning. To me, that's a special shot because it was a very honest one.
Q. Were you comfortable doing the intimate scene with Anushka Sharma?
As great as it might look on screen, an intimate scene is a very uncomfortable experience for the actors concerned. There are many people on the set, but it's just another day at work. And that's how you have to look at it. The reason that I did it in this film was because both the situations that come in the movie are very cute and happen in the life of every youngster.
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