Thursday, August 11 2022

Actor Arjun Kapoor said on Tuesday that the Hindi film industry needs to make more ensemble films, a kind of cinema he grew up watching.

While appearing on Koffee with Karan last week, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar said he and host filmmaker Karan Johar were struggling to find a second male lead in their upcoming joint production.

Kumar and Johar had attributed the refusal of the other actors to their “insecure” nature.

Arjun Kapoor, who shares screen space with John Abraham in upcoming action thriller Ek Villain Returns directed by Mohit Suri, said he’s always been a fan of ensemble films, even though he’s become “more difficult” to persuade actors to be a part of such projects.

“I did Gunday and Bhoot Police, I always thought ensemble films are great fun because I grew up watching Subhash Ghai’s cinema and my uncle Anil Kapoor’s films.

“Maybe Akshay, sir, is right because it’s become harder to convince people of the value they bring and what they get in the script,” the actor told PTI.

Arjun Kapoor was speaking at a press conference here to promote Ek Villain Returns with actors John Abraham, Disha Patani, producers Ektaa R Kapoor and Bhushan Kumar.

He said trust is a key factor in an actor’s decision to embark on a project.

“There’s a lot of trust involved. More than insecurity, you have to trust the people you work with. With this movie, since I’ve worked with Mohit (2 States) and John (Sardar Ka Grandson) before, there’s a certain trust and respect for each other.

“When the right people come together, they can form great wholes. If there is anything that needs to be dealt with, you know it will be done with grace. The film industry needs more ensemble films,” said Arjun Kapoor.

What needs to be celebrated is that actors are happy on sets making bigger and better movies, he added.

“It protects the interest of the producer and helps the director make the movie he wants to make. I understand Mr. Akshay’s point to some extent, but I believe things are changing and must change if we are to deliver these Bollywood numbers.

“The 80s, 90s and early 2000s era is hopefully coming back for the right reasons,” said Arjun Kapoor.

Citing the example of his films with Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor and Akshay Kumar, John Abraham said he was always comfortable making “two-hero” films. “In Dostana, Abhishek played my love interest. But honestly, I’ve done a lot of two-hero movies. I love my association with Arjun, Varun and Abhishek. With Akshay, I made three films. I love Akshay, I love him to death.

“He’s probably right to some extent, but there are places where you can bring in two or three heroes. Maybe you can’t do an Ocean’s 11 but you can do an Ocean’s 3 or 4. We can shake things up and the new generation is more willing,” the actor said.

On his experience on Ek Villain Returns, a sequel to Mohit Suri’s 2014 film Ek Villain, Arjun Kapoor said he was able to stand up to John Abraham because the actor made him feel “comfortable on the trays”.

“He gave me that warmth and that connection, and made me feel safe on set. I didn’t have to impress him or anyone else to make them think I am able to stand by John Abraham,” he added.

Disha Patani said that Ek Villain Returns is a movie that is not about “who is the hero or who is the villain”.

“It’s about the journey we all go through and how different circumstances can change and make us heroes or villains. My character is pretty smart and she thinks being greedy isn’t a problem. She can go all the way with his greed,” she added.

During the promotional event, producer Ektaa R Kapoor was asked about Kamaal R Khan’s allegation that Ek Villain Returns is a copy of a South Korean movie.

To this, the producer replied that Mohit Suri had narrated his two scripts which he had developed.

“Let me tell you the truth about this movie. Mohit had told me two scenarios. I told him that the Ek Villain franchise should be much bigger this time. He then told me that Rohit Shetty liked this a lot. script and that he had adopted it.

“I went to Rohit, I’m like his sister, and I asked him. Like the good brother he is, he returned it. It’s such a script that whoever listens to it won’t say no. This script was not done in any language, anywhere,” she said.

The producer noted that in the age of streaming services, it has become a “great challenge” to bring audiences to theaters.

“Getting someone to buy a Rs 200 ticket and watch the movie when they can watch it on OTT two months later is a big challenge. But what’s great about Ek Villain Returns is that it’s a theatrical experience. Of the two men battling it out in suspense, I don’t think this movie can be enjoyed unless you’re sitting with your friends and family in a theater.

“Today it is important that a film creates the environment for community viewing and Ek Villain Returns does just that,” she added.

Ek Villain Returns is set to hit theaters on Friday.

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