Karan Kapadia

Akshay Kumar (left) and debuting actor Karan Kapadia in the just-released “Blank.” Kapadia told India-West that he has not planned on etching out a character as a lead actor. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—He has an easy smile, is soft-spoken and is openly thrilled (and expresses it!) when I told him that I was once introduced to his mother, the late Simple Kapadia when I had gone to do my first interview with Sunny Deol over 15 years ago. Karan Kapadia, who makes his debut in the just-released “Blank,” said candidly that he has not planned on etching out a character as a LEAD actor. “Any good role, in films, web or any medium, is great with me!” he said.

He agreed when we pointed out that content is more important now than stars, which was not really the case in 2016 when he signed the film. “Yes, it’s the best time for young actors with the kind of scripts and writers coming along, even on the OTT platforms. That gives more chance to more and more actors. There is more creative freedom.”

He admitted that doing “Blank,” his debut film, is a personal choice. “Even if I did have a choice, which I did not, I would have probably chosen this script. I am happy that I got to associate with old friends like Behzad Khambata (director-co-writer). I would like to be a part of content I would like to watch as an audience.”

Karan wanted to be an actor from the age of 11. “I started actively working towards it from the age of 15, though my mother passed away in 2009 and she never came to know this. Alia Bhatt was in my school batch, and I had this anxiety watching her kill it on stage! Then I got involved with friends in short films and my anxiety became less! Those feelings for becoming an actor intensified.”

The actor’s next step was assisting on movies. “I was a kind of bad luck charm, as I assisted someone at 15 and other at 16 and both films got stalled!” he smiled. “Then I met co-writer Pranav (Adarsh) and Behzad when I assisted on “Boss” at the age of 18. I think that working on short films and assisting a director are any day better than doing acting courses!” Asked him to elaborate, and he said, “These are generalized courses. But actors are all individuals with their own approaches.”

Sunny Deol’s presence made his rather small film bigger. “We are all first-timers, including our DOP and assistant directors, and we needed someone of Sunny-sir’s stature. He has had 30 years of experience, been there, done that,” he said.

Karan does not think that a debut minus romance and song and dance will affect him. “Today, trends are going the way where such things do not matter. We wanted to make a film that while watching it will not make you look at your mobile for a WhatsApp message that has come.” He even said that because he wanted to act, he would have even done a rotten film, but was lucky to get a “great script with friends.”

Karan never hoped for anything from his family and just trusted his director. “Like I said, I always believe that everyone has a different approach to scenes!” he said. “You also have to know your strengths and weaknesses. I never asked anyone for help in my ambition or expected a launch. I am just lucky that Sunny-sir, who has been working with my mom, who was his costume designer, is there, and with Akshay-sir, who is related through my aunt (Dimple Kapadia), who agreed to do our promotional song because I think he liked me and the rushes he watched of our film.” He is thrilled that Kumar told him that he did not look like a first-timer.

Sunny Deol came on board because the director wrote the film with him in mind. “I had met Sunny since I was a kid, and I came full circle,” he noted. “It was surreal to work with him. And Behzad has been his fan since he was growing up!”

Karan, Behzad, and Pranav are writing something for the OTT platform. “I am going to keep writing, and I do not know if anyone will buy something! I am going to keep auditioning. At the rate at which we are reproducing, it’s good we are having so many platforms for very often there are scripts but no actors or no dates!” he said.

He regrets that his mother never came to know about his love for acting, but terms his equation with aunt Dimple Kapadia as amazing. “She is like my second mother, and I can share anything with her – personal or professional,” he said. “She’s my biggest supporter. She took care of my mother when she was ill and of me after she passed away. She is the only actress to whom I look up. She is also my biggest fan.”

So, Karan really is not starting with just a “Blank” page.

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