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    Acting with Kareena like being on treadmill: Shahid Kapur

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Monday, November 28, 2005
    Bollywood''s rising star Shahid Kapur, who shot to fame in a very short span, finds it difficult to keep up with his girlfriend Kareena Kapoor on sets.

    Talking about Kareena he says: "She''s so good I''ve to be on my toes constantly. A newcomer like me has to try twice as hard."

    Shahid has left his contemporaries far behind apparent from the fact that he has signed Sooraj Barjatya''s next movie and has two releases lined up.

    Excerpts from an interview with Shahid:

    Suddenly there's hyper-activity in your career?

    I've three releases in a month and a half. The comedy "Deewane Huey Paagal" has just hit the screen. John Mathew Matthan's "Shikhar" releasing Dec 16. In January, I've Mahesh Manjrekar's "Life Ho To Aisi". In my whole career I've had only three releases. Now I've three films in a few weeks.

    I never wanted to do too many films. But the offers are getting better and better. And I'd be foolish to say no to Sooraj Barjatya, Abbas Mustan and Priyadarshan. I'll have seven releases in next one year.

    It's a crucial time for me. I'm trying my best to create nuances for each character. Right now I've no choice but to surrender to my directors' vision. They're all much bigger and better at their job than me.

    How is it working with Priyadarshan for the first time?

    I'm very happy. The film I'm doing is very funny. 80 percent of it is light-hearted. And then there's drama and romance.

    Kareena and I are enjoying shooting for it. Right now Priyan is on a high. All his films are doing well. I hope "Kyun Ki" (starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor) does well. It's looking lovely.

    You've just signed Sooraj Barjatya's film?

    Yeah! Sooraj ji gave me a six-hour narration. He went into the details of dialogues, elaborated on how he wanted specific scenes to be done, sang songs to me. He gave me a complete picture of the experience.

    After many years Sooraj ji is going back to his "Maine Pyar Kiya" roots. It's about a boy and a girl. I play the boy, Amrita Rao plays the girl and that's all I can tell you.

    It's a very relationship-driven plot, so a lot will depend on Amrita and me. It's a very young film about discovering love. And since I think love stories are my forte I'm very excited about it.

    John Abraham thinks you need to lose that beefy look.

    20 years ago only action heroes needed to be in shape. Today I think everyone even the romantic heroes, need to stay fit. People like to see me as the boy next door. But even the boy next door has to have a toned body because there are gyms in every nook and corner of the city.

    Abroad we've Tom Cruise who's a boy next door with a good body. I think an actor needs to have all the tools at his disposal. It's up to me to decide where I want to show my body. But yes, in "Dil Maange More" I had become too puffed up. I've lost weight. I want to look lean.

    How do you view the competition?

    It keeps changing every Friday. My competition is with myself. And if my films do well, I'm happy. Each actor has his own journey. Look at the three Khans - they all have their own place, and they're all irreplaceable.

    Are you comfortable working with Kareena?

    We did "Fida" together. We're now completing Satish Kaushik's "Milenge Milenge" and Abbas-Mustan's "36 China Town". She's so good I've to be on my toes constantly. A newcomer like me has to try twice as hard. Acting with her is like being on a treadmill.

    But being in love and working together ...is mixing pleasure and business?

    But we see it as a much-needed opportunity to be together. Right now both of us are at critical stages in our careers. We see it as an advantage that we're doing so many films together. If we didn't have three films together, we'd not be able to meet for weeks and months. And our relationship would've suffered.

    Even if we're on the sets with lots of people, we still get to be near to each other, and that's enough. We're very closely connected. Being together helps both of us grow.

    People had given the two of you just a few weeks...

    It was weeks, then months. We've been together for two years. I feel our relationship is for keeps. My life is currently at a decisive stage. I know I'll get my dues. But sometimes this gets delayed. Sometimes you think you're doing the right film. But you're actually not.


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