Fresh from the success of "The Night Manager", actor Aditya Roy Kapur says he will always be proud of the series that helped him showcase a different side of his personality to filmmakers and audiences.
Released in two parts, the Disney+ Hotstar series has been adapted from author John Le Carre's 1993 novel. The book was also the inspiration for the critically-acclaimed British show, starring Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie.
Kapur, 37, said the series has given him a lot.
"It has given filmmakers and people in general an insight into another part of my personality. And it's something maybe they had not seen before. Of course, I always knew it was there. I always knew it existed. But sometimes you need a certain role and a certain part to connect for everyone else to see it," the actor told PTI in an interview.
"Looking back at this, I believe it is a project that will always be something I can be proud of," he added.
In the series, Kapur played a hotel night manager who goes undercover to bring down the empire of an arms dealer, essayed by Anil Kapoor.
"The Night Manager" has received praise from the critics for its faithful adaptation as well as the performance of lead actors, including Sobhita Dhulipala and Tillotama Shome.
The Indian version has been created by Sandeep Modi with a screenplay by Shridhar Raghavan. Modi also directed the seven-part series with Priyanka Ghose.
Kapur credited the writing and directing team for making the show appealing across the board.
"That was very important to me, that the show must be adapted well, which is what everyone is also observing. It feels right for the Indian subcontinent and completely organic to this place... It's rare that everything in a project seems to line up, and it feels like it has connected across the board." According to Disney+ Hotstar, "The Night Manager" has emerged as the "most watched series ever across all Hotstar Specials" on its platform.
What made the show's success even sweeter for him was the appreciation that came from the fans of the 2016 British series, which featured Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine.
"There are so many people who love the original. Some people have said that 'The Night Manager' original is my favourite show. But even those people have actually turned around and said that they liked us as much.
"That is a great compliment to receive... It is a kind of vindication for feeling like it was a good thing that we went ahead and did this." The actor even got a call from Hiddleston, his British counterpart. British show writer David Farr and Hiddleston attended a special screening of the Indian version in London and then the "Loki" star rang up Kapur.
"Sandeep and Priyanka called me at 2 am in the morning to tell me know how everyone liked it. They happened to be with Tom and he spoke to me. I didn't expect it, but he was very effusive. He really seemed to have loved the show a lot. He had kind words to say... I obviously thanked him for laying out such a beautiful blueprint to work off as an actor," Kapur recalled. Acknowledging that he has often found recognition in playing troubled characters, be it in "Aashiqui 2" (2013), "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani" (2013) or "Malang" (2020), the actor said he seemed "to have an aptitude for it".
"I guess it gives you something to play with as an actor. It gives you something to bite your teeth into when you have someone who has been through certain experiences," he said.
Kapur added that preparing for a role is something that he likes the most in the filmmaking process.
"For me, it is very important to try and build a really rich interior world of the character, to try and really get to the core of what those experiences might have been, how those experiences might have affected them, and how they make them the person they are today.
"When you get characters that are troubled and have certain experiences or traumas, there is a lot that one can find if you really delve into it. And a lot of that has got to do with you taking preparation seriously and building an internal world that feels complete," he said.
The actor is bracing for more offers to star in spy dramas post the success of "The Night Manager" but hopes he does not get typecast.
"Sometimes when you do something that's successful, then you get offered things in a similar space. Because then people are like, 'Oh, this is what he's good at. Let's give him more of it.' "As an actor, it is up to you to make the choices that don't allow yourself to be typecast. So the onus is on me to choose things that don't feel repetitive." Up next for the actor is Anurag Basu's "Metro... In Dino", the sequel to the filmmaker's critically-acclaimed 2007 movie "Life in a... Metro". He had previously starred in the filmmaker's anthology movie "Ludo".
Kapur said the decision to collaborate with Basu was a "no-brainer" as he had a wonderful time working with the director on the 2020 film.
"'Ludo' was a great film, but as an actor, it was such an enriching experience working with Basu. He's a master at what he does. And for me, just to be on a movie set with him again and have some fun was an opportunity I could not let go," he added.
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