Aditya Roy Kapur for HELLO! India© HelloIndia

EXCLUSIVE: Heart-To-Heart With Aditya Roy Kapur

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Nayare Ali

Aditya Roy Kapur is a charmer, all right. Disarming us with a sweet apology for a delayed interview, he makes this sole confession. Unlike many of his celebrity peers, the VJ-turned-actor is notoriously private, especially on the topic of his whirlwind romance with the current queen of coquettish charm, Ananya Panday. After all, even Karan Johar couldn’t wrangle an admission out of this reticent star over ‘koffee’!

Spotted walking together at an event in Mumbai, it’s evident that things are getting serious for the lovebirds. While he chooses not to publicise his private life, he certainly understands the curiosity centred around it. “It comes with the territory for a public personality, you have to take it in your stride, make peace with it…” he says with a shrug.

Movies Are In His Blood

Aditya’s ability to handle the attention with ease may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with his filmi roots. In a newspaper interview, he shared that his grandfather, Raghupat Roy Kapur, was a filmmaker during the 1940s. Having directed four films, none of which found success, he chose to step away from the industry. Aditya’s father, Kumud Roy Kapur, pursued a career in the army. However, fate led both of Aditya’s older brothers into the film industry, with Siddharth establishing Roy Kapur Films, and Kunaal achieving success as an accomplished actor.

“Sid [Siddharth Roy Kapur] and Kunaal [Roy Kapur] did a lot of theatre while I was drawn to sports. I never wanted to act and only took part in school plays to bunk classes!” he says with a laugh. Aditya’s mother, Salome Roy Kapur, was not only a former model and dancer but also a dance instructor. Aditya attributes his culturally enriched upbringing to the influence of his parents, who hail from diverse backgrounds. He explains, “My mum [who is Jewish] took us to church and at the same time, there would be havans at home. We grew up embracing everything South Bombay and had no contact with the film industry.”

The Roy Kapurs are certainly a talented bunch and Aditya and his sister-in-law, the reputed actress Vidya Balan, do end up talking shop while hanging out together. However, he maintains that “it is only a brief conversation before we move onto other topics like sports and politics. We do enjoy bonding over a meal as both my parents are fabulous cooks. We relish their mutton dishes…”

Speaking of food, when one sees his toned abs and lean frame, he appears to be genetically blessed. But the actor credits his physique to hardwork and a controlled diet. “I need to work out to stay in shape. If I eat too much, I gain weight fast,” he admits before quipping, “It’s not like I can eat whatever I want, I have to exercise.” The plain truth.

And in his case, with good looks comes good style. We ask him about how he gets his fashion game on point and his answer is rooted in simplicity. “For me, comfort is key; if I am not comfortable, I will not wear it. I don’t experiment. I am more into classic stuff. It helps to have a team who understands your vibe and tastes… But I have no favourite designers.”

What he does have, in terms of favourites, are holiday destinations! “[The United States of] America is a big country; so much to see there. Europe is also so well connected. I’ve spent most of my time in these places, but I want to explore more of the East,” he reveals.

Falling In Love On The Job

For now, though, Aditya has only one destination in mind, and that is B-town. He is extremely passionate about his career, having naturally gravitated towards it. The easygoing actor has upped his game with his pivotal role as Shantanu Sengupta, in the critically acclaimed OTT series, The Night Manager. But what attracted him to this script?

“The original series did so well and I was curious to see what Sandeep Modi and Shridhar Raghavan had done with the adaptation. It felt rooted in the Indian subcontinent,” he reveals. “I got the chance to play a complex and layered character which excited me. It was a huge journey and a beautiful arc.”Unlike many A-list actors hesitant to experiment with OTT, Aditya is all for it! Though, he did have his initial apprehensions. “Anytime you try something new, you think about it. After a point, it’s rare to have such good material [The Night Manager] come your way and so, I didn’t want to let go of this opportunity. The show inherently felt very cinematic to me,” he says, lost in thought.

Though it’s hard to believe, Aditya hasn’t been an actor from day one. In fact, he began his career as a VJ on Channel V. “I had no real aspirations of going down this path [to become an actor]. Opportunities came my way and I fell in love with acting on the job…” The actor made his debut with a small role in London Dreams in 2009, and became an overnight sensation after the success of his film Aashiqui 2 with Shraddha Kapoor in 2013. His golden year—after all, who could forget Avi in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani?

A Journey Of Self-Discovery

As goes the ebb and flow of the industry, Aditya has also been privy to some lows with films like Daawat-e-Ishq and Kalank. However, this pragmatic 38-year-old maintains a balanced perspective on both success and failure, firmly believing that his career in cinema was predestined.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he begins philosophically, adding, “and you learn a lot from your ups and downs; sometimes more from the latter. I look back at it as a journey of discovering myself. As we grow older and settle in our chosen profession, we grow more and more in love with the process. I am passionate about acting and filmmaking and fortunate to have worked with great directors.”

Aditya is also famously close to bonafide industry kids like Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Rohit Dhawan, Mohit Suri and Shaad Randhawa. “There are people I have worked and stayed in touch with over the years.” And perhaps, that is why he is very comfortable doing multi-star films. His humility comes to the forefront as he says, “I started off as a supporting actor for my first three films. I was not launched as a new hero. I discovered that I loved those experiences. I learnt so much having interacted with such great actors and I personally love watching ensemble films.”

Thrilled to commence shooting for Anurag Basu’s Metro... in Dino, the sequel to Life in a... Metro, Aditya fondly reminisces about the director. “I loved working with [Anurag] Basu in Ludo; it was such a fantastic experience that I would have missed if I had been worried about solo films,” he rationalises.

And that is also why online trolling does not perturb him. “I am an actor and there will be good and bad stuff said about me. Constructive criticism about my work will come to me through people I meet or who care about me. Other than that, I find I’d rather not give my attention to needless stuff,” he declares. “I am in a happy space.” And we hope that he always remains his genuine self!

Photos: Vaishnav Praveen; Creative Direction: Avantikka Kilachand; Styling: Anushree Sardesai; Assisted By: Ila Parakh; Make-Up: Stephen Jadhav; Hair: Raghuvir Gaonkar; Location Courtesy: Aer, Four Seasons Worli

This article has been adapted for the web from the February 2024 issue of HELLO! India. Grab your copy here.