Kunaal Roy Kapur, best known for his performances in films such as Delhi Belly and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, says one of the biggest struggles for him is to break away from the tag of a comic actor.
Kunaal, who has been acting for nearly two decades, started his career with the TV show Just Mohabbat.
“Once you’re known as a comic actor, it’s difficult to break out. People say ‘Oh, he’s a good actor but very good at comedy’, so I think it’ll be a long drawn out process for me (to break that). That happens with other actors as well… It takes a few years to reinvent yourself, to straddle genres,” Kunaal said.
The actor is aware of his own “shortcomings” of not actively pursuing different films but says he tries to make the best of what is offered.
“For me, as a Mumbai-bred guy, there is a certain zone in which I can or cannot be cast. That is something which people have now slowly started to see beyond. I’m hoping to do other kinds of roles – drama, serious stuff.
“But you can only do what comes your way, the liberty is only that much. You deal with what opportunities that come your way.”
Currently, he is looking forward to the release of Kaalakaandi. The Akshat Verma-directed film chronicles the story of six characters from different parts of Mumbai in a span of 12 hours and how the lives of complete strangers intersect.
Having already worked in dark comedies before, Kunaal says he understands the language and humour such films have to offer but the challenge for him as an actor is something else.
“You’re always struggling to get your voice heard as close to as you’d like to. Whether you’re directing or acting, you’d want people to hear your own voice.
“Sometimes, you feel you’ve lied to yourself, cheated in a certain performance. Those are compromises you end up making along the way. But sometimes, you also get opportunities which make you feel you can give it a shot.”
Apart from Kaalakaandi, which is headlined by Saif Ali Khan, the 38-year-old actor is also looking forward to getting back at direction.
He made his directorial debut with the 2009 The President is coming, starring Konkona Sen Sharma.
“It (direction) is something I’m looking to actively pursue now. I have been pitching a few things for a while.
It’s still work in progress but direction is something I will definitely take up at some stage.”
Kaalakaandi is scheduled to release this Friday.