Born to Bollywood royalty, Ranbir Kapoor makes new film a family affair

Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:26pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor is one of Indian cinema's most bankable young stars, and his latest film, "Besharam," which also stars his parents, is set to become one of the most widely released Bollywood films worldwide.

Kapoor, a member of India's "first family of film" and the grandson of veteran Bollywood director Raj Kapoor, plays a charming but vulgar car thief in the Hindi-language action comedy that opens on Wednesday in 4,700 cinemas internationally, including 210 in the United States.

His parents, leading Bollywood stars Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, play police agents in the film, marking the first time the three have been in the same movie in what distributor Reliance Entertainment chief Sanjeev Lamba called a "casting coup."

Bollywood refers to the Hindi-language film industry centered in Bombay, or Mumbai, which is known for mass-appeal productions featuring lavish song and dance numbers.

"Besharam" is a slang term in Hindi for someone who is shameless. Kapoor, whose 2013 coming-of-age film "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani" was among the five highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time, said the role was a departure from his previous films as he plays a "vulgar and repulsive" character.

He said he was attracted to "Besharam" by its simplicity.

"It wasn't trying to be too intellectual. It was entertaining. It engaged me and if it engaged me, I thought it would engage an audience," Kapoor said in an interview during a visit to New York.

Kapoor, 31, is the winner of several awards, including two Filmfare Best Actor Awards, the Indian film industry equivalent to the Oscars, for his role as a troubled musician in 2011's "Rockstar" and as a blind, deaf man in 2012's "Barfi!"   Continued...

 
Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor poses for a portrait while doing interviews regarding his new film Besharam in New York, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson