Boney Kapoor opens up About bollywood journey, family, and career challenges in candid interview
During an episode of ‘Catch The Stars’ hosted by The New Indian’s Executive Editor Rohan Dua, renowned film producer Boney Kapoor opened up about various aspects of his life. He shared heartfelt memories of his late wife and Bollywood superstar, Sridevi, discussed the making of the ground-breaking Bollywood sci-fi film ‘Mr. India,’ and delved into his relationships within his family. During the interview, Kapoor also shared insights into his journey through the world of Bollywood, his family, and the ups and downs he’s faced in his career. The candid interview also toucheed upon his experiences, challenges, and the values that have guided him along the way. Excerpts….
Rohan Dua: You have given love and affection to everyone but did you also receive it back?
Boney: I don’t believe in barters. It was not a situation ever that I didn’t receive it back. If it wasn’t the case. You see it is a two-way street.
Rohan: It is not a one-way cul-de-sac street that you walked on it alone.
Boney: No, no, not at all. I got immense love. From these people that I accounted. At the same time, I am not the only reason they are successful. I may have contributed 1 per cent. But I am that kind of a person that tomorrow if you have a problem… There are a few friends of mine who gave me this picture- ‘It’s a wonderful life’ saying “please see this it is your life story.”
Rohan: If I talk about grosser, which one is the actual grosser?
Boney: If I talk about ‘Judaai,’ ‘Sirf Tum,’ ‘Hum Paanch,’ ‘Wo 7 Din,’ ‘Hum Paanch’ was made on Rs 11 lakhs. ‘Wo 7 Din’ was made on Rs 21 lakhs. These pictures became successful and gave me profit. We bought our first home with ‘Hum Paanch’s money. Our first bungalow was bought after ‘Mr. India.’ So after every film, there was some kind of growth, and now you see me sitting in front of you.
Rohan: When it comes to Sridevi’s connection with Tamil Nadu, it seems you have developed a strong bond with the place. You’ve invested a significant amount of time in Chennai. I’d like to ask about a rather personal matter – the property in Chennai that once belonged to Sridevi. Does this place hold a special significance for you due to its association with her?
Boney: Yes, it belongs to her, and I’ve renovated the full house to seduce my children to come to Chennai more often and stay there. Of course, I go and stay there. You know when she passed away and a year before that, children were not keen on traveling to Chennai because they didn’t have friends there and they hadn’t grown up (there) so it was not used extensively. Now since my family can’t come and my father isn’t anymore, we gave separate rooms to Khushi and Janhvi.
But whenever I go there, I feel like she is with me. I have fond memories of time spent with her there even before marriage when I was courting her. I remember where I used to sit and where I used to see her from. Although we have changed the place, the vibe is still there.
Rohan: You kept those beliefs very close to yourself and also the public spaces and your identity as a good Hindu…
Boney: Absolutely! In fact, you see whether it was Shri, whether it is Sunita, whether it is me, whether it’s Anil or whether it’s Janhvi. Once every three months, she goes to Tirupati and walks up the stairs. Sri, on her birthday, used to walk up the stairs. Whenever I was in some kind of trouble, she used to walk from Juhu to Siddhivinayak barefoot. When I shifted to this place six months back, I got 11 pandits and a calf walked in the entire house to get good vibes. So this is only a sign of a believer in religion.
Rohan: I’ve come across photographs of your visits to Vaishno Devi, and if I’m not mistaken, your marriage also happened at a sacred shrine.
Boney: Shirdi. My second marriage with Shri happened in Shirdi. On June 2, 1996, that’s the time we got married and we exchanged vows. If we were there, we would spend the night there and it was only in January when we got to know of her pregnancy. We had no choice than to marry publicly. We publicly married in January 1997. There are still some scribes that write that she (Janhvi) was born before our marriage.
Rohan: Share your perspective on your son’s career and how you assess his achievements as an actor and individual, especially considering the differing opinions regarding his success.
Boney: Every man has its own journey and perhaps I don’t think he has reached his peak. Definitely I am there and I will be doing that. There are three subjects that have lined up for him. He’s happy with those subjects and he is on the threshold of a new kind of characterisation and just yesterday a film was launched where he is the solo villain opposite Ajay, Ranveer and Akshay in ‘Singham 4.’ For the first time he will play the antagonist. So let’s see where it takes him.
Rohan: So this will be an evolution of him?
Rohan: Your career has encompassed a wide range of film genres and subjects. There was a time when achieving the Rs 100 crore club milestone was considered a significant success in Bollywood. However, you’ve also faced losses, such as the 1993 incident with ‘Roop ki Rani Choro ka Raja.’ Could you share how you managed to overcome these setbacks, and what level of motivation is essential for a filmmaker, film producer, or director to rebound and achieve success?
Boney: The first thing is that the aspects of life- the highs and the lows, it is not just for a filmmaker it can happen to any man in any industry but what can keep him going is he should keep the one thing in mind that he’s got to have intention of working hard and paying of what he owes the people. I mean of course when the losses occur that means there is a part of debt which is on your head besides losing your own money you’ve lost money which you borrowed.
You must be transparent and honest. The hard work must continue. Like you sang at the start- ‘Zindagi ki yahi reet hai, har k bad hi jeet hai’ so I have been through ups and downs many times. So I have come back being a little stronger and a lot more resilient. God has been kind. I’ve grown even faster.
So all these two three downers that I had in my career (doesn’t matter). Of course I’ve had my family to support me and I had my wife to support me. Their moral support was incredible. When my wife was here, she walked to the temple barefoot. My brothers also stood by me. I’ve been fortunate that I have had some good friends too who stood by me and whoever I dealt with always knew I would bounce back. Somehow, perhaps it was either my personality or the way my approach was towards this thing.
Rohan: Many people still say that you never switched off your phone, you never change your phone numbers. If you have to return the money or you’ve taken the money to produce a film. You will never do that.