It’s been a while since we saw a star kid being launched. Today was therefore a red letter day for Harshwardhan Kapoor, son of veteran actor Anil Kapoor. The trailer of his debut film, Mirzya, was launched in Mumbai today, a film that also marks the debut of Saiyami Kher. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and with screenplay by Gulzar and music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the film has huge expectations attached to it.
Cheering on Harshwardhan at the trailer launch was the entire Kapoor khandaan, including Anil Kapoor, Sunita Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Rhea Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Boney Kapoor, Sridevi and other members of the family. Saiyami, niece of Tanvi Azmi, was also present at the launch, along with Javed Akhtar. The event started with Daler Mehendi performing on the title track, followed by performances by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Siddharth Mahadevan. Here’s what happened at the do:
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra on the film
Like many others, I too had read the Mirza Sahiban and I always pondered the question: Sahiban ne baan kyun tode? As usual, I kept going back to that question. I happened to meet Gulzar saab once and I asked him the same question, and he said it’s there in the text books. But we wanted to explore that further and he said, ‘Haath pakad ke chalte hain shayad pata chal jaye.’ That’s how we started working on the story.
Gulzar on lyrics
Kahaani ne khud likh liye yeh geet, ek baar maine kahaani likhni shuru ki, gaane bante gaye, gaane iss film ko aagey leke jaati hain, toh maine Shankar se kaha, ‘Maine kayi baar tumhari dhun pe bol likhe hain, iss baar tum mere bol pe dhun banao.’
Harshvardhan Kapoor on his debut
We first met in 2008 and kept bumping into each other after that. He had told me he was writing Mirzya with Gulzar saab. I was 18 then and I am now 25 years old. So you can imagine the journey. We kept reconnecting until June 2013, when we decided to make the film. I read the script in 2013. I was reading so many other scripts but Mirzya was the most contemporary love story, and here we are today.
Kapoor on working on his role
There are two characters, Aadil and Mizrya. We worked on both characters simultaneously. I learnt horse riding, which sounds easy but it’s not. I moved to Delhi for six months to learn the art and took quite a few falls.
Saiyami Kher on feeling pressurised
I don’t think we feel pressurised because we have given 100 per cent. Now it’s all up to you, guys. It was a blessing in disguise for me to bag this role as I had not thought of acting as a career.
Kapoor on feeling the pressure
I don’t see any pressure. We have worked very hard and believe in what we are doing, with a passion. This comes across in the film.
Daler Mehendi on making a come back
I am thankful to Rakeysh sir, who believed in me. I didn’t have an offer for 5 years until Rakeysh sir called me to come down to Mumbai. I reached Shankar’s studio and saw all of them sitting, Gulzar saab was also there. I was wondering what they would ask me to do. Rakeysh sir told me about Mirzya and asked me to sing the mukhda in my own voice, without telling me how he wanted it. I sung the first lines. That was it. I would like to say that Shankar has created all the melodies; it’s so real, so rustic.
Shankar Mahadevan on Gulzar
Every time I get to work with Gulzar saab, we see a new side of him. He is filled with melodies, words. His experiences surprise us and every day is a learning process. I am blessed to work with such a legend.
Mehra on Harshvardhan’s physique
The character that Harsh is playing didn’t demand six-pack abs. We have got so used to a physiques like that but my story didn’t demand that. Mirzya’s character was not that of a boxer who needed to have a six-pack. Harsh devoted 18 months to prep for the character. It was like he was doing a double role in this film as he was playing two characters from two different eras. Once we finished one part, we took seven months off as he had to prepare for the other role. Both the actors have worked very hard.
Anil Kapoor to Gulzar
I still remember how I tried to persuade Gulzar saab to take me in one of his films but he didn’t. I am glad he chose my son.