He is very selective when it comes to picking projects, but is not willing to ditch his personal beliefs for more work. Actor Kunal Kapoor says it is important as an actor to "be seen" but even more important to be part of work that one believes in.
The actor, who made his debut with "Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities" in 2004, also said there was a time when he didn't have a release for a couple of years, but he didn't give up.
"It is important as an actor to 'be seen'. But I think it's even more important to be seen in work that you believe in. I am getting a chance to work with such amazing filmmakers like Gauri Shinde, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Reema Kagti and the legendary director Jayaraj," Kunal, who has been roped in as the brand ambassador of fashion brand Indian Terrain, in an email interview.
"I've been told one of the reasons that they want to cast me is that they associate me with quality work. And even though there was a time when I did not have any release for a couple of years, I did not give into work that I had no personal belief in. It has not been easy, but I feel like it has been worth it," he added.
After his debut movie, many people gave him the tag of 'Indian Matthew McConaughey'.
Kunal has featured in critically acclaimed films like "Rang De Basanti", "Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana", "Kaun Kitney Paani Mein" and "Dear Zindagi". There were some failures as well with "Hattrick" and "Raagdesh".
He will soon be seen with Akshay Kumar in "Gold". Directed by Reema Kagti, the film is about India's first Olympic medal win as a free nation in the year 1948 at the 14th Olympic Games at London. It will release on Independence Day, 2018.
Kunal, who is married to megastar Amitabh Bachchan's niece Naina, says he is in a very exciting space as an actor.
Reflecting on his journey, he said: "There was a time when I was not taking up work, because the roles I was being offered were very similar to what I had done in the past. People are in a rush to put you in a box, because a character that you have played in the past, has worked. That fortunately has changed.
"I am in a very exciting space as an actor. In the last couple of years, I have had a chance to play characters that are very different from each other. From a 16th century warrior to a millennial film producer to a Shakespeare teacher and now a sportsperson. I have also had a chance to put my passion for writing and storytelling to good use."
He is working on a few scripts.
"These are stories that are close to me, and characters that I have not had a chance to do before. Earlier, I used to wait for filmmakers to offer me parts that I had my heart in. When those were not coming in, I asked myself, 'What sort of characters would I like to play, and how do I develop those for myself'. These scripts are a result of that. I think it's important not to wait for opportunities to come your way, but to create those opportunities," said the 38-year-old.
Ask him about "Gold", and Kunal prefers to remain silent.
"It is too early to talk about the film. But it has been an amazing experience, right from learning a whole new sport, to working with an actor like Akshay, who I have a lot of admiration for. And it has been incredible to be directed by Reema Kagti. She really is one of the most wonderful directors I have worked with," he said, without divulging any details about the ambitious project.