We found a 2005 interview Shahid did with Cosmo, and, given how things have changed (He and then girlfriend Kareena are both happily married to other people, their lives and careers have both charged forward, etc), it's nice to have this little #ThrowbackThursday moment...on Friday, but whatevs.
Cosmo: You're seen as the quintessential chocolate box hero. Do you worry sometimes about being typecast so early in your career?
Shahid Kapoor: "I admit there's a certain amount of restriction in the roles that I am being offered—since I am only 24, and I do look pretty young. So, maybe, I can't play a tough cop, a serious doctor or an aggressive lawyer right now. But that will sort itself out in time."
C: And is there quite a dearth of leading ladies for you?
SK::I will not lie—it is pretty difficult for directors to cast women opposite me, because I look far younger than most actresses. In fact, we were downright lucky to get three women for Dil Maange More!"
C: Would you do a film like Murder or Jism?
SK: "Umm...maybe not. I am not really comfortable with showing so much sexuality on screen."
C: Most actors try to retain their single image to keep up the fan hysteria. You had no qualms about making your much-attached status public?
SK: "That's because we wanted to be normal, and do things that all other young couples do—go out for dinner, go dancing, watch a movie, enjoy a long drive. This would have been impossible if we weren't open about each other."
C: But is your relationship ready to face the inevitable pressures of stardom?
SK: "It does get difficult at times. This is just a profession like any other, this is what we do for a living. But the lack of privacy can really mess up your lives, and that's just not fair."
C: And you have been one of the really unlucky ones on that front?
SK: "Which is quite surprising because I don't think I am one of the bigger stars in the country. But I try and not let it affect me because beyond a point, there is nothing I can do about it."
C: So what kind of a boyfriend are you to Kareena?
SK: I am very moody—sometimes I can be very romantic and take her for long drives. At other times, I can be very sporty and take her jet-skiing. I believe that I should try to be the best at everything—the best boyfriend, the best son, the best brother, the best actor!
C: Was it love at first sight?
SK: "We were dating within the first week of meeting each other...so you can say that, yes, we hit it off the moment we met!"
C: What's the most special thing about your relationship?
SK: The fact that we have such different personalities. She is extremely outspoken and impulsive. I am the opposite. We fill in each other's empty spaces, balance out each other's strengths and weaknesses, and that's what keeps us together.
C: Kareena had a head-start on you with fame and success. Faced any insecure moments because of this?
SK: I think we both love one another so much that we just wish the best for each other. If you are in love, the other person's success should only make you happy. And if it doesn't, it's not really love.
C: Any marriage plans?
SK: "Not for a very long time! I am only 24, and have just started out on my career. There is so much I need to achieve before I can think of settling down permanently."
C: But how many 24-year-olds save and spend their first monies on buying a house?
SK: "Oh, initially I did splurge a little. I bought this big fat thing (his Toyota Lexus SUV), but then I realised my stupidity. I have now bought a very modest apartment—nothing big or extravagant. I want to stay grounded."
C: What's your worst habit?
SK: "I think too much. In fact, Bebo gets really mad at me about this—she keeps telling me that girls are supposed to brood after a fight and guys are supposed to make them feel better. With us, it's usually the other way round!"
C: Do you know the effect you have on girls?
SK: "People have told me that I am gaining popularity, but I think it's less about me and more about the characters I play."
C: Any crazy fan encounters?
SK: "There have been some really sweet ones—girls tying friendship bands on my doorknob and running away. Just simple, harmless things like that. Before Ishq Vishq was released, I had gone to Gaiety to see the promos, and this 14-year-old girl came running up to me and said I was the best actor in the whole world. My first film had not even been released, and she was telling me that I was the greatest. That was touching."
C: How do you handle passes?
SK: "I don't handle two things well— compliments and passes. I get really awkward, and end up putting my foot in my mouth. By now, though, most women know that I am seeing somebody, so they leave me alone."
C: What's been the scariest phase in your life?
SK: "The night before my first film Ishq Vishq was releasing. I just couldn't sleep... at 3 A.M., I was pacing under my building and calling Ken Ghosh, the director. But he was very little help—he said that he'd had seven Bacardis, and still couldn't sleep! Finally, I woke up a friend and asked him to take me for a drive. On the way, we saw young boys putting up posters of the film, and I spent the rest of the night helping them!"
C: What's with you and dancing?
SK: "It's an obsession since childhood! My mom (Neelima Azeem) is a trained classical dancer, and I used to spend hours watching her practise. In school, I was a great fan of Michael Jackson, and would keep trying to copy his moves in front of the mirror. Then MJ came to perform in Mumbai—and I remember saving my pocket money for months so I could afford to buy the ticket. That performance had a major impact on me, and I later joined Shiamak Davar's dance classes. Within weeks, Shiamak spotted me and I was promoted to the advanced batch. Soon after, he offered me a spot with his troupe, and from then on life was one big party— I was making money, going all over the country in a huge group, and doing what I loved. Those were great days!"
(Excerpts from an interview by Anubha Charan; Photographs by Dabboo Ratnani)