Aditya’s general ‘niceness’ might have something to do with how he doesn’t take celebritydom too seriously. (“I mean, I feel very fortunate to receive adulation and love from people,” he tells me, later. “If I’ve had a bad day and someone comes up to me to say that they love what I do, it can totally change my mood. But there are other parts of my life that are equally important. And I find that I’m unable to be in the public eye all the time...be a public persona all the time. I need to have my own space, to retreat. I need to just be normal and do normal things. That is equally important to me...I can’t be ‘on’ all the time).
At this moment, though, Aditya is ‘on’. We are at the Cosmo India covershoot, photographing Aditya and Disha Patani before the release of Malang, and he is telling the hairstylist that his gelled-back, side-crew haircut (it’s new!) needs more fixing. The co-actors move their bodies to try to replicate the steamy chemistry they share in their upcoming romance-action-thriller, and the February 2020 cover of Cosmo India is born. Later, we settle into our interview, and over discussions around life, work, his most-cherished childhood bonds, and this inner urge to get away, I get to know our coverstar better...
Nandini Bhalla: Are you someone who gets bored easily?
Aditya Roy Kapoor: “No. But I certainly believe that because of this little piece of technology in our pockets, our attention span has taken a hit. At least mine seems to have dwindled. I feel like we’re always jumping from one thing to the next, always in search of new stimuli. It’s something I’d like to get a handle on, because our phones have made it so much tougher to concentrate on things. It’s so important to slow down, you know...even watching a movie without checking your phone in the middle seems like a task. It’s something I need to be mindful of.”
NB: And do you get annoyed easily? Is there anything that really gets your goat?
ARK: “I do get angry easily, but over the last few years, I’ve become better at managing my temper. And I’m getting even better at it as I’m getting older. I do get annoyed when people don’t take their jobs seriously, when they don’t fully commit to what they are doing. That irritates me.”
NB: Your abs are so popular, they’ve even got their own memes! What’s your fitness routine like?
ARK: “It really depends on the role I’m preparing for, but I’m trying to find a way to maintain consistency...which is a challenge because I really love food and I enjoy things that are loaded with calories. So I used to just fly off the handle every now and then. But now I’m trying to maintain some sort of an equilibrium wherein I’m consistently eating pretty light, and allowing myself to let go maybe once or twice a week. I feel that ‘planning’ a cheat meal makes me a bit depressed...because I have to plan when I can eat all that I want...it really saddens me. So I like to cheat whenever I want to, and then pull myself back over the next few days. Although, sometimes, if I’m in the zone, I go on cheating for 15 days straight...like I’ve opened the floodgates! But being consistent with your diet and working out regularly are very crucial. Even if you’re doing a little bit everyday. Not just physically, it keeps you mentally in check, too.”
NB: You love travelling, yes? Is there one city you’d like to visit over and over again?
ARK: “So Malang is set in Goa...and it’s a place that’s pretty much the closest to my heart. I grew up spending a lot of time there. When I was younger, I was a bit of a vagabond, with an Afro, roaming all over Goa. It was this beautiful place, for me, full of possibilities—you could do almost anything and get lost in time. I have the fondest memories of Goa and it means a lot to me even today. It is that one place that keeps calling me back. But after becoming a recognisable face, things have changed. I’m not that age anymore, either. So I can’t just roam around without a care in the world anymore...”
NB: ...Yes, I think that would cause quite a storm.
ARK: “I’ve also grown out of it, but I still think about it. I get these pangs, where I really want to go back. But then, what am I going to do? I can’t chill...I’ll probably just be holed up in a hotel. It’s not going to be the same. Maybe I’ll have to find a way to disappear in South Goa or something.”
NB: What is 2020 looking like for you?
ARK: “Very busy, which is good. I shot three films last year, and all of them come out in the first half of 2020. So it’s going to be a lot of promotions and a lot of running around to put these films out there. And it’s going to be exciting—I can’t wait to see what people think of these films. I’ll also be getting back on a film set soon enough, and will be working on some new projects. And, I plan to travel a lot more this year...whenever I can get a chance to just pack my bags and go away!”
Credits: Styling: Zunaili Malik; Photographs Anushka Nadia Menon; Hair: Raghuvir Gaonkar at Aalim Hakim; Make-Up: Stephen Jadhav; Location Courtesy: Fun Republic SOCIAL, Mumbai; Production: Imran Khatri Productions; Fashion Assistant: Humaira Lakdawala; Fashion Interns: Sahil Vasudev, Saloni Kohli and Shivi Khosla.