He was the hassled host in Bheja Fry and the sinister paedophile in Monsoon Wedding. Versatile actor-director Rajat Kapoor says he thrives on offbeat cinema and would rather do meaty roles in small budget films than small parts in big films.
"There's a lack of good roles in mainstream cinema. These small films give me meaty roles and this is what excites me. I would rather prefer to play a meaty role in a small film than a small part in a big budget film," said Rajat.
Rajat features in the new film Phas Gaye Re Obama and has forayed into acting as the dashing uncle in Farhan Akhtar's directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai, also starring Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Preity Zinta.
Rajat Kapoor (Publicity stills)
Whether it was a tough businessman in Corporate, a paedophile in Monsoon Wedding, an irritated victim of bad company in Bheja Fry or a dependable friend in Dasvidaniya, he has done a splendid variety of roles.
His stint in Bollywood started as a director with Tarana and soon critical acclaim followed with Raghu Romeo, Mixed Doubles and Mithya.
"Offbeat cinema has a certain kind of passion infused in it and this is the passion that I thrive on. I enjoy working in such films," he added.
The actor, who also loves the stage, is happy that after being hit by recession, small budget films are finally getting viewers and doing well at the box office.
"Two years back, the small films were doing very well. It was almost boom time but once recession came, the first thing that was hit was small and independent films because people stopped going to the theatre and if some were going, they said 'let's go and watch a big star film; let's not watch a small film.'
"But the cycle is now changing and small films are working now. Films like Peepli Live, Udaan and Tere Bin Laden have won accolades," said Rajat, whose new film Phas Gaye Re Obama hit theatres to critical acclaim.
Rajat partly agrees with the fact that lack of funds affects small budget films when it comes to promoting them.
"It's partly true but not the whole truth. Because these are small films, they always face that problem, but on the other hand what is good is that there is an audience for such films. So with films like Do Dooni Chaar, if the word of mouth is good, then they go and see that film," he added.
"It works on the word of mouth obviously. It's true that these films do not have money for the right promotion," he added.
The actor says small budget filmmakers still need to make more entertaining movies.
"I think we just have to make more entertaining and better films. Slowly it's changing, but that's not enough; that's why I say we have to make better films and make better scripts," he said.