At a time when the Hindi film industry is churning out some really content-rich films, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor doesn’t feel that there is anything new to it. Kapoor reasons that such films were made in his era too, and that he was a part of a lot of such films.

“I’ve always believed that films should be heavy on content, which is why I have acted in so many, during my time. Prem Rog (1982), Damini (1993), Tawaif (1985) were all content-based films, not made on a huge scale. They might not have been high on action, but were not nonsensical films. They (filmmakers) try to glorify the action more today, and even technically, they are more glossed over,” says Kapoor.

Having played quite a few memorable characters himself — an 18-year-old Hindu boy in love with a 16-year-old Catholic girl in Bobby (1973), an progressive young man in Prem Rog who stands up against caste discrimination and supports widow remarriage, and more recently, an endearing middle-class schoolteacher in Do Dooni Chaar (2010), a merciless human trafficker in Agneepath (2012), and a 90-year-old grandfather in Kapoor and Sons, the actor believes that the expectations of the audience from actors and films, are constantly evolving.

“You see, actors will have to change their approach. Eventually, only actors will survive, stars won’t. Stars will fade out. The system of being just good looking and bagging a good film — that kind of cinema — female or male — both will [soon] finish. You have to be a good actor. I shouldn’t be saying this but there are a lot of so-called actors also in this cinema who bloody don’t know what acting is all about,” retorts Kapoor.

Is he happy with the way the younger crop of actors and filmmakers are headed today? Kapoor replies in the affirmative, saying, “You see, all different kinds of films like Hindi Medium (starring Irrfan ) and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar) and many more are being made now. And more importantly, they are being appreciated, too. So, thankfully, this generation is focused.”

However, the 65-year-old quickly adds that there are still many who don’t want to take any risk. “Sometimes, to be a part of big budget film, actors go in for safer bets, so as to make the film acceptable among both the audiences — single theatre and multiplex audience. That’s where, Indian cinema becomes regressive,” opines Kapoor.

What is his opinion on films travelling to international film festivals but not getting great responses in the domestic market? “I don’t think film festivals make any significant difference to the industry. Barring a few, we don’t make films for festivals. We generally make them for a large audience. As a matter of fact, we mostly make commercial films.”