Having the last name 'Kapoor' in Bollywood makes one be considered royalty. The Kapoor line of actors feature generations of talent starting from Prithviraj Kapoor, spanning the early years of the Indian Industry, to a legacy that is going strong even today with Ranbir and Kareena Kapoor.
While the Kapoor Family name is more associated with legends such as the likes of Shashi Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, there is another Kapoor famly, obscurely related to them, that have carved out a name for themselves on their own.
Anil Kapoor, loosely related to the first family of Kapoors in Bollywood, has managed to create his own legacy independent of his distant relatives.
The 90's Bollywood era that saw a shift in the attitudes of both the industry which was also reflected in audiences' film going experiences. It's a time when emotional drama took a back seat to heart throbbing action, and a return to the attributes of characters defying the system that the 70's were built on. Anil Kapoor is a star that was born of that era and has managed to make a career of reinventing himself in order to evolve with the trends to not only keep himself relevant, but dominate amongst the new generation.
Anil Kapoor is the second son of Surinder Kapoor, a newcomer in the industry who started out assisting other stars, but eventually became a Producer in his own right. All three of his sons followed suit and entered the Bollywood industry, making a name for themselves. Elder brother of Anil, Boney Kapoor became quite a successful film Producer, responsible for movies such as 'Mr. India' (1987) and 'Pukar', (2000) both starring his brother Anil Kapoor. Boney eventually married Sridevi, whose pairing opposite Anil produced the most successful films of their career.
Anil was immediately noticed for his talent in early 80's, and was able to parlay that into a varied career of diverse roles and movies. Anil's first decade in the industry was spent with movies that cemented his status as a talented actor. He played everything from a street thug in a comedy, ('Chameli Ki Shaadi' (1986)) to an embittered and idealistic lawyer in a courtroom drama ('Meri Jung' (1985)). These first years were crucial in developing him into an actor that did everything, and excelled at it. While most debut actors of the time developed an image, and leveraged that same image into as many films as possible, Anil was never satisfied doing the same thing repeatedly.
Anil Kapoor's body of work in the 80's 'Meri Jung' to 'Chameli Ki Shaadi' went on to prove that he was here to stay.
Kapoor is constantly heralded as one of Bollywood's most versatile actors. The actor has received accolades for performances in almost every genre, and of every caliber. In a time when actors did anything to be successful, Kapoor was known for refusing to shave his moustache; a seemingly trivial aspect now, but in a time when experimenting with ones physical appearance was not a big deal, it was risky for an actor to refuse a change in his look, possibly limiting the type of roles that came his way. Not that it ever slowed him down.
In his almost 40 year career, Anil Kapoor has acted in over 120 movies, both in Hollywood and Bollywood. At a time in his career where Anil realized he needed to evolve his role in the industry from beyond an actor, he transitioned into a being producer with his own line of films. He has received multiple recogntions and awards for his work, initiated his own legacy that sees his kids also make an impact in Bollywood, and most importantly, continues to dominate both films, television and an international career outside of India that shows no signs of slowing or stopping.
His first Filmfare Award was for legendary Bollywood director, the late Yash Chopra's 'Mashaal' (1984), as a supporting actor. Anil would go on in later years to give one of his most mature roles in Chopra's 'Lamhe' (1991), said to have been very ahead of its time, and still holds up to this day. Anil's first Filmfare Award for Best Actor came with 'Tezaab' (1988), which is the movie most famous for giving Madhuri Dixit her big break. The duo went on to do many successful films together such as 'Pukar', 'Parinda' (1989) and 'Beta', (1992) which won him his second Best Actor Award.
In his almost 40 year career, Anil Kapoor has acted in over 120 movies in Bollwood, with an emerging Hollywood career as well.
After 20 years of dominating screens in Bollywood as both leading man, supporting roles, comic relief and playing a variety of roles that defied age and stature, Anil decided to move into an area of the film industry that his father and older brother are most famous for; producing.
While most of Anil's productions were generic comedies such as 'Badhai Ho Badhai' (2002) and 'Shortkut', (2009) his more dramatic ventures were the ones that paid off heavily. 'Gandhi My Father' (2007) was critically acclaimed while his daughter's 'Aisha' (2010) and 'Khoobsurat' (2014) were appreciated by fans and critics alike.
Anil's touted versatility has become more pronounced as his career advances, evident in his choice of roles and films. Anil goes from playing a philantropic old patriarch of a dysfunctional family in a film like 'Dil Dhadakne Do' (2015), and does an about face as a sleazy gangster in 'Welcome Back'. (2015) Kapoor's most notable film roles have been ones where he has displayed immense range and talent, and his success can all be attributed to that level of diversity in his career.
The middle Kapoor has gone from michievious lay about in 'Ram Lakhan' (1989) to decorated officer in 'Pukar', to childlike in 'Mr India', badass corrupt cop in the 'Race' (2008) films, to a bumbling husband in 'My Wife's Murder'. (2005) And this doesn't even come close to his entire filmography that contains even more diverse roles and performances.
Most recently, Anil is starring in and producing the official remake of the Indian version of Fox TV series, original series '24'. This accomplishment came about as part of Kapoor's career in Hollywood that started with the Oscar winning, Danny Boyle diercted, 'Slumdog Millionaire'. (2008)
Years before Priyanka Chopra was all the rage in Hollywood, Anil Kapoor played the role made famous by Amitabh Bachchan as a game show host in 'Slumdog Millionaire'. With his first movie in Hollywood, being so appreciated, Anil then went on to some pretty big projects by and large in the western Industry. His first international role was as a supporting actor playing the role of the President of a fictional nation in Season 8 of the hit Fox Series '24', alongside Keifer Sutherland. Leading straight into another supporting role, that of an eccentric millionair in 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol', Kapoor enjoyed a pretty high profile Hollywood career before re-focusing his efforts in Bollywood.
During the last few years, Anil has spent his time and energy getting the rights to and adapting the show he appeared on '24', for a Hindi remake starring himself for the Colors TV Network in India. He will however, be seen in an upcoming science fiction adaptation for Amazon.
While loosely being a part of the larger Kapoor family, Anil and his own family have worked hard to create a legacy of their own, independently themselves. Anil's elder daughter Rhea Kapoor is a film producer herself, embarking on projects with sister Sonam Kapoor.
Debuting with the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed 'Saawariya', (2007) Sonam has since made quite a name for herself as a strong actress, known for women-centric roles in films focused on her character, instead of being second fiddle in a male dominated storyline. Most recently, Sonam has earn critical acclaim for her film 'Neerja'. (2016)
2016 also saw the debut of Anil's son Harshwardan Kapoor with the Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra directed 'Mirzya', which failed to make an impression on critics and audiences. While it's still early, the son of Anil Kapoor may yet have a career in the industry, to add on to his father's legacy.
It's difficult doing a look into the life and times of an actor who is very much acting, and his best work may even be yet to come. Anil Kapoor is an actor who is known to reinvent himself continiously from the ground up, with a body of work that is incredibly impressive for any actor in any generation. Kapoor has stayed relevent and delivered memorable performances time and time again, that stay with you long past the film or even era has long gone.
Anil Kapoor is truly an actor that is of every generation and will be remembered as a Bollywood powerhouse and icon of acting talent with a career that should be the epitome of success for every newcomer.