For Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor, entertainment crosses borders and connects people, even when they're in warring states.
In an interview with Bollywood Hungama for his latest film Sardar Ka Grandson, Kapoor discussed Pakistan's relationship with India and the emotions he believes his movie will stir with audiences who are nostalgic for the past.
"The majority has been overall supportive," he said of the people of Pakistan, adding that there has always been euphoria for Bollywood films and love coupled with unconditional support from the people of Pakistan. "I refuse to believe that entertainment has not crossed borders and not connected people at times when it was not really possible due to the political environment and bureaucracy.”
He said that today, emotions have resonated and people are coming together despite political tensions, focusing on what is, rather than what was — something he has immense respect for. He hopes that this will stay the same.
“That is where humanity has to grow and mature and evolve, and you should not forget that in the time of need there was a helping hand and that should be respected in the bigger picture," he said, speaking about how Pakistan sent aid to India during the Covid-19 crisis.
He joked that the only time people of the two countries are at odds is during cricket matches. "Except for cricket, we have friendship and I just hope that friendship is kept alive and maintained,” he added, hoping that the "distance and vacuum that has been created goes away and we can co-exist with peace."
Kapoor also spoke about how the content of his film became much more relevant from the time they first began shooting it.
"The film has become far more relevant in understanding the value of family, of people, and disregarding boundaries and borders and trying to come together and be there for human beings for one another," the Ki and Ka actor said, claiming that he had no idea what the world would be like when they had initially began shooting. "But across the border there is a certain kind of love that is coming our way."
Speaking about his character, Kapoor said he was someone who "wore his heart on his sleeve," adding that the story was emotional and something his gut motivated him to pick it. "It was different to play such a high octane character emotionally who is vulnerable and boisterous at the same time, but I have to give credit to my writing and directing team for that."
His costar Rakul Preet Singh added that it was her grandfather's wish to visit Pakistan, where he had migrated from, and that it would have been amazing to have had shot the film in Lahore. "I've always wanted to see that part of the world," she said.