you become an actor by default or was it a planned
never by default. I grew up in the film industry and
always was fascinated. I learnt from observing life
around me and by the age of 15 decided to be an actor.
you inspired by your dad?
was always very sure of myself but yes I did admire the
conviction and dedication and sincerity that he had towards
his work and the way he faced the entire struggle in his
life with courage.
you ever have to face similar difficulties?
exactly the same but yes I went through a lot in my personal
life. As far as my work is concerned I have no regrets,
even though it's only recently that people have started
taking me seriously as an actor.
went wrong in your personal life?
really donít want to go into details but I went through
shit even in my relationships. It was very tragic.
Thirteen years ago my father expired due to liver problems.
Then my younger brother who was only 36 years old died after
his kidneys failed. Losing him has been the greatest regret
of my life. As for my "relationships," let's just
skip it but I will say that my bad times were my destiny
and I have forgiven whoever hurt me so I expect the same
courtesy. I have no qualms in apologising if I am wrong
but not if I am right.
Whoa! This is little heavy. Lets divert to your work ok?
Yeah! Sure. Even I donít like to revive those memories.
Its only recently that you have become a star although
you have been consistently doing good work for the last
30 years. Can you explain why?
I guess they suddenly noticed that I am a good actor
and an easy person to work with. Yes I do have plenty of
self-respect but I am not proud. I will never go down to
any level and let my self-respect die. The last year was
great for me and 2001 is also looking bright. I have some
great movies and television serials coming up. And the best
part is that I had never been offered such varied roles
and great money until last year.
putting some figures on that great money?
Let's just say I am a very happy man and one
of the highest paid actors on television at present
Who are the others?
There is Kanwaljeet whom I like and Shekhar Suman who is
amazingly talented as an actor.
Do you treat them as competition?
There is scope for everyone. And all have their own stamp.
Healthy rivalry is there and no one has played dirty with
me and I must say this industry has very sensitive people.
But you do believe in being different. So what school
of acting do you follow?
I follow the Lewinski saying about believing in yourself
[which I totally do] that is why I donít need inspiration,
as I am sure of myself. I act spontaneously with total honesty
and conviction. I work with single-minded dedication to
pursue the role and I achieve it and let it go. I am like
a sponge - I take it in and then squeeze it out.
Lets go back a little. What made you see television as
an upcoming medium?
I saw the potential in television some years ago. I was
told then that I was stupid to divert from movies to the
small screen but thank God that wisdom and far-sight prevailed.
In the 80's television was a technology in progress and
was there to stay. I know one thing. You can't shun progress.
where did you start?
Sunil Mehta's Prem Kishan was my first
serial. Then came Zindagi, Ghutan, Sahil,
Manzil, and Katha Sagar. Recent ones
are Aur Phir ek Din and Papa
for B4U, which is the latest. I did get the Mayor's
Award for Ghutan and for Aur Phir ek Din
Which is your latest big screen venture?
I am doing a MKD movie directed by David Dhawan and
starring Salman Khan and Ameesha Patel. I am playing a negative
role. I also have another movie coming up with Hrithik Roshan
and Amisha Patel.
How seriously do you take your work?
Very seriously. I never back out on dates and have a reputation
for it. Basically acting is a blessed profession and you
are paid to have fun.
Television is even more blessed, donít you think so?
Well, its very difficult for me to comment on that but television
is more organised because they are on a tight budget. Television
has definitely been a boon for newcomers as they might get
a small role but exposure does happen and actors have made
their mark here. I have done so many different kinds of
roles in both films and television so I have good feelings
Talking about roles, which is the one role that you would
love to play?
I always want to play shades of humanity and not larger
than life characters. I would like to play Stephen Boyd's
role in 'Ben Hur' and its only because he was so human that
it was trully great.
Does Kiran Kumar have faith in God?
Yes! I am a god-loving person and not a fearing one. I believe
he exists and Gayatri Mantra is what I say when I want to.
Whenever I feel like I burn a diya (lamp) or an agarbatti
(incense stick) because for me to FEEL is very important.
Lastly, will the real Kiran Kumar please stand up?
Basically I am a family man. I go to Khar Gymkhanna with
my family when I am free. I am not beauty conscious but
I do go for an occasional massage. I only wear cotton. I
hate wearing shoes and I do have a good sense of dressing.
My favourite is grey flannel trousers with a dark blue blazer
and a light blue shirt with a maroon silk tie and handkerchief.
Otherwise I am a total cricket freak and I will never forget
(Sachin) Tendulkar's innings in Sharjah in a heavy storm.