For the first time after his much-publicised breakup, actor Shahid Kapoor explains how difficult it was promoting his film at the time that his relationship was crumbling. CNN-IBN’s Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand spoke to the actor about the upside of success and the flip side of heartbreak in this exclusive interview.

Rajeev Masand: You have just come off this monster hit Jab We Met. Tell me what has changed for you?

Shahid Kapoor: Not too much, I was out of work after Vivah and right now I am out of work after Jab We Met. I haven’t started on anything new and just completed one with Aziz Mirza called Kismat Connection. That should be out somewhere in the middle of 2008. Apart from that hearing new stuff.

Rajeev Masand: Your personal life and your break-up with your girlfriend was much in the spot- light around the time when Jab We Met was being released. So was it difficult for you to be fielding questions constantly about your personal life and the break-up at a time when you were already anxious about a new release?

Shahid Kapoor: Yes, it was a very trying period for me for almost a month, and it was very clearly a question for me of choosing between my personal feelings and my profession. I had two choices, one was to come back and not talk at all, not go out in the press and not interact with the media— which would save me the pain of answering questions which I am uncomfortable about, or go out there and promote my film which was releasing in three weeks. I chose to do the latter, because I think it was important for me as a hero to be there for my film and I had great faith in the film. So yes it was difficult and uncomfortable but I accepted that as a part of the way things work out here.

Rajeev Masand: Was it also difficult because the breakup was so recent and everyone wanted a piece of it, everyone wanted to know more?

Shahid Kapoor: I think the most difficult was to not talk about because it was so public and it was really important for me as a person to draw a line as they are areas that are very personal and it’s not classy to talk about them in print. It’s only between two people and not to be discussed publicly and yet not talk about it at all because there are many questions that people have. So the most difficult thing was finding that middle path which comfortable with and also that gave people enough to be comfortable with. At least you have spoken about it and that was important.

Rajeev Masand: Tell me how much of Jab We Met success do you attribute to the fact that there was so much hype around the breakup?

Shahid Kapoor: None at all. I remember when I did Fida with Kareena, we had just started seeing each other and there was a huge hype. It bombed. I don’t that has anything to do with the film doing well. A lot of people were very worried that now that we weren’t seeing each other and we are coming out with a love story, it may effect the film negatively. But eventually people go in to watch a good film and they like it.

Rajeev Masand: I find it sort of ironic because I know the rest of the world too does that your first hit together comes at a time when you two decided to go separate ways.

Shahid Kapoor: Of course it’s ironic and it’s strange. But that’s how it is.

Rajeev Masand: What was the last Hindi film you saw that made you go ‘I wish I was in that’?

Shahid Kapoor: Taare Zameen Par. I saw it and was blown away. If there’s one man I want to take an autograph from is Aamir Khan. Seriously. It’s because of him that a lot of us new people feel inspired to do something which is off the beaten track and risky. Because he does them and then pull them off. So you are sitting in your own little house, trying to make your little career happen and then you say if he can make it happen there’s hope for such films, they can work and audience accepts them. Audience’s perception towards him is very strong. He gives you hope that once you reach that stage in your career you can afford to do such films.

Rajeev Masand: Finally, we are tired of speculation, you are tired of speculation. So Vidya Balan, Amrita Rao – who is it that you are dating?

Shahid Kapoor: Yaar Rajeev there has been so much written about it that I have let people make up their minds about it themselves. I really don’t want to talk about it and say ‘no comment’. Something as boring and as irritating as that.

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