Shahid Kapoor on Sunday said he approaches characters with fearless honesty, never succumbing to the pressure of being one of those actors who want to "manipulate" the audience to be liked.
Shahid's recent turn in "Kabir Singh" ignited a debate about romance and the toxicity in a relationship. While the film went on to become one of the biggest grossers of the year, it was also met with criticism for its hero-like portrayal of a flawed man.
"The first responsibility that an actor has towards the audience is to give them an honest portrayal. I think that happens very rarely. Because of these kind of pressures, people are so careful that 'if I do this people will like me, if I do this people won't.' "That's manipulating the audience to like you. I don't want to be that kind of an actor," Shahid said.
The actor said if sometimes audiences react strongly towards his portrayal, it encourages him.
"If that means that at certain points of time they don't like me, I take that as a big compliment. That's what acting is all about. You're meant to play characters and represent life the way it is." Shahid said even in reality, there is no one who has loved him at every point in his life.
"I must've gone through phases where even my parents probably really disliked me. If I'm playing a character why should I be not showing all those facets? Why should we create this bubblegum reality which doesn't exist. Today a film which is so real and raw is making Rs 280 crore.
"We need to wake up and realise that the audience wants to see a little bit of the truth. They don't want to watch single dimensional films." The "Udta Punjab" star said audiences should have the freedom to make up their mind when they see a character on screen.
"My responsibility to the audience is to give them a good, honest performance and hopefully for them to understand why my character behaves the way he does, what his reasons are. It's on them to decide themselves whether they agree or disagree with his behaviour. Cinema is meant to make you reflect on life," he added.