From the much-loved chocolate boy of "Ishq Vishq" to the effortless portrayal of intense roles in "Haider", "Udta Punjab" and "Rangoon", Shahid Kapoor's evolution as an actor comes from the fact that he prefers to take risks.
"I think it's a reflection of how an actor evolves over time," Shahid told IANS here as he pondered over how a certain maturity has set in not just in his choices, but performances too.
He is also working with ace directors -- be it Vishal Bhardwaj for "Haider" or Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming film "Padmavati".
"It's important to be open to rediscovering yourself. I think if any actor stops feeling the need to rediscover himself or limits his own potential, he becomes stale.
"Of course, it's very important to be successful, because that's when the best opportunities come to you. But how you choose to be successful is a very personal choice... And my choice is to try and do things that haven't been done before.
"The satisfaction that you get by achieving something risky or different, is way more than repeating yourself just because it's popular," said the son of veteran and nuanced actor Pankaj Kapur.
How about thoughts of revisiting the loverboy's avatar for fans who loved his "Ishq Vishk" days?
"You want me to be a college boy again," laughed the actor, promptly adding: "Then what will Varun Dhawan and all do?"
On a serious note, he said: "I'd be happy to do it if somebody came with a role which is exciting... I'd be more than happy to do it."
Over the years, Shahid has impressed viewers and critics alike with films like "Jab We Met", "Kaminey","Udta Punjab" -- which got mired in controversy for its subject, content and title and saw Shahid essay a maverick drug addict and singer to perfection.
In the Big Apple with his wife Mira and daughter Misha for the 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards, Shahid has been nominated for the Best Actor trophy for "Udta Punjab".
"I'm very proud of 'Udta Punjab' as a film. It's great that a film which was so different and experimental is getting so much love.
"It was really a great film to make for Abhishek Chaubey and it was a difficult film to do for mainstream actors like me, Alia (Bhatt), Kareena (Kapoor Khan) and Diljit (Dosanjh).
"But sometimes being brave gives you great results," added the actor, who will also perform on the IIFA Awards stage at the MetLife Stadium on Saturday night.