2018 was not the year that larger than life
characters played by mega superstars dominated the screen. Even Shah Rukh Khan went pine
size this year. Aside from a few touring characters that commanded the screen, 2018 might well
have been the year of the every man. Some of bollywoods most talented actors brought
to life ordinary men who found themselves in extraordinary situations. Aayushmaan Khurranaa
slipped onto the skin of a blind pianist who becomes embroiled in a murder in Andhadhun
chanelling the characters helplessness and desperation with great feeling. In Badhaii
Ho, as the grown up son of a middle aged parents who become pregnant. He convey the embarrasment
and the awkwardness of the scenario authentically. Rajkumaar Rao brought his signature vulnerability
an understated charm to the role of a sweet ambititious small town tailor who becomes
smitten with a mysterious young woman in Stree. In the same film a deliciously droll Pankaj
Tripathii delivered biggest laughs in the littlest performance playing a local book
store owner and know it all. Vicky Kaushal made his every moment count in the role of
the protagonist faithful best friend in Sanju delivering and effective performance that
felt entirely real. In Manmarziyan, he got into the head and the heart of an immature
wanna be position confused about the meaning of love and every man however the word you
used to describe Allaudin Khiljii, Ranveer Singh was both magnetic and repulsive as the
savage ruler in Padmaavat. A potrait of depatury, the actor pulled of no punches in his construction
of a man that was the embodiment of extreme evil. The 5 actors who delivered some of the
best performances this year shared their views on the craft of immersion and explained why
they dont often discuss acting with their colleagues, they spoke about the changing
landscape of Bollywood the impact of the MeToo Movement and the character from history that
theyd like to play when they sat down for the actors roundtable.
Gentlemen, every now and then, you get these amazing opportunities to play a role that
allows you to completely vanish into a character. One looks at the performance and there is
almost no trace of the actor which is to see is just the character. I want to ask you when
youre that deep into a character, when youre immersed that deep into a character, does
the camera disappear for you? I think camera disappears otherwise also like
personally I can talk about myself if I am really conscious about camera where its placed
uh like my director have this major problem with me that they say Give the facing, give
the facing and I just cant act for the camera, I am acting for my co-actors, I am acting
for the situation so for me it is a big issue, I dont know if it is right or wrong but thats
how I see it . Man, I wanna work with you. He acts for his
co-actors He really does, gives such a good cues. I
have worked with him. Gives cues by heart. I act better when I’m giving cues yeah honest
I swear. It just so happens sometimes the camera is
not on you and you just doing better youre like damn wish i have done this better.
For me it was little difficult because it is different initially because I was an anchor
I was talking to the camera and suddenly I was ignoring the camera. Two different crafts
altogether but yeah I think you have to be like completely oblivious of the fact that
camera is around you and you immerse into a character and you live the character for
that part. Thats true its like opposite end of the spectrum.
One is like completely breaking the forth wall into the camera all the time for the
camera and then now youre in a place where you have to completely forget about it. Yeah,
you can also do films like Befikre which will flop then you can vanish into oblivion also
for one year atleast till Padmaavat comes you know then you can vanish into the character
but yeah the material also is so critical, right it should have that much neat in it
and give you that much where you can actually do that not every character can offer that
and as an actor you want to you know pump it with your own characterization sometimes
its not forthcoming do its a struggle to kind of inject it with that but then there are
parts like Khiljii were you can really have fun with it, theres a lot you can do with
it. Sir, theres a cheetah(leopard) in Ranveers
shirt. I am trying to be like cheetah so when they make documentary of cheetah, he doesnt
that they are filming him, he lives his life. So I try to be like him however I am that
cheetah who knows that camera is there. Talking about jungle, I saw Newton today at
the flight man you guys, man amazing man amazing You saw a bit late
I saw it late but amazing man amazing. Vicky
Uh I guess I am somewhere there aware and also not aware somewhere I dont know that
technical knowledge is there that you know that the camera.
Correct because its still is a technical job, isnt it. You kbow stick to your mark, forget
your lines, you know where to turn. It comes subconsciously but at the same time
you are also immersed in your character in what your co-actor is giving to you, what
your location is giving to you, what the props are giving to you everything so I think its
somewhere in the middle Its not exactly technical honestly I think
its about dealing with your emotions you cant like for me a good shot is when there is no
second thought in my mind True
If I am thinking about oh fuck look st his hair is not right and I am doing an emotional
scene that means its not true I’m not there. It happens with you also, amazing man
Thats an example. But yeah the best shots are when youre completely
lost in the moment like someone calls cut youre like oooh yeah you know those are the
best ones. We add a bit of yourself also in the character,
its not your playing a chatacter like for Badhaii Ho I was part of that character Andhadhun
was completely different again musicality was a part of me but you add a bit of yourself
also to the character. Congrats(Badhaii ho) for Badhaii ho you can
congratulate me also Thanks man congrats
Thank you New bride in the house
How many days into a shoot does it usually take you to find the character um was there
a role, one role that was harder than others or that took longer than others to just crack
the character? For me it was Raman Raghav 2.0,playing Raghav
in Raman Raghav, it took a bit of a time and especially because I remember the first day
of shoot where we were shooting the interrogation scene with Nawaz bhaii and all I had to do
was just stand. There were no lines, nothing and I had a scene after that after lunch time
and Anurag sir had said that You should come without sleeping so I didnt slept for 32 hours
and gone for the shoot and till lunch time I was great I was like okay something like
that and after lunch time I had lunch and after lunch time I was just out I was blank
I dont know what happened to me just I blacked out then I told Anurag sir that I will prepare
for acting but I need to sleep. Man, without sleep, you cant do anything
But as a character also that character took me a bit of a time i mean took Anurag sir
to really push me to a different plane, different plato.
First time I’m seeing a director encouraging such kind of behaviour of crazy behaviour.
You know they always trying to protect you invariably
Sleep properly and come For me its like Sleeping, Eating, Acting and
Singing in that order Again
Sleeping, Eating, Acting and Singing. These are the passions of life without sleep you
cant do anything. You have to sleep for 8 hours and then go on set and if youre acting
like sleeping, you should sleep first. Ranveer is also wearing so much gold. Exactly.
Pure gold All are duplicates.
It happened during Trapped. I think Trapped was a very organic film it was like I prepared
little about the character but I thought I cant really prepare how would I feel if I
dont eat for 10 days it had to be very organic so I just let myself be I thought it would
happen in the moment You hit the ground running like you were just
living it You just have to react to the situation so
I almost like stop eating during that period and that happened after like 3-4 days when
youre body started reacting to not having food and water you feel irritated, angry I
think it happened from there I started getting the heck of you know being Shaurya.
For me it was Andhadhun coz there was no reference point in real life you dont know anybody who
was pretending to be blind and was a musician there was no reference so I met a lot of blind
students in Verley blind school and also there was a blind musician Rahul I got in touch
with him, we had like 2 months extended workshop of piano also and also just envibe the body
language of a blind guy so that was the most difficult part.
But it was a very trick part, huh? Very tricky
To play a character who is pretending to be blind
And then you are learning piano and you cant look down, you have to look straight and play
it. Sir, atleast the first 2-3 days, I go there,
I am doing it and I know the outer world of this character that his history is this, his
behaves like this but I dont know how I will show it and after 2-3 days, that character
starts to guide me to take a perfect shape of it. Recently, I was doing a film of Satish
jii and after 3 days I found that the character is asking some physicality. So after 2-3 days,
I understand the theme of the character. But its a beautiful moment when character
starts to tell you Phase in filmmaking
And then you feel that wish I could reshoot the first few days coz now I know it.
Thats happen tho Rohit sir was telling me that he has gone back once the shur(theme)
as they call it, he has actually gone back the first 4-7 days of his films just because
at some point he’s cast got it. Its also with the director I think. They are
also finding their theme in a way. For me also I think its a function of overpreparing
myself maybe just to cope with nerves I dont know what it is but I prepare a lot I do a
lot of homework and then I’ll invariably end up in 3 days, 4days, 7days, doing too much
and most of them are trappings, you cant sustain that for the entire performance so then when
it finally hits you youre like I should finally cut this, I dont need to do this and you stick
with only what works. Does it happen pretty much every time?
Um yeah more or less not in the lighter parts are much simpler honestly these lighter films,
urban films, you know they are with full honesty I’ll admit to you they’re just they’re easier
to play Because thats you because you’re an urban
guy. Yeah. I mean like there’s not much you have
to do you know in terms of pumping it, characterization and those the decoration and the thrills and
they’re simpler uh but the other ones are like you do all the homework and then imagine
just writing it all down and then you crush it and you leave it and you threw it away
only what is relevant will stay. Sometimes, you just leave that blank space
in you head that blank canvas for the director to fill in. At times you just overprepare,
go on the set with preconcieve notion and then you suddenly ok balance that menu were
you are not in the same page, you go to that place and then let the director come in and
then you just discover that congruent area between you and the director.
Its nerve racking, the first few days are nerve racking because you’re so desperate
for that validation for him/her to say that yes you’re doing it right you’re like desperately
seeking that and like a few days into the 1st schedule you’ll kind of get comfortable.
Do you often talk to your co-stars or other actors about your process, about the acting
or are most conversations usually about the business and other things. Have you sat down
with an actor and have real conversation about finding your character, about your process,
about your approach? It depends the kind of co-actor you’re working
with you know there co-actors you just jell with and chill out with and when I shot with
Aamir sir during my early days in Talaash, I actually had about 3 hours class with him
that I was asking him about all his different characters, the preparations like and he was
very kind, he was telling me in detail about how he prepared for Lagaan or for Rang De
Basanti or 3 idiots so it depends like who are you sitting with and who you talk about.
I love talking about acting and performances that’s actually my favourite thing to do but
it depends like the another person also should have interest, you cant talk alone.
Truly man, most of my conversation are just gossip, I would like to talk about the craft
and learn and there should be give and take but there’s all gossip.
Oh that one flopped. Hahaha But talking about Talaash, that scene where
Aamir and Rani were talking how oh my god. I saw you from mile out I was like this guy.
Thank you Ranveer. Yes sir. But yeah agree with Raj that the
other actors also should be interested and I also think that I am a intelligent guy however
thinks the same about themselves but yeah I talk who wants to talk. I talk about my
experiences so the talk happens. Talk happens but it depends as Raj said. It
depends on your equation with the co-actor probably like we were chilling in Barielly
Ki Barfii Its a cool film, fun and entertaining film.
Yeah but everybody is different like for Badhaii Ho, I think we all were very similar in a
way nobody was like a method actor in a way. My method changed over the years, I used to
be a method actor when I used to do theatre there’s this pre-production, workshops then
after 5th or 6th performance then you discover that sweet spot but filming is so different
like I after becoming an,RJ, anchor, I became most spontaneous as ana actor rather than
being a method actor so I could only talk about my craft changed the metamorphosis behind
it but I think I’ve met who are still method actors like Anu Kapoor, he’s a method actor,
Gajraj Rao is a natural actor, Surekha Sikri is a method actor, Neena Gupta is a natural
actor so. Same, in my initial years infact I got this
feedback from Maneesh Sharma and Vikram Aditya Motwane they were like brother you’re too
rigid in your ways, I don’t know why you’re preparing so much, you’re preparing to a point
where you’re becoming rigid and its becoming hard for us to undo what you’ve thought about
how to play this. I guess I do just to cope with the nerves but then in those initial
years, I used to just be too rigid and I completely changed I think after Ram-Leela because Bhansali,
what he’ll throw you to the deep end, its either sink or sweep its like that so after
that I think I’ve come to believe now that the best performance are the ones that happens
spontaneously you know when you only have to say what you have to say once and you don’t
think it can get better than that one time. Very few times, I don’t know why but firstly
I feel whatever approach an actor takes for that particular character that he’s playing,
I feel its very personal, its very private and its very sacred so asking him about it,
I feel like I’m disturbing his space which I don’t like to do I love to observe it, I
love to see the change to how he is off the set and how he is when he’s playing that character
and maybe when you hot that note as co-actors that’s when you kind of ask or you don’t ask
but I really I don’t know very rarely I ‘ve gone into discussions like you know coz I
myself also don’t like to put into words as to how I’m you know approaching thus character
coz I also don’t know I just kind of getting to know myself and kind of just feeling it
you know I can’t put into words as to what I am doing for this character.
Its also with the director I think that you probably shift gears to the director also
somebody like Shoojit Sircar is very natural after giving 2-3 takes I was the one who used
to be more hungry or anxious that one more, one more but he’s like You’ll overact if you
do one more. So he was different so someone like Amit he is perfectionist you need a certain
method, he wanted to do different from his earlier films. So it depends upon director
also, you can probably change the process here and there with the director.
I don’t even like talking on set man. I just wanna concern myself with the work its like
we have this 12 hours and we have to make the most of it. I just want to converse uh
conserve my energy and just like focus on the work.
I agree like I like discussion but till a point you know I can’t have like 2 hours of
discussion over a simple scene. I thinks its probably acting is to do man lets explore
it on set. I just remembered coz I find myself diverting
you know avoiding ducking when they’re coming for the conversation with me and I just shift
my gears towards you know just like duck them in a way.
And I am the one who’s the disrupter out there. I am the one who’s coming not for the discussion
related with character or the script. Lets listen song, lets do that, lets eat food.
I am the one who’s always diverging. No, sometimes also what happens is you’re
playing a character where you feel that there is a need for you have to keep your cards
very close to your chest for your co-actors for the betterment of the scene that sometimes
what happens is it will be nice if the co-actors don’t know what your energy is what they don’t
know what my theme is you know that’s just required, that’s a requirement.
It happened in Citylights actually with me with Manav like we would be playing two important
characters and somebody who, they were together throughout and Manav I remember like we thought
like you know lets just discuss about it and lets talk about it I said but lets not talk
about it at all because you don’t know me, who am I, this guy comes from Rajisthan, you
have no idea about him, I won’t tell you about my life, you see me for the first time in
like in front in the scene and then only you’ll realise that oh this guy id this, how would
you know me. You know I was watching the actors roundtable
that the hollywood reporter does and there was something interesting I came across, Chadwick
Boseman who played the lead in Black Panther, he said about acting its not always the glimpse
and glamours that people think it is, its really a blue collar job. You sweat, you do
overtime, you get hurt, you’re an athlete, you’re everything that’s necessary then Maharsala
Ali who won an oscar for Moonlight he added that people don’t talk about the workman like
qualities and how you only act between action and cut its just 10% of the time, he said
the rest is looking for material, preping for it, the wardrobe, the costume elements
building the psychology getting to act is such a miniscuel part of the experience that
you have to really love it. Is that something you can relate to?
Of course. It is about the work you do between 5 to 9 not between 9 to 5 you know it is that.
Said this nocturnal creature who’s in full blue white armani
As the same time acting cannot be your life you need to concentrate on your life and live
life get references from your life so that you can corporate those incidents on the celluloid.
Acting cannot be your life I firmly believe it is more than that and you have to live
life to become a better actor. That’s right because I’ve really started valuing
that time I get on set to perform you know which is I just want to be on the film set
the whole time. Atleast then they’re its game time you know atleast like action like the
actual work the core is happening its underway you know all my downtime is getting increasingly
difficult to deal with. I really don’t know what to do with myself. I am going through
a phase where I just want to be on the film set.
No I agree with him but then there are performance there characters sometimes like of couse like
I don’t know but I am sure Daniel Day Lewis won’t agree with that because he’s somebody
who just be in the character throughout and its not just between action and cut you know
you constantly otherwise thinking about something thinking about that scene subconsciously you’re
there you’re still there you’re still preparing for your character not planning it how to
do it but still you know living it. Like it happened with me during Omerta like it was
not only about action and cut I was I think for the first time I was so immersed in a
character that it was just started bothering me.
I think you were fabulous in that film. You were stunning.
This is very meditative work. Meditative means like priest and saints that at same time you’re
performing during the shot, witnessing it, also guide it, also manages other technical
aspects. So at that time you’re a multitasker. So that’s a very meditative work and also
after the cut when you’re talking that inner focus is still there that what we were doing.
The kind of things you say, I wanna chat with you Pankaj jii
What’s been the hardest skill that you’ve accquire for a role?
For a role Couple of them for me, like picking up a 90kg
girl when you are 67kg so I behaved like a coolie. Sharad Kataria, my trainer said that
you look at coolie, a thin man of 60 kg lifts so much weight because its his daily routine.
So my trainer, I used to run everyday lifting him. He was 85 that time, my trainer and I
was 65 so its just habit. Second one was, learning the piano from the scratch, it was
really difficult for me to just devoting 6 hours a day for 3 months that was the toughest
part. For me it was for URI, I mean it was majorly
physical those 2-3 months of military training and boot camp training very very tough, it
was very tough I mean those military people train you.
Boot camp, brother? Brutal, it was brutal and plus I had to gain
weight which is very tough for me. Its a beautiful problem that I have but at the same time you
are doing boot camp training for 3 hours in a day and then because that will make you
lose weight and plus you have to gain weight like 15 kilos for that part. Those 3-4 months
were really really tough for me. I know I’m still waiting for that part. I’ve
done extreme thing which people think its extreme probably like but I think its you
can’t say it. No, but in retrospect its ok but at that time
you Yeah like of course done like such extreme
physical training which I’m sure is pretty tough but for me its internal actually like
for me like a Trapped or an Omerta I would say was pretty tough like for shaving my head
half for BOSE is the most easiest thing to do. You sit in a chair Alim bhaii will cut
your hair but probably people will say wow what an actor for me its not that its like
its my job as an actor I’m not doing anything extraordinary about that. For me when you’re
psyche changes that I find very like WOW thar wow moment happens when you know you start
feeling even off screen you start feeling fuck its sorry
Its the 3rd time you’ve said that Really
I’m still you know living that He lives in the moment. He don’t know there
are cameras around. Those are the moments I find amazing.
URI is worth it or no. Look at that trailer. Say it, say it for me, say it
Which one? How’s the Josh
I love that trailer. That’s what I wanna see. Hows the josh is like yummier than Rohan joshi
I love it. I love it. Vicky and I are doing movie together.
That’s right. TAKHT uh I think my warrior training was you
know all the sword fighting, horse riding happened during Bajirao yes it was difficult
but I think the most difficult challenge is just around the corner. Janruary I will be
training to bowl like Kapil Dev. Oh yeah
That’s gonna be hard. I must tell you this story ok I went to LORDS to watch the test
match raining all day and there was not a single ball bowled. I was just sitting from
morning to evening drinking pins hoping for one ball.
That’s just another test match in LORDS. So, in the box Sachin Tendulkar happen to
come and I was lucky enough to spend some time with him and I was telling him I am doing
this movie and I am playing Kapil Dev and he was like and I was like sir you know I’m
gonna do all the homework and I’m gonna do the I’m gonna get the look and accents but
the most difficult part will be the bowling and he was like Oh you are going to do the
bowling yourself and I said Yeah sir and he was like Oh he also thinks its gonna be damn
tough every cricketer I’ve spoken to saying Bro you know what you’ve signed up for getting
Kapil dev’s action which is possibly the most unique bowling action. Its going to be quite
the task. When do you start prep?
I am starting prep in janruary. I have another great story from another cricketer which I
can’t tell you on camera I’ll tell you off camera.
The emotional state you’re in before the shot after you’ve come from your home or hotel
and your scene has another requirement after approaching there so again you have to change
your emotional state, your personal life is having something and you have something in
the shot so that is also a hell of a task that we should forget our stuff from personal
life and immerse to the scene. The priest
I can share it quite emotionally We were shooting together for Newton and my
mother passed away and I’m being an actor was the biggest thing in her life and I thought
and I told these guys you know I would come back in a day and they thought he won’t be
able to come back but I took my rights I came back and I thought I would manage. I still
remember like camera used to roll and these guy would be front of me and I would be crying
it just i don’t know you know my mother’s watching I have to perform I have to perform
and I think those 10 days were I didn’t realise But she blessed you man last year was unbelievable.
I remember one day I went to Raj’s room and we were silent for 3-4 minutes and something
happened and we hugged each other and we started crying so I remember that night.
It is ya of course it’s very difficult even like with me I was promoting both my films
going through my wife’s cancer and I had to be just happy in front of the camera, promote
my films so life is great leveller you find something and you lose something its always
like that. What performance did you last watched that
made you feel small and inconscious that made you go wow I could never do that
No not I could never do that probably I want to do that
I think with me it happened during A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper star is born is like
can I say fuck again? Like Oh my god what the hell like how this guy can do direction,
producing, music, lyrics, singing and acting at the same time and still do this magic it
was just wow overwhelming My answer exactly the same abosolutely. My
favourite film of the year. Yes I thought La La Land was playing piano and
I thought I got inspired by him at the same time lets come back to India I think what
Tiger Shroff does he’s such an acrobat what is he doing?? I have never done that.
If this Kofee With Karan, this response would get an AUDI
I feel ya. He’s a wonder kid. He is. It happens to me when I watch Daniel Day Lewis
perform. I’m like man everytime yeah like you watch There will be blood stuff you’re
just like leave it man. I was the saddest when he was not gonna act
like come on 10 more years. Phantom Thread What a way to go
It happens to me when I see non-actors just like Tithi, like Court so who are these people?
There is a lady in Court who says my husbsnd’s gone
through this. After that I called the casting director to find who was that lady? So I found
that it was a real incident. So I get inspired by non actors. Even during the Newton, when
people came the voters, we found out their truth so we thought we will get caught.
That’s a big thing you said? He’s talking big thing since the beginning
I think I should sit with him with a whiskey. In Sairat, that Nagrajpura, its like everything
is happening in front of you. Even now I saw a Tamil film in Goa Film Festival
and my wife was saying he is brilliant and I said her he is brilliant only in this role,
he won’t be in others and I have no idea that he was a trained actor. The film ended and
I found that he was in the theatre so I met him and found that he was a pass out of National
School Of Drama of 1976. I was shocked that I thought he was a non actor. He was amazing
in that film. Its a brilliant thing for an actor to be a
non actor. After that I thought my judgement is totally
worse, I don’t know anything. That kind of uncoloured you know way of being
is its matchless, priceless. You know I spoke to few producers recently
and they all agreed that something has fundamentally changed in the business. We’ve all acknowledged
the audiences responding to scripts and great stories and great ideas and great concept
and the word I really don’t like very much CONTENT.
Content is the king But its more than that, isn’t it? Even teflon
stars like Salman and Shah Rukh and Aamir. When they’re movies haven’t done, they failed.
Race 3,Jab Harry Met Sejal ladt year, Thugs of Hindostan recently, these films were supposed
to be a sure thing but it feels like there is no such thing as a sure thing anymore.
What are your biggest learnings from the last year? I think great time to be an actor you
know and great time to explore and there is definitely an audience that definitely wonderful
filmmakers and there are people who are there to you know have that faith in you now.
I think not just an actor great time to be any creative person director, writer, producer,
cameraman anybody it becomed so secular only talent driven and the word you like content
driven but I guess its just you have to keep this script above you. The day you think you
are above the script then things can get complicated but I think you should always keep script
above you. There is nothing bigger than a story. All
things are driven by story and its credit goes to the audience that we filmmakers and
storytellers aren’t only growing, the audience are also growing. Now they know that there
are these kind of cinema. Of course sir. Ayushmaan Khurrannaa has said.
You have to learn from him. The amount of ROI that came from him.
But its true its testiment to the evolution of the audience as my mentor Aditya Chopra
used to say they don’t care who’s in the film or you know if you have a good story to tell,
if you’re content is quality they will come and watch and applaud and they will no matter
how big your amounting is, if its no good, they’re going to reject it.
You know a lot of actors playing negative characters say that they don’t think themselves
as them as villians, the character might be a villian to the on the outside that we viewers
as bad guy but you don’t think yourself as playing that part, they seek out the humanity,
they try to understand why he is the way that he is. Ranveer, the role of Khiljii was always
meant to be a villian, he’s all black there’s no grey, he’s meant to be this cruel, selfish
embodiement of all evil. Is that how you saw him??
Yes, throughout from start to finish, throughout the process I founded immensely difficult
to not pay heat and attention to Ranveer’s own moral perimeters says Khiljii is a bad
man you know I had to it was imperative before I start performing the scene to character
to transport myself to a place where I had to believe in his reality you know I had to
believe in what his world view was I had to allign to that in his world what he’s doing
he’s absolute you know self centeredness self absorption is what he believes is right and
from his perspective he’s doing what’s right and what’s for him you know when I was performing
I definitely did that and I think the reason that character is the villian of the film
you know at every level but I think the reason it was effective perhaps the reason it was
effective is that because there was tremendous amount of honesty in the bad that he was doing
you know he was very committed to his cruelty and I think that’s perhaps the reason of it.
Raj,for you how did you view Omar Saeed Shaikh, the character you played in Omerta, he’s of
course a clood blooded terrorist, he was, he had connections with Osama Bin Laden and
in 9/11, he killed innocent people. Is that you viewed him as a bad guy? As a villian??
No I echoed what he said, I totally agree that as Raj I can’t you know put my theories
in that but when your’e playing a character, Omar has his own reasonings probably as layman
we should its wrong its unethical but for him what he’s doing is right. He believes
in his ideologies, he’s doing it for a reason and he strongly supports the his cause or
his organization cause which as Raj now I can say its wrong it is definitely wrong what
they are doing but he believed in it and that’s how I saw it I said if I have to play it I
can’t you know go half heartedly, I have to believe those conditions, l have to tell myself
this is how I see the world, this is how I want to be the world, I want the world to
be you know I don’t wanna go into its religious angle of it. Its not religious now as Raj,
its not even religious its that people are badly brainwashed they’re so strongly brainwashed
that they don’t see anything else. And that’s what the film is about, right?
The making of a terrorist that how I starting for it. I started reading lot of you know
books about organization, I started getting a lot of speeches, speeches full of hatred
and anger and seeing those images, brutal images just to cultivate that anger inside
me, to cultivate that hatred against people inside me and that really helped me. I started
seeing everybody as an enemy like you know why is this guy in front of me. He’s not supposed
to be here. I am gonna take revenge for all my brothers and sisters and all that and however
happened is just wrong, I need to take things in my hand now and then you can’t think that
no no its not right that saying this this you have to
May I just during that process did it spill over to you off camera??
It did. I start feeling this you know this venom towards people and its scared me because
I am not like that at all but you don’t know when the light if you’re deep down in that
rabbit hole. You know I used to watch BBC a lot just to
get accent and all early like 5:30 5am in the morning. I was in the hotel room and Paris
attacked happen just happened and you know I was like litte offshooting and I was mentally
there you know first thought that came to my mind was Well done
Oh my god, What are you saying? That sounds serious.
And then of course the fight between Raj like No no no fuck its not a good thing to say
Thats wrong it happened to me also I’m on set and this like when the cameras is not
rolling and somebody does something that drives my gills or pushes the button and I was like
physically attack them. I was gonna go grab his throat and I was like what are you doing?
You know its damn scary. You’re listening, right??
He’s all set to play a Aurenzeb Brother. Its like you know I have never played
out an out dark character but I have one thing is that I have never taken the character back
home but its really interesting the same time during college days I’ve played Aswathama
its a dark character grey character in there are many hindu plays but nobody could expect
like out an out negative character out of me but that’s mostly played negative characters
in my college theater. So, I’ve yet to explore that side of mine infront of the camera but
I’ve never taken a character back home. I can switch on and switch off like that its
just like that both Tabu and I used to joke around while we were filming Andhadhun and
then we were just doing those things, yeah?? Gruesome
You know there’s a popular opinion that most of the best art comes from a place of fear
and doubt and conflict that there needs to be discomfort for great art to come out or
to be created inside a person. Is there some truth to that from your own experiences. Have
you found that perhaps your best works are when you are in a place of discomfort??
Okay, you say now, you’ve not talked for a while? Say
Or is it again some of that romantic notions? I don’t know maybe I am not that experienced
or maybe I haven’t experience that I don’t know I’ve always felt that I felt and sync
with the character when I’m in harmony with myself infact quite the opposite.
So its the opposite, right? Till now, till now it might happen but till
now I don’t know if I ‘ve felt that. Ranveer you’ve done 3 movies with Mr.Bhansali
who is a tough task master. But some of the best work have come because
Rajeev bhaii you’re putting me in a difficult spot. I want to do more movies with him man.
That’s a widely believed notion about Mr. Bhansali that he’ll put your back against
the wall and throw you in the deep end. Its not entirely untrue?
Not in my case, we have a very warmful relationship director-actor dynamic over 3 films so not
necessarily not anymore but yeah sometimes you wanna throw a person in the deep end you
know when they perform out of life and death you know instinct something else will come
out and I’ve witnessed it so I can vouch for it but my personal belief is that its not
necessary. Yeah, I think its a very fantastical or maybe
philosophical as a view point like lot of people say the art eminates out of connflict
whatever How will you write if your heart’s not broken? Bullshit. I think I agree with
Vicky in that there has to be harmony and artist needs to be happy. Happiness gives
you everything, gives you confidence, gives you great art coming from inside. I think
its there. Artists needs to be in that perfect harmony in that sync with the unimois.
I agree with them and also disagree. When the country is in crisis, there’s a great
writing similar with painting It inspires the best art.
Yeah. When the country or society is in crisis, then a lot of great art is created same time
where an actor is happy as said by Ayushmaann but in a scene we put ourselves in conflict
just like we talked before about coming from home with an emotional state and here we should
change it and many times we put ourselves in that situation because our life is happy
at that time so we start to discover a wrong story that today I’ve been through this and
that, you put yourselves in the crisis from that happy zone so thats the meditation. These
all are saints sitting here. Once Shiv Kumar Batalia said that Artist always
wants freedom and for the seek of freedom they want to run from the things happening
in society but also wanna tell through your art, you might be in your harmony and in that
conflict you will give something that will be totally different.
I think I have an example like Hansal sir when he was making Shahid he was coming out
of you know like after 3 years he was planning a film and of course he was not very with
his filmography before that so he came with that discomfort, he came with that fire I
think at that in a way translated in that film so it sometimes it helps I think yeah
you it motivates you enough to you know just to probably get out of that energy of your
ownself that you know I want to translate it in my work yeah it can help sometimes.
Depending on that will be quite lethal like completely depending on conflict and that
inner craziness. I am so scared now in my next movie Mr. Bhansali’s
gonna be like Now you come, I’ll show you the roundtable.
What was your first reaction when the MeToo movement began to gathering momentum in India
recently? A lot of names were, a lot of women came out by their stories being uncomfortable,
being harrased, being made to feel uncomfortable, what went through your mind??
I think its the need of the hour. We’ve been living in a patriachal society since time
in memorial. This is 2018 ending 2019 is beginning its high time there should be gender parity
it takes a lot for a woman to come out in the open and stand up for her rights or maybe
pinpoint at a certain point greater so of course there will be collateral damage but
at the same time I think equal opportunity should be given to both the parties to the
innocent but I think it should happen we need that environment or women to survive to be
themselves and it should be in every organization to have doos and dones. Specially, in our
industry its everywhere not just in our industry. It should be safe during the outdoors everywhere.
I mean more powers to these women who rightly said it was the need of the hour. I think
we needed these women to come out where lot people say its now of course definitely now
the way we were probably will definitely change and women will feel no safer and that’s what
we want not only in our industry I thinks as a country that’s what we want you know
women to feel safe and protected. And not be taken granted and these powerful
men not to take them for granted. Oh I have that power I think I’ll use it and do whatever
I want now you can’t thanks to social media now you can’t.
I thought it was historic. When it first exploded, the first few days it was cereal I couldn’t
believe what was happening. I was like this and our was the first to voice it to the people
around they were like you guys seeing what’s happening. Its historic. Its unprecedent its
never happened before and it led to a push a much much needed push you know those who
had done this nasty things for too long were taken to.
But there had been reepocautions, yeah And I think its superb because at the ground
level I can tell you it has changed. Now men are scared you know they will think twice
because like you said the power of social media it offers a platform for you to get
that justice yes there is collateral damage as well but this is what happens when there
is a revolution, there is a collateral damage you know it is nothing sort of a historic
revolution and I think its mindblowing. Yes yes i agree it was necessary and they
need more power in every field. And it takes if you have been violated it
takes a lot of courage to stand up especially to come out with your identity and say this
happened to me and it was wrong you know it takes a mountain of courage and you have to
respect that, you have to support that, you can’t be insensetive to that.
Was there a moment when you introspected and ask yourselves whether you might have acted
or spoken or done something to make someone feel uncomfortable or to behave inappropriately,I
ask because women have said repeatedly that most men don’t even realize what is inappropriate
behaviour? Yeah, I mean was there a moment of introspection?
Of course, when the lines are blurred right. I’m not doing it out of anything but of course
I am thinking where the lines is where the line is for me maybe its not the line for
her you know so its relative you know its subjective and that’s the complexity of you
And you believe that things have and will change?
It have changed drastically. It depends upon your upbringing I think how women should be
treated formally yeah You know cinema has been the dominant form
of entertainment in this country for years but some say that dominance is being challenged
now. Netflix and amazon and all of these great digital and OTT platforms ate really leading
this change. One just has to look at outdoor advertising to see the kind of budgets that
some of these shows have. They’re great shows. I mean Sacred Games and Mirzapur too really
great shows both of which Mr. Pankaj tripathi’s in. I mean big filmmakers are working in these
formats, what’s the Nowadays, in every place Pankaj tripathi is
ruling. And he’s so good in them. Mirzapur especially.
Have you been to Gurgaon? Sir adisankar is our closed one
Oh wow he’s a great man. He’s also a saint You are the greatest one
So What’s the sense did you get? Is cinema in under threat?
Its high time tho because they’re taking their position for granted. You’re the only source
of entertainment and recreations now the onest is all the more in the creators that now this
the newer generation has acess to content to content all over the world and if you’re
not good they are not going to see you so better pull up yourselves and work harder
and not take these things for granted. And I think its a great you know its also the
most significantly it offers avenues man and for creative people and that’s so important
for actors, for writers and because its not a theatrical medium it also very creatively
empowering you know so you can explore more you’re not tackled so I think its superb
Also just that pressure to not have to taken into that pressure of opening day numbers
sort of weekend numbers your 2 films that were on Netflix and great responses to both.
Yeah it does take away that pressure that is for sure and I think that as you said I
think its very important now for filmmakers and all of us to pull off a socks and offer
something new and interesting for people to actually pay money and come up to theatres
to watch our films. I’m glad it happened you know this year and you know we had some really
high concept content driven film that people saw. I hope it just continues because Netflix
of course there is a parallel industry running and it would definitely grow from here but
I think cinema will survive probably for next 10-15 years.
Its a revolution that’s happening right now its a revolution obviously digital medium
has that leading way. They can go rad the censorships are linient they can be more edgy,
darky but at the same time I think if you are paying money and buying a ticket you have
to give certain content which is completely novel crazy out of the box if you had to go
to the cinema and the same time you know watching a film with lot of people around its like
you’re exactly like watching a cricket match in the stadium or on televisions so cinema
will never go out of fashion. Truly, that experience in watching in group.
Cinema also breaks the class one factory’s owner is sitting in this chair and another
factory’s worker and they are enjoying together. Going for a popcorn, individual watching isn’t
much fun,we laugh in groups and our class breaks.
And also what happens with me is everytime, I sit i a cinema hall just first slate of
the production house and I’m like man that’s what I live for. You know that feeling that
I get you know its just I don’t I can’t compare like any other platforms without dimening
any other platform but the feel that I get I really get transported. In that dark hole
I literally feel like its a different world its I’m just indulging.
But you get better opportunities as an actor, you find that there are better opportunities?
Yeah. Of course in digital coz because there is length. You can go the depth of the character
as an actor, same with the writer coz we have 9 hours of time so we can explore more in
terms of depth and layers. In films we should complete in 2-3 hours.
Indulgence is for everyone like actor, director, writer.
Of course for all department. Also for the audience ok I’ll watch it after
dinner do its like everywhere and this is the best era to be a an artist as actor director
producer everyone. I thought I end by asking you, you know biopics
are all the rage right now, if you could pick one character that you could play in history?
Kishore kumar, dying to play kishore kumar seriously singer
You are a singer yourselves He as a character was so versatile actor,
singer, producer, music director he could do everything. So love to play Kishore Kumar.
Anurag Basu sir, here is your Kishore kumar What a fielding you did now?
I am doing fielding since 2 years. Now i want to do batting.
You’ll do definitely. Raj, vicky, pankaj jji
In childhood, I was very amazed by Bhagat Singh yeah often people watching Bhagat singh
since forever since mathots saab time so I could connect with his passion and I want
to play him very differently like you know like I’ve seen pictures of him in books and
like real pictures. And there have been movies made as well
Yeah threre have been and great movies also. Ajay Devgn was amazing in The Legend Of Bhagat
Singh but I want to like give a different probably so I would love to play Bhagat Singh.
Uh I am getting to a play a part which I’m very excited for but apart from that I always
always being fascinated by the life of Guru Dutt because I felt like the way he romanced
with sadness its just I don’t know its a different emotion I feel and I really wanna explore
that emotion. I literally feel that he really enjoyed it. He really cherished it and I don’t
know why he just wanted to be like hero and that’s what I want to explore. Just that emotion.
Just that that world and I’ve been very fascinated so I guess this question just this name just
popped up. Sir, I just did what I wanted to do 6 days
ago. I wanted to do a common man biopic of an ordinary man so its Satish Kaushik’s film
I finishec 6 days ago. Its a simple man story Its superb story
Raj knows the story and I finished it. You are very lucky.
No, there are still more dreams to fulfill. Some are fielding from long on whereas some
are fielding from long off But now you should do the bowling of Kapil
dev And the next biopic I am doing, training is
from janruary, its weird I think I had one movie out and somebody asked me in 2011 like
what part you want to play and I was like Kapil dev and then I didn’t even realize tho
it was like mind to thing connect it just came out instinctively so I think there some
when the movie was offered to me like 7 years later so I think it some there some divinity
there but yeah there is Dara Sikhu as well so yeah I really I enjoy that I enjoy those
roles you know. How wonderful that your dreams are already
in fact starting to come true. Thank you for these incredible performances that you given
us you know here’s hoping that you continue to inspire us and entertain us and really
give us the good time that we get. Thank you for bringing joy into our lives with these
really wonderful nuance performances