Friends Forever

You all should try working with your ex (girlfriend/ boyfriend) too; it’s not so bad.”

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: May 21, 2013 2:32 am

Ex-lovers and co-actors Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor display chemistry and camaraderie as they talk about their next release Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani at Screen Preview

You all should try working with your ex (girlfriend/ boyfriend) too; it’s not so bad.” This simple,witty response is all it took for Ranbir Kapoor to quell the curiosity regarding his relationship with his earlier girlfriend and actor Deepika Padukone. The two — who were being quizzed about the comfort level they share both on- and off-screen — were at Express Towers,Nariman Point,on May 14,to speak about their upcoming film Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani as a part of Screen Preview.

The actors’ presence created much excitement,especially since both have attained a strong fan following in the five years since their debut. That they were once dating and have put their past behind them to work together in the movie only added to the interest. Aware but nonchalant about the attention,Kapoor and Padukone shared a comfortable vibe,not thinking twice before either praising or taking a dig at each other.

Considered to be one of the more promising young actors,Kapoor said that he was intimidated by his co-star because of the progress and range she had displayed in her last few films,especially Homi Adajania’s Cocktail. “I have been watching her films but her increase in understanding of a character was fast,something I had not expected,” he said. The actor said it is with this maturity that Padukone plays her character Naina in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.

Describing her role as that of a girl who has mostly lived by the rules,Padukone says that the film shows her breaking away from it. “She reaches a tipping point and decides to go on a trip with her friends Bunny (Kapoor),Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin),which changes her view on life and instills confidence in her,” Padukone explains. Kapoor’s character,on the other hand,has wanderlust and his eagerness to see the world works against him as he leaves behind friends and family to follow his passion.

A film that tells the story of ambition and love through the point-of-view of urban youth,Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani has already connected with audiences with its music with use of quirky catchphrases,that include Dilli Waali Girlfriend and Badtameez Dil. A large part of the film sees the friends trekking up to a mountain top. Talking about having to walk up the slope in knee-deep snow,Padukone revealed that while she and Ayan Mukerji,the director,have an inherent adventurous streak,it was tough to cope with Kapoor’s lack of it. “His favourite pastime is lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling,” she said with a laugh.

While the songs are climbing the popularity charts,the film’s promos have received a mixed response and parallels are being drawn with Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal and Siddharth Anand’s Anjaana Anjaani. Both Padukone and Kapoor said comparisons before the film’s release may be inevitable since the films occupy a similar social space. “The film is about conflicts regarding love and life. But each conflict has its own individuality based on the characters,” pointed out Kapoor. “But Ayan tells stories differently and one saw that in his debut Wake Up Sid,” he adds.

After the release of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani on May 31,Padukone will return to filming Ram Leela and promote Chennai Express opposite Shah Rukh Khan before she starts shooting for Adajania’s Hinglish film Finding Fanny Fernandes. The last one is a small-budget film and she isn’t sure if it will even have a regular commercial release.

Kapoor,having mostly done love stories in films such as Rockstar and Barfi!,was asked if he will ever be seen in an action role. “Once I manage to build a good body,I’ll take up action films too. Until then,I’ll have to stick to romantic roles,” said Kapoor,adding that his next — Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet — might be a tad different from the image he has cultivated. The actor will play a street boxer in the film set in Bombay of the ’60s.

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