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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Wild Child

Ranveer Singh on his role in Gunday, being an attention-seeker and why he’s guarding his privacy now.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul |
February 5, 2014 12:01:01 am
Ranveer Singh Ranveer Singh

To sit in a lounge outside a conference room, waiting for one’s turn to meet a film star for an interview is hardly uncommon. But it isn’t every day that one spots through glass walls the very same actor in a blink of an eye on the floor of the conference room, exercising even as he converses with a journalist. It isn’t so surprising, however, when the said actor is Ranveer Singh.

This lack of inhibition on Singh’s part can make people feel like they are invading his personal space. But then, it also constitutes a large part of his screen (and stage) presence. It’s what endeared him to the audience with his brash and uncouth character Bittoo in his debut film Band Baaja Baarat (BBB) and more recently, the sexually charged Ram in Goliyon Ki Rasleela –
Ram-Leela.

The actor, however, admittedly aware of the murmurs that go on behind his back within the industry, isn’t apologetic for his over-the-top personality. He wears his unabashedness on his sleeve. “People who’ve known me since childhood will tell you I’ve always been this over-energetic. I’m someone who used to dress like Govinda and copy his dance moves. He is still one of my favourite actors,” says Singh, as he paces about the room. It’s a warm February evening but Singh is dressed in a sweatshirt worn the other way around and a cap — an attire that feels out of place even in the airconditioned Yash Raj Studios where he is promoting his upcoming film Gunday, which will release on February 14.

Although BBB and Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Ram-Leela have both brought him acclaim and won him awards, it is a performance of sheer contrast that stands as Singh’s favourite — the shy, subdued Varun in Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera. “I surprised myself with that role; I didn’t think I could play an introverted, reticent, brooding man. It was also difficult because the redemption for the character comes only towards the end —  he does one bad thing after another through most part of the film, not giving the audience any reason to like him,” says the 28-year-old. Thus, it surprises Singh that his character in Ram-Leela, “which plays to my own operatic-style of acting”, drew more acclaim than his portrayal in Lootera.

His next character — as Bikram in Gunday that is set in the ’70s — however, is a perfect amalgamation between the uninhibited and restrained. Singh plays the role of a calculative coal mafia leader. “Arjun Kapoor’s character Bala follows his heart. I, as his buddy and business partner, balance him,” says the actor.

The yin-and-yang equation between the two childhood friends and toughies, however, is thrown off balance when they both fall in love with the same cabaret dancer, portrayed by Priyanka Chopra. “They are both open about it and don’t mind the other’s affection for the same girl. But then, Bala, driven by emotions, becomes vulnerable, causing a conflict,” says Singh.

His personal love story, however, is far more sorted. The actor doesn’t deny a relationship with Deepika Padukone but admits that the spotlight on it isn’t doing him any good. “I am fiercely guarding my privacy now. People take advantage of the fact that I am open and honest and the media, last year, started to focus on my personal life, overlooking my work. I don’t like that my personal space is becoming a topic of public discussion,” he says, in what seems a bit ironical.

dipti.nagpaul@expressindia.com

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