There have been reports about Arjun being offered Kabir Singh and the actor said when the movie’s Hindi remake rights were acquired by the makers — Murad Khetani Ashwin Varde — they wanted to cast him in the film.
“It did not reach that stage where I could chose or not. When the rights were being acquired by Ashwin and Murad, who made ‘Mubarakan’, they asked keeping me in mind. Sandeep Vanga, the director had met Shahid and he had seen the film before and they decided to do the film together.
“The film needed Sandeep Vanga. There is a madness to that film, there is an inherent energy. It is a simple story but there was madness to the treatment. He (Sandeep) had already committed and he wanted to stick by his words and I respect that. I did not want my producers sitting around with the rights of the film and not making it out of me being in an ego tussle with anybody,” Arjun said at the 10th Jagran film festival here.
The actor said he was keen on doing the film but it was a better and an obvious choice to go with the director’s vision.
“Sandeep is the director of the film and he had a clearer vision of the film and without him the film wouldn’t have been what it is now. Fundamentally, films choose actors and directors but in this case the intent was right from our side and we couldn’t combine it.
“It doesn’t mean I left it or I did not choose it. It is complicated. There are human emotions and decisions and lot of things come into picture. The director wanted somebody else because he had committed to someone it was not that he said, you can’t do it. My impulse stays right as I selected the right material but then you move on in life,” he added.
The actor believes Shahid was the perfect choice for the film and he is happy with the commercial success of the project.
“Shahid is a fantastic choice and he has done it fantastically. He is a fantastic actor. The film has made Rs 275 crore.”
The 34-year-old actor will next be seen in Dibakar Banerjee’s Sandeep and Pinky Farar and Ashutosh Gowarikar-directed Panipat.
Arjun said working with both Dibakar and Ashutosh was a great learning experience for him.
“Dibakar’s film is very personal and intimate. I prepped for this film for three months and we shot for it for 45 days. I play a Jatt, with the dialect. We (Dibakar and me) would read nursery rhymes and story books in the language but we never did the scenes.
“Maybe this is extreme but we were looking at getting the character right. It is a tough film. After doing ‘Mubarakan’ I chose to do this film. ‘Mubarakan’ was all about being in the moment, while with this film, we were exploring different takes and versions.”
Talking about his Panipat director, Arjun said Ashutosh is one of the most encouraging person he has met.
“Ashu sir is one of the most gracious person. He has a clear version and he takes everyone into consideration. He will ask your point of view.
“Right now he is involved into editing, dubbing and VFX. He had been planning this film for three years and he prepped for it for two years, we worked on it for seven months. He is very meticulous and he has a lot of passion about this film.”
Arjun, who plays the part of warrior in the period drama, shaved off his head as he wanted to look authentic.
“I had worn that hat for nine months. I had shaved my head. There is no other way to do it. I made that choice because I wanted to be authentic.
“It always gives me the thrill to push myself beyond the vanity of being Arjun Kapoor, the celebrity and that’s why I became an actor to do these things,” he said.