Unlike Deepika Padukone who has been revealing her culinary skills on Instagram or suggesting films to her fans, Ranveer Singh has been rather quiet during the lockdown. However, the actor recently broke his social media silence and went live with Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri on Instagram. The actor opened up about wife Deepika Padukone, his love for Indian cinema, being a 90s kid, and much more.
Here are excerpts from the interaction:
You have been away from social media.
I have been going through different phases during the lockdown. I am trying to wrap my head around what’s happening in the world. It’s a very grim scenario and devastating to witness what’s happening across the world. I don’t think I was prepared to engage with anyone. I was staying home and making sure to use this time in the best way possible. I tried to see the brighter side of the thing. I used the time to hibernate and experience the joy of doing nothing. I focused on my life, myself and time with the wife. It’s (the lockdown) given us time to rediscover each other and bond with each other. I didn’t feel like being out there. I wanted to be underground.
What do you remember of the 90s?
I am a 90s kid. I have fondest memories of Dekh Bhai Dekh, Zabaan Sambhal Ke and more. I used to be a TV kid. When kids were playing outside, I would be watching TV. I used to wait for Mahabharat on Sunday. It was like an event back then. My idols are also from the 90s – from Amitabh Bachchan to Salman Khan. So, my fascination with movies started in the 90s. I also get excited about 90s memes.
I was a mischievous kid. So, my parents would be like ‘good that he sticks to the TV.’
Deepika had a different upbringing. She was an athlete growing up. Sometimes, she turns around and asks me how I know all of these things. And I am almost embarrassed to admit to her that my knowledge comes from very unexpected sources like television. It is just like how Jaideep Ahlawat spews all the gyaan about Indian mythology. He says it’s written in history, but I have read it on WhatsApp. So, I have all this useless knowledge about various things through television. I am actually a product of 90s television.
Whenever I used to watch these movies, the lead characters would be larger than life. I used to watch these commercial films. My earliest heroes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Amitabh Bachchan… It was they who used to fascinate me.
I was obsessed with Rambo. I used to imitate him. I was so obsessed that I would tie a red scarf on my head and sleep with a butter knife tied to my leg because that’s how he used to sleep. I found the world (cinema) alluring because you could be something fantastical. I wanted to be the ‘hero’ and wanted that to happen since my childhood.
You explored copywriting as a career option.
I kept copywriting as a backup in case the acting gig didn’t work out. When we were growing up, there were very few examples to go by when someone from the outside had broken into the Hindi film business. For the longest time, all the prime opportunities were reserved for people who had a lineage. It felt like a far fetched dream. In the 10th standard, the question of becoming an actor became serious. At the age of 15, I looked around and I didn’t have examples to go by. Everyone who was making their debut were somehow connected to the industry. There was no case for me to hang on to and say if he can, I can. I kind of abandoned that dream and thought I can’t do it. So, back then, I used to enjoy writing one-liner ads or jingles. We used to have a competition to write jingles for a product. I won first prize. Later, I realised this is something one can take up as a career. So, I thought of it as a career option. At 19, it hit me that it’s a compromise and that I was settling for something less. I am glad that I got that realisation. I expressed it to my father. He was supportive. And that’s how I became an actor.
Do you still write?
I contribute to dialogue writing, not many know that. If you know it, it comes handy and brings the scenes together. I joke with my directors to get dialogue writing credits. I am fortunate that I have worked with a team that has accepted such inputs.
Do you brood over your failure?
Over the years, I have become mature in dealing with failure. I realised that the greatest gift is to be on the sets and acting. In 2015, I had a serious injury on Bajirao Mastani’s sets. I was very down because I had trained really hard but had a ligament tear in the shoulder with so much action shoot left. It was a defining film of my life. That’s when I heard this motivational speaker’s audiobook who said that the process is the prize. So, now when the film works, it’s sone pe suhaga.
In Buddhism, they teach to be on the middle path – not carried away by success and not feel too down with failure. That’s how life should be lived. So, I apply that to my life. All my energies are focused on ‘now’. I don’t mourn the failure for many days.
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Deepika is kinda scared because you put a lot of you in the characters you do.
She is much more evolved. She is a great guide for me. She is a pillar for me. She keeps me on track. I probably wouldn’t have achieved what I did if it wasn’t for her. It’s my 10th year and I met her three years into show business and been with her since then. I think I wouldn’t have been able to cope with the pressures of being a movie star, if she wouldn’t have been there. I would have been lost. She worries for me only because she sees I will go to any extent to get the desired result of the character. I can’t say it’s healthy as it takes a toll on you, but when you push yourself to the brink and come out, you evolve and that’s the beauty of the art. However, I am happy to report this to my wife that I have found more effective ways of achieving the results without being harmful to oneself.
Tell us about the badminton game with Deepika. Do you think she gives you the points because you are the son-in-law of Prakash Padukone?
She is ruthless in the game. I told her to give me extra points just to make me happy. Out of frustration, I wanted to smash the racquet, but it was gifted to me by my father-in-law and it has sentimental value. So I cannot, but I wish. However, I promise. Deepu, just wait. I promise on this LIVE that I will work on my skills and get around 10 points for sure in a 21 point game.
Deepika fondly remembers that you used to get flowers every time you would meet her.
I was very sure that I wanted to marry this girl in six months of being in a relationship with her. I knew she loves flowers, lilies in particular. I wanted her to be mine for life. I was very diligent in wooing her. So, every time she would come, there would be flowers. I would also make short trips if she was shooting somewhere else. I remember my father once turned around and said, ‘do you realise how much money you are spending on flowers?’ and I replied, ‘Lakshmi ke avatar me chappar faad ke aayenge.’ I used to feel that she is way away from my league. So, I did everything during the courting period.
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