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Ranveer Singh: I am Ram,Ram is me

Ranveer Singh talks about playing Ram,making a fashion statement,and working with one of the toughest directors in Bollywood.

In the city to promote his latest film ‘Ram-Leela’,Ranveer Singh talks about playing Ram,making a fashion statement,and working with one of the toughest directors in Bollywood.

Tell us about Ram-Leela.

Ram-Leela is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s spectacular vision,a young love story,an Indian Romeo and Juliet replete with Bhansali elements — grand,intense,dramatic,vibrant and emotionally charged. It’s the story of Ram and Leela,two people from two families who can’t see eye to eye. While Leela is a firebrand of a girl,Ram is the stud boy of the village — a raw,passionate guy who just wants to have a good time in life till his path crosses with Leela. Set in Gujarat,with all its colours and moods,this is Bhansali’s home ground,and he has even experimented for the first time with action and an item song,and a very menacing Supriya Pathak.

Which is your favourite love story?

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Lootera,and the iconic Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge made by my mentor,Aditya Chopra.

You were into creative writing and advertising before films,any plans of revisiting it?

I am dying to write,and have three film ideas in place already.

Ram’s look is turning out to be quite a fashion statement. Was it deliberate?

It’s the beard and the handlebar moustache. Ever since I wore it,fashion blogs and magazines have started taking interest in me,especially in the last one year. Incidentally,when Bhansali met me,I had not shaved in a month,and he instantly liked me as it is.

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Because cinema is such a visual medium,I love to experiment with

different appearances. In Ram-Leela,

my designer Maxima Basu and I went to Gujarat to infuse more life into Ram. We bought clothes from local vendors,took pictures of Gujju men,colours of Gujarat,jewellery,garments,turban. Once it’s

on,it’s the impact the look creates that gives me a kick.

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SLB also put you on a tough regime. Why the extra edge when you already were in shape?

Bhansali wanted Ram and Leela to be like magnets — sexy,sensuous,someone people would lust after,tear their clothes apart the second they see them. He wanted to create fire on screen,and for that we had to morph into these ultimate objects of desire. This is a showcase,where Ram lusts after Leela,finds her irresistibly desirable,and vice versa.

Was it easy being Ram?

I consciously try to keep the chronology of my characters diverse. For Band Baaja Baaraat,Bittu Sharma was inspired by a guy exactly like Bittu. So,when Ram-Leela came my way,I went looking for inspiration but didn’t find any because I am Ram,and Ram is me,free spirited. The toughest was Lootera. In my next,Gunday,I am nothing like Bittu or Ram or Ricky Bahl.

Steamy scenes do not raise eyebrows any more. Ram-Leela has its share of liplocks. Has the industry and audience become okay with it?

Yes. We have become a bit more broadminded because cinema is reflective of our society. Both are evolving

simultaneously.

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You have worked with different directors,each from a different school of cinematic thought. Who has impacted you the most?

All my directors — Maneesh Sharma,Vikram Motwane and Bhansali have been polar opposites,but the most creatively liberating one has been Bhansali. He gets inside your head and heart,lets your performance be born out of your own instinct,and it’s made me secure and better as an actor. Yes,he is demanding,exhaustive,exacting and draining,but he works with the best,and one has to live up to the legacy of fine performances he has delivered. He is like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose — he will demand your blood and sweat,passion and energy,and in return deliver masterpiece cinema.

First published on: 30-10-2013 at 04:55:19 am
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