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Ranveer Singh Was Destined For Stardom



Ranveer Singh

When I  first spoke to  Ranveer Singh on the day after  his Band Baaja Baaraat  released  in 2010  he  was respectful, attentive , eager  to learn.

We spoke at  length about the  response  to  the  film and his career. And  Ranveer Singh said, “Thank God, no one says any more than   my debut was financed by my father . That to me is my biggest victory.”

Ranveer Singh  was  spoilt for choices. “I think after Band Baaja Baraat I need to do completely contrasting character. Someone who is not loud, opinionated and unsophisticated.”

The suffering of waiting was  over for this debutant who came in from the outside. Brimming  with enthusiasm  Ranveer Singh  had  said to me in 2010, “Not since Akshay Kumar and John Abraham has there been a male lead from outside the industry  getting such positive  reactions. I just hope my example encourages  talent from outside. Because right now the perception is  outsiders don’t stand a chance. I had no reference like mine  to give me hope  when I was going through  my struggle period.”

One  call from Yashraj Films changed Ranveer Singh’s  life. “It was completely out of  the   blue from the casting director Shanu Sharma. I remember I was out on a date when (casting  director)  Shanu Sharma  kept calling. I avoided her calls for as long as I could because I had other things on my mind at that moment. Imagine if I had not taken the call from Yashraj for  a fling that lasted exactly ten days! Anyway the next day I was at Yashraj doing two scenes. I got called back in three days. Later Adi Sir(Chopra) told me he had made up his mind immediately..”

In  the same 2010  interview  Ranveer Singh said he was  pleased he didn’t get a conventional romantic debut. “The story  in Band Baaja Baaraat  is terrific. And my character Bittu was so much fun for me to play because he’s  so far removed from my  own world. It was more than I could ever ask for.I was more than happy to be  a simple character in a  simple story. Not too many newcomers can dream of  a break like Band Baaja Baaraat, certainly not someone unconnected with  the film industry.”

Catty  elements within the  industry had spread the rumour that his  father, a prosperous business man, had financed  the film. Confesses the young polite actor, “Yes, that hurt on several levels. Such ugly  rumours took away from my pleasure at being the first solo-hero to be launched by Yashraj. Yeah…it was upsetting . My father and my  family’s pride that I had made it on my own got blunted when it was said that they financed my debut film. It was like  taking away from my little achievement. I was upset more for my parents  than myself.  I was also upset for Yashraj. Did they need my father’s money to make a  film? The entire film industry knows Yashraj doesn’t need to do all this.It’s  absurd. They  don’t need anyone’s money to make  films. Certainly not my father’s.”

Ranveer maintained he was  “very  good friends” with co-star Anushka Sharma, though they bickered non-stop  like their characters in Band Baaja Baaraat. “She and I are  very good friends. How can I  change that truth just because it sounds clichéd? We came from two different schools of filmmaking. I’m a trained actor. She never attended any acting school. As a model she  had faced the camera before acting and had already done two films before Band Baaja Baaraat. She is a one-take actor. I believe in lots  of rehearsals. And that was very annoying for Anushka because her first take was the best. We had to reach a middleground before we could get along. In hindsight I  feel I was rehearsing  more than necessary because it was my first  film.I learnt from her to  be spontaneous. But  the fact that we  had to  be at loggerheads on screen was certainly helped by  our constant friction in the sets about our approach to acting.”

   Thankful for  the  success, Ranveer in that  same  interview   hoped every newcomer gets a supportive co-star like Anushka As  for the rumours about  Ranveer and Anushka the  then-newcomer said, “I was too much into my work to even think  about those rumours. I just wanted to  perform well. That was my only concern. In fact I was casually dating a girl when that call from Yashraj changed my  life. I’ve never been in a  serious  relationship so far. And now  my career has just started. It feels cool. I had told my father  a long time ago that I’d be an actor. My dream has come true. But my  family is not used to the  gossip and  rumours.”

And to think Ranveer thought of changing his name  because there was already a Ranbir around. “I am glad I didn’t. This is my name. This is  my destiny. I’m just so  happy .”He’s signed for three films with Yashraj. “But it is non-exclusive. I was waiting for my first release and so was the industry. Now they know  I wasn’t signed because my father paid for my dream. Adi too has plans for me though I don’t know what they are. He loves playing poker with people.”

 Ranveer Singh’s superstardom is some day going to be  a part of folklore . He  came in from the  outside and was considered  quite  a brash  loudmouthed  exhibitionist. One  extremely influential filmmaker  called him “Another Vivek Oberoi”.

“I wonder what Aditya Chopra had seen in him?” this eminently  successful filmmaker had wondered.

 We now  know the answer:  the same  thing that Deepika Padukone saw in Ranveer.

The brashness and bravado hide  a personality that triumphs over  all cynicism. Ranveer is loud, but not shrill. As in singing,  in acting holding your pitch in the higher notes is a Himalayan task. Ranveer  resides on the highest notes  of  the musical mountain and still manages to be coherent  fluent and persuasive.

Not an easy task considering  the  tonal inflexions obtainable to a soprano singer singer are denied  to actors  in our  film industry. But then , Ranveer doesn’t listen  to any songs that don’t play in his own head. He  is a child of caprice. He will take what he  wants without caring  about how it makes  him look to the outside world.

The operatic maestro Sanjay Leela Bhansali who has done three of  his most recent masterpieces  with Ranveer in the lead, says he is capable of a lot more.  “In all the three films I did with him  Ranveer  took me by surprise. As an actor he is constantly exploring, looking for new ways to express his  innermost fears and insecurities. He is always restless and  inquisitive while shooting. It is difficult to keep up with him. Every time we work together he  comes up with a  new language of  expression. I am pretty sure Ranveer has  much more to  offer as an actor.”

It was  on the set of Bhansali’s films that love happened for Ranveer and Deepika Padukone. A  love that  is  yet to be acknowledged  in the public domain , only because, well, that’s the way the Lady wants  it. And Ranveer , as any of his female co-stars would tell you  , is enormously respectful  to  women .

Anushka Sharma who  co-starred with Ranveer in his  debut film Band Baja Baraat  couldn’t really come to terms with his brashness. But even she had only favourable things to say about Ranveer as  a co-star and  gentleman who is as  capable of pulling up a chair for a lady as he is off pulling it away from her.

The  gentleman and the prankster are  the one  and  the  same. In spite of his self-confessed atrangi (multi-faced) personality we never need to wonder who the real Ranveer Singh is. He is all  of those colourful people he plays on screen, plus many more characters that he will play in the  future.

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