I have become obsessed with the art of acting
Co-actors, friends and media say Ranveer Singh is mad, an avalanche of energy, vivacious, but he says that’s the way he is wired. At the promotions of Dil Dhadakne Do, a subdued version (maybe because of his injured arm) of the dishy dude talks about movies and life.
Dil Dhadakne Do is your first film with Zoya Akhtar. How was the experience?
I have socially known her even before I became an actor through common friends when I was struggling. So, it’s been an amazing journey with her. Zoya and I bonded really well because she is someone who approached our dynamics with an open heart and so did I. We both speak the same language of affection; we both are huggers and kissers. We have a beautiful relationship. I have a great amount of admiration for her as a creative person. And she is a very wholesome person, a very panoramic personality and can talk about anything. We had the most engaging and stimulating conversations. Zoya is somebody I have bonded the most on this shoot.
In DDD you shared screen space with Anil Kapoor and in Kill Dill you worked with Govinda. How does it feel working with your screen idols?
It’s like a fairy tale to share screen space with your screen idols because while growing up I wanted to become an actor as I was fascinated with Anil Kapoor and Govinda’s movies. When I was a child Anil Kapoor was THE leading solo hero of the time. I remember we were shooting a scene with all 26 primary actors and I was standing next to Anil Kapoor, waiting for the sun to come out. It was a very trippy moment for me.
With Govindaji it was more like a guru chela rapport, I would listen to his stories and life experiences on the set. With AK, it’s different, he is more like a bro. We bonded really well, worked out together and hung out together. It’s amazing to hear their experiences. They have been working for so many decades. Both are living legends.
It’s great to see how they have adapted because there was a certain school of cinema and performance happening when they started, but now it has changed because audience’s taste has evolved. My proudest moments are when these guys have words of praise for me because they are the reason I am doing what I am doing and putting my life into it.
Priyanka Chopra and you share a very transparent relationship as siblings. Is it similar to the rapport you share with your real sister?
Yes, I have had different phases with my sister. When we were growing up, she was protective of her little brother. Then came a phase that we were at loggerheads, when I went away to college it started changing and then on my return it changed again. Now, she is a second mother to me. I am extremely transparent with her and she knows everything about me. I don’t think twice before telling her anything. I just vomit everything out. It is something I want to keep nurturing. I am really protective and she is my life. However, she doesn’t talk to me about herself as much as I do, but that’s the kind of person she is.
In DDD you reunite with Anushka Sharma after a long time. How was it working together after so long?
When Anushka signed Dil Dhadakne Do, I was over the moon because she is such a great actor and an asset to our industry. I was already shooting, and when she joined us, I went up to her and chatted for two-three hours. It was great shooting with her, the first thing I noticed about her is that she has come a long way in her craft. She has evolved as an actor. When I saw ‘Pehli baar’ song, the first thing I noticed was that we look really good together. I was happy to see the chemistry that people loved so much in our first film, which was seen three-four years ago, is still intact. It means there is a natural chemistry between us.
In the past you have said that Anushka brings out the best in you as an actor. How did the association help in this film?
With every actor you are only as good as co-actor. And that holds true in this one too. But the beauty of Zoya (Akhtar)’s writing is that to make the scene good the actors have to connect and play up each other, especially in DDD because it is a film about interpersonal relationships. It a Woody Allen-Wes Anderson mash-up. DDD is about people and their own journey through relationships.
Long ago you had said that you want to retire by 35. Do you still feel the same?
Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if I am happy with the films I have done. It will be a great life to live somewhere away from Bombay and just pursuing the good things like food, music, writing for yourself, painting, meditating. I don’t mind all that. Right now if you ask me if DDD and Bajirao Mastani becomes the biggest films and people have loved my performances then would I retire, then absolutely not! I am very hungry and want to do a lot of work. I have given myself 35 so I have another five-six years to do what I love to do. Maybe I won’t fully retire, maybe semi-retire, work for three months and shoot one movie a year. Chill and travel for the rest of the year.
I always knew Bajirao… was always going to take time but then I injured myself (fell of a horse while shooting) so I have lost time. I want to do films back-to-back. I am very happy with where I am in terms of my craft. Bajirao… is challenging my craft and DDD did that to me. I really hope that the film I do after Bajirao… is a challenge too. Challenges make me feel alive and keep me on my toes. I have become obsessed with film craft and the art of acting. I really like to go into a scene and just pour myself into it. Mr (Sanjay Leela) Bhansali offers that. He really lets you collaborate and wants to know what you think and feel about the scene / role etc. It is a very exciting phase for me because of the kind of people I am collaborating with. So, right now I would be very happy to work double shift and do back-to-back movies.