Sanjay Leela Bhansali has pushed me beyond my own boundaries
Ever since the release of Band Baaja Baaraat, Ranveer Singh has turned out to be one of the most reliable and dependent stars around, who is well on his way to be a superstar. With Sanjay Leela Bhansali trusting him to step into his magnum opus Bajirao Mastani after delivering a big hit in the form of Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Ranveer is indeed scaling newer heights with every passing year. With films as distinct as Dil Dhadakne Do and Bajirao Mastani arriving in a single year, he is also showcasing different facets of his acting talent in quick succession. We get chatting with Ranveer in this exclusive meet.
Bajirao Mastani – Was it the very title, stage and setting that fascinated you about the film?
I had heard about the film for quite some time and was always interested in knowing what the story of Bajirao Mastani was all about. After Ram Leela, I was hoping that that Mr. Bhansali would cast me again. Creatively, he and I are really good together. He is known for his vision and to realize that, he works with very solid actors. Look at his earlier films, he has worked with some of the best out there and has managed to have them deliver their best performance. Some of his films have become classics, some have been criticized. However, no one has challenged the performance of his lead artists.
This would have made it all the more special for you, considering the fact that you are just a few films old?
Exactly. Look at me, I am a new actor and Mr. Bhansali has pushed me beyond my own boundaries. He challenged me and enriched me. I understand the value of a director. I have tremendous amount of appreciation for him. He is passionate about filmmaking. For me to be doing Bajirao Mastani is such an honor; it is an amazing character to play on screen. For Sanjay sir, Bajirao is one of his most precious characters. For him to entrust me with the character of Peshwa Bajirao is unbelievable. I have been extremely lucky that Ram Leela did extremely well; it paved the way for me to step into Bajirao Mastani.
That said, the whole process of making the film was quite physically draining for you, isn’t it?
Oh yes, the film has taken a toll on my body. I have got cuts all around, fractured my toe, broken my shoulder, collapsed out of dehydration – you name it! At the beginning of the film, I was told that we would have a strenuous time and hence schedules would be followed by breaks so that we come back charged on the sets and the location. Moreover, the film was emotionally draining as well. I have not come out of it yet. I have experienced emotions during the shoot that I could have never otherwise. The amount of growth that I have seen in myself makes me quite happy. I remember this as a beautiful experience.
I believe the action sequences have been quite well spread out as well and would be noted for their extravagance.
That’s correct, and to keep pace with the whole opulence, we had to really plan the day well. So right next to where we were shooting, there was a rehearsal space assigned to me. I was fully into it where I could work on my action sequences right from the morning itself. This way I could maximize my productivity in a single day. It is very important to have the correct body language because when you see a guy wielding a flexible sword or riding a horse, he needs to be convincing. It is possible only if you actually know how to do it. I learnt it all from scratch and did a lot of body conditioning too. It was really a lot of fun.
Guess the fun continues with Befikre next.
Certainly! Befikre is a special film. Aditya (Chopra) is my mentor. He is that person who first spotted the ability in me. He is another one of those rare Hindi film directors and I feel privileged to be working with him. It is all really exciting. Since I have been busy with Bajirao Mastani, I haven’t got into much for Befikre yet. However, come 2016 and it would be time to get going on the film.
2015 has been an eventful year for you. What next?
Well yes, I think I had an amazing experience with Dil Dhadakne Do which was a very contemporary film with romance and drama in there. Then to do Bajirao Mastani was superb and I am very happy with the way it has shaped up. Now I want Mr. Bhansali to do a film with me again. It would mean a lot for me. He is a great filmmaker and for him to show that kind of faith in me is great. I worked really hard on the film as I was determined to take it one up over Ram Leela as far as my performance goes. (Laughs) Now I just want to take a substantial holiday to reboot and then come back charged.