Arjun Rampal has hit jackpot with his latest release Rajneeti and with films like Dharma Productions’ We Are Family (Stepmom remake) and Red Chillies Entertainment’s Ra.One, the actor has a lot to look forward to.
Like most male models, people predicted a very short shelf life for him in the film industry. However, he proved everyone wrong and has shown that he can survive the rough and tumble of the film industry and come out stronger.
In a chat with Businessofcinema.com, Rampal speaks about the success of Raajneeti and what he looks forward to in the future.
Excerpts: Raajneeti has been appreciated both critically and at the box office, how does that make you feel?
Raajneeti is not only a big film but also one of the most expensive films. My character also had lots to do. It was very essential for the film to run, and when a film like this does well not only in India but overseas as well, when the audience appreciate such kind of characters and films then it makes you feel that yes writers should write such films, something which is good, which is going to make the industry grow and take a step forward. I feel satisfied, happy and feel a kind of connection with the audience- that for me is the biggest high. The film lived up to all the expectations.
Now that the film has done well and your work in the film too has been appreciated, and people have expectations from you as an actor, do you feel there is more pressure on you to perform even better?
(Laughs) When is there no pressure, there is always pressure but having said that, one should not take success or failure that seriously. They both go hand in hand, they are husband and wife! You have to unlearn after you do every film, Raajneeti is out and people have loved it and for me it’s time to move on with my next film, my next role. I am happy, humbled, encouraged and confident that my choices have come true and correct and that is the biggest relief.
Does your perspective of choosing a role or script change after your success?
You got success by looking at it in a particular way and the way I look at it is – will I go and watch this film myself, irrespective of the fact that I am in it or not in it. I would have gone and watched Raajneeti even if I were not in it because, it is a very well made film, where the entertainment is just right, the commercial elements was just right, the characters were right so I think just to see a film in totality is more important than anything else.
How important do you think it is for a film to have premiers overseas? How was the experience?
We went to Hong Kong, Dubai and Muscat. We had a premier of Raajneeti in Hong Kong and I think when you make a film, it is important to create awareness about it. It’s just the same. People are the same, they were as excited about it, finally I feel that language is not a barrier and Raajneeti kind of proved it. I think if the emotion is right, people anywhere will enjoy it.
What are your expectations from your forthcoming film, which is a remake of Stepmom?
It’s a beautiful film, it’s a lovely story and fantastic actors and three lovely children. You should carry a lot of tissue paper because it’s going to make you cry. I think the film is going to be loved by the audience.
You have struggled to get where you are today, do you think that it is because of luck that you have achieved so much, how much do you believe in luck and how important is luck to you?
I do believe in luck, it is very important. I was at a discotheque when Rohit Bal first saw me and offered me my first modeling assignment, I think that was because of luck. If I would not have been there that day, then probably I would be a banker now instead of an actor. I was studying international banking at that time so I would have been a banker because I like to be where the money is!
There was a time when critics had written you off. How did you cope with it?
A lot of times people write stuff just for the heck of writing but if I would have taken everything to heart I would be in an asylum by now. You can’t take everything emotionally, there are certain things that you need to detach from and I can detach from certain things very easily. Yes at times, when people write things it’s good to reflect on it and maybe something good will come out of that or you should just let it go. It hurts you momentarily, I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt because we all are humans.
Your films as a single hero haven’t really done well so far. Do you see yourself doing a single hero film in the future?
We talk about taking cinema ahead, so I feel it’s more important to be part of cinema, if there is a single hero subject which is going to take it forward and be something beautiful, like a film which you’ve been part of with many actors, then I would do it. But if is something which is just again to try to become a solo hero type of person and manipulate something then I don’t think that works, you have to believe in a story to do it and I would only do something I believe in.
What is more important to you, money or success?
There is definitely credibility to your work, the rest all follows. If your work is not good and the money is good, you’ll spend the money but you’ll be stuck with bad work for the rest of your life.
Tell us a little more about your production company Chasing Ganesha.
I will be starting my production in December, with a feature film. My dream is to make a good children’s film for my kids.
What are your plans ahead?
I’ve had a grueling schedule since last year, with Housefull, Raajneeti, Stepmom remake, just finished Ra.One so now I need a break, a holiday with my family. I need to spend some good time with my family so I will be taking a break for a month and half and only after that I will decide what I have to do.