Ranveer Singh on his films, wife Deepika Padukone and the role she played in shaping his career.
It’s been a year of many highs for Ranveer Singh. From getting critical acclaim for his role as Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat to getting hitched to Deepika Padukone in a fairytale wedding in Italy. The actor is looking forward to his next release Gully Boy that has been selected for the Berlin International Film Festival. In a freewheeling chat, actor talks about his films, wife Deepika Padukone and why he feels responsible for those who have invested in him.
You won the best actor award recently. Were you prepared?
You never know whether or not you will get an award. Since I am superstitious, I never prepare any speech. So I was not ready with what I wanted to say. But long ago, I had the vision that one day, my wife would be sitting next to me while I get the award and I will give her a kiss. In the vision, my wife was always Deepika and this truly happened that day. I gave her a kiss and said something to her.
Earlier, whenever the media quizzed you about your relationship with Deepika, you refused to respond?
I have been a professional actor for eight years, and for six of these, I have been dating her. I didn’t talk about it because it takes away from your professional endeavour. It was important to keep the focus on our work. She has a lot to do with what I have achieved in six years. She kept me grounded. At that point, she had Cocktail and Race while I had not yet done Lootera. She has seen me grow, and I have seen her grow. I owe a large part of my achievements to her. From her, I learnt about professionalism, time management and, above all, discipline. I have to thank her for all that. She was emotional too because she has seen me struggle and that part was not easy to play. She had witnessed my struggle with the character. I am overwhelmed.
How is your newly married life?
She calls me and asks me what time are you coming home? And what will you eat? I would recommend marriage to all youngsters.
When you look back at this year, what do you see?
I started the year with Padmaavat and this was the turning point in my career. The critical acclaim it has received is overwhelming. It has also turned out to be a huge commercial success, having made more than `300 crore. This film is definitely a turning point as my gamble paid off. Playing a dark, negative character and coming out like that feels great. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff. Creatively, I had an amazing and enriching experience with Gully Boy, my first movie with Alia (Bhatt) and second with Director Zoya Akhtar. This has been a refreshing and a welcome change.
Do you now feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility?
I feel responsible towards the people who have invested in me one way or the other – monetarily, emotionally or otherwise. My fans shower so much love on me that it becomes my responsibility to make them proud. I am somebody who is very much connected to them on social media. I know the names of all my diehard fans, their accounts, see what they are doing in life. I can feel that they have invested in me. They don’t know me personally, but through my work, have an emotional connect with me and go out of their way to support and wish me well. My parents already are proud of me. Now I have a wife and hope that she and my in-laws are proud of me. I want to make my team proud of me as their livelihood is completely connected with mine. When I get the best actor award, can you imagine the motivation they feel? My producers are always assured that I will definitely give my best and there’s no doubt about it. Earlier I would not consider all this. Now it’s my endeavor to do well and make them proud.
You have given the best films with Deepika, but post marriage, many couples choose not to work together…
I love her as an actor. She is a generous co-actor and I would not give any weight to what happened in the past. It is irrelevant, we are different actors, different together and we have an amazing equation. It’s the material that will decide that. We have so many fans that love our jodi, and together we want to give the best for them. We feel responsible for our audience as well.
Tell us about your latest projects?
Simmba is a hot, masala film and the song Aankh Maare has become a rage. Things are looking up and my upcoming slate is also good. I will start training for Kapil Dev biopic soon. That’s an extraordinary story about the glorious chapters of our nation’s sporting history. Kabir Sir and I have been given the responsibility of capturing it on celluloid. My next film Gully Boy has been selected for the Berlin World Premiere. I saw the teaser recently. This film is on another level and I have never seen anything like this before. Had I seen any other actor in this role, I would have been burnt to ashes. I am in love with the film. It’s a blessed time for me. I hope I enjoy more in life now.