EXCLUSIVE: In conversation with Ranveer Singh

Published: December 17, 2018
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PHOTO: FILMFARE

PHOTO: FILMFARE

DUBAI: He’s the man of all seasons; someone who does heartrending romance with as much panache as in intense and unrelenting villainous roles. Yet, there is a strange connect he has with his burgeoning fan following. Add that to a cheeky smile, an infectious personality and a refreshingly unabashed adoration for his lady love, and you’ve got Ranveer Singh – the superstar of today.

Anyone familiar with Bollywood knows that Singh is more than a force to be reckoned with. Currently at the very top of the hierarchy, this heartthrob is soon bringing all of his animal magnetism and more to theatres once again with the Rohit Shetty-helmed Simmba.

PHOTO: FILMFARE

PHOTO: FILMFARE

Of course, the masala entertainer seems right up Singh’s alley. For him, Simmba will be a breath of fresh air, seeing as how he has played serious roles back-to-back in Bajirao Mastani and more recently, Padmaavat. The actor has, time and again, mentioned how he was left emotionally drained by the last leg of Bajirao Mastani in particular. Does he have a role preference?

“There is comedy in Simmba and action on a spectacular level, but the emotionality in the film is not merely surface level,” Singh told The Express Tribune. “When the drama hits, things get very, very intense. Every flavour and ingredient is very well celebrated. I’ve tried to be honest in that emotionality. That leads to the scene becoming genuinely intense. When the film takes a hard turn in its narrative, the audience will feel that intensity as well.”

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

What has been the best part of working in a film like Simmba? “The fun part comes from the people you’re working with,” Singh responded. “They’re a real fun bunch! That light atmosphere makes it a pleasure to go in to work every day. I don’t want to be in my room; I’d rather be with them on the set and have the fun they’re having. On days that we’re not shooting, I get real FOMO. I go to the set even when I’m not required.”

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When it comes to Singh, this sounds about right. Just like him, Simmba is “unabashed in its intention to entertain.”  He said, “It has a wider scope of audience because it’s not trying to draw you in to someone else’s conflict or fears or internal emotionality. It’s just serving you. It’s doing all the work. It’s reaching out to you; like a thaali with a lot flavours. It’s a cinematic language which is audience friendly.”

PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

Nonetheless, the film is not a run-of-the-mill, leave-your-thoughts-at-home kind of comedy either. “Simmba has the potential to encompass every kind of person. People who regard themselves as exceedingly intellectual might say, ‘Hey, it’s not emotionally or mentally challenging’ but that’s a very small section,” Singh clarified. “I hope people will recognise some layers in my character Sangeram Bhalerao too. Simmba has got a very strong narrative at its core that drives the journey of the central character. We’ve tried our best to create a wholesome experience. Hopefully, people will see that.”

So does Singh think he had helped add layers to an evolving genre? “If I am entering Rohit’s world, I need to add a unique value to it. He’s a film-maker keen to improve. He’s trying to evolve and as a result his films are evolving,” responded the Dil Dhadakne Do star. “Rohit is the gold standard in the masala genre. I hope people who criticise films like Simmba will recognise there has been a marked evolution in them.”

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

As Simmba releases December 28, we will just have to see if his efforts to ring in a new age in Bollywood’s masala comedy genre have paid off. But as has always been the case with Singh, we’re sure it’ll be worth the wait.

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