Stepmothers are not always wicked: Arjun Rampal

Arjun Rampal, who plays a divorcee in We Are Family claims the film will break the image of the stepmom.

Ians August 30, 2010

MUMBAI: Arjun Rampal, who plays a divorcee with three children in his upcoming film We Are Family, claims the film will break the image of the stepmom who is more often than not portrayed in a negative light in Indian productions.

Rampal comes from a broken home and declares from experience, “It’s the children who suffer. You will see what happens to children and that’s the message we are going to give through the film.”

“The film breaks the mould of the stereotype that stepmoms are like wicked witches, (which is) the way it has been portrayed on the silver screen so far. The film is not about that; it’s about the crisis (of divorce) and how love prevails over everything and finally, that new relationships can be made and I think that’s the beauty of the film.”

Produced by Karan Johar and directed by Siddharth Malhotra, We Are Family is a Hindi adaptation of the 1998 Hollywood hit Stepmom and Kareena Kapoor and Kajol reprise the roles of Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon respectively.

Johar went through the right channels to get the rights to make the film in Hindi, “The stories need to be told. It’s better to take it and be noble enough to say this is what we are adapting from, rather than calling it an original idea,” said Rampal.

The actor said it was not easy to act in an adaptation. “I think an adaptation is tougher because once you do it, comparisons are immediately drawn,” said Rampal. “This is not an easy film to act in. Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon hd given very strong performances, but it’s wonderful to see how Kajol and Kareena bring their own to their characters. They bring a lot more of themselves and change it around so much that it makes it so watchable, enduring and beautiful,” he said.

The 37-year-old actor, who recently starred in the political thriller Raajneeti, maintains men too have some responsibility in women-centric films. “There are some responsibilities on men in women-centric films; I hope I have fulfilled them. (Laughs) In the original Stepmom, Ed Harris played the character I am playing here and I think it was an older character and the way it was written, it had some restrictions. (However) the way Siddharth has interpreted characters in his film is a new part of the film and that is something which I really enjoyed doing,” said Rampal.

The National Award-winning actor, who has two daughters, found it easy to play a dad of three children. “It was really easy to play a father because I am a father myself. Karan, on seeing the film, said my body language with the children was fabulous,” said Rampal who teamed up with child actors Aanchal Munjal, Nominath Ginsburg and Diya Sonecha.

“I have seen how Kajol is with her daughter Nysa, very hands-on, very protective, she takes care of her every need and she is like that in the film as well. Kareena has no children (and so) her awkwardness in creating a relationship with kids came out very naturally.”

The film is scheduled to be released on September 2 and is the first film of director Siddharth Malhotra. “Siddharth was fantastic. He brought in so much dignity. This film could be very melodramatic (but) he has given it a lot of realism,” concluded Rampal. ians

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2010.


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