Arjun Rampal, who garnered critical acclaim for his performances in films such as Rock On!! (2008) and Raajneeti (2010), is now back with a slew of sequels, one of which is slated for release next year. In one of his upcoming projects, which also stars Vidya Balan, Arjun will be seen playing a police inspector. Here, he speaks about being calculative in his career, and living up to the audience’s expectations.
People have higher expectations from a sequel. Does that put pressure on actors?
There is pressure because comparisons are drawn. There are going to be expectations, but that’s good, as it allows you to raise your game. It allows you to be cautious and not be laid-back or complacent in anyway. But that advantage could also become a complete disadvantage. So, you make sure that you work doubly hard on the sequel. The two films are not competing with each other, even though, in a way, they are. So, they become two separate films. But, at the same time, they are also part of a franchise.
Are you calculative about your career moves?
It’s fair to say that I am. You need to calculate. You need to get into everything (all kinds of projects) with your eyes wide open, and understand everything about a film before you sign it.
But that only comes with experience…
Yes, with becoming comfortable in life. There are times when you have to put yourself out there to work. I think that is the toughest part for an actor. When you are doing the job because you need to run your home or to make sure that your children are getting educated. But once you cross a certain stage, then you are at a position where you have more choices and opportunities. You should be honest with yourself while making those choices. Then everything falls into place.
You share the frame with Vidya Balan in Kahaani 2. Since it is a woman-centric project, does the screen time matter to you?
It matters when you are doing a film, which is not content-driven and more of a potboiler. That’s when these things become important. But when it is a content-driven film, you know that each character is a part of the puzzle. Each character has to be on top of his or her game to make sure that they fit in correctly. Then it is very exciting and it doesn’t matter. All the films and subjects that I choose, at least, are content-driven.