From being a comic to a serious and then perennially angry actor, Ranvir Shorey has done it all in Bollywood.
He will now play a worried and complex father in director Suman Ganguly’s Blue Mountains, which is based on the life of a promising boy after he fails to win a reality show.
“Not only does it have a strong social theme, it also explores the family dynamics quite well. It’s a film that can bring a family together,” says Shorey.
“I hosted a season of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. I was a part of Khatron Ke Khiladi. Also, being in this business, I know what reality TV is about. Please remember it’s about entertainment at the end of the day,” he adds.
“People sometimes attach so many emotions with those shows that they lose track of the actual perspective.”
But, the 44-year-old doesn’t like that he has now been labelled as “serious” and says it’s not good to compartmentalise actors.
“The tags in this business don’t leave you ... When I was a VJ, they called me VJ-turned-actor, then I turned into a comedian, and now I am a serious actor. I like considering myself as someone in the film business.”
Shorey arrived in the Hindi film industry as Manisha Koirala’s friend in Ek Chhotisi Love Story (2002) but was noticed only after a few years when Khosla Ka Ghosla and Pyaar Ke Side Effects released in the same week.
“I always thank my stars for that one week in 2006 because it changed my life. A week apart, both were comedies, both indie films, and both had me playing comic roles but very different ones,” Shorey, who was born in Jalandhar, says.
Khosla Ka Ghosla also features in his top five list. “In no particular order, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Traffic Signal, Mithya, Singh is King and Titli,” he says.
Shorey doesn’t seem to be a fan of award shows either. “Award shows come with a price tag. You have to lobby and I don’t have the acumen for such stuff. Maybe that’s the reason I hardly have any award.”
“I don’t think I have shown good business acumen. I have full-fledged turkeys on my resume. I wasn’t hobnobbing or networking with people. I am not good at the ‘game’ thing. Those are the people who finally get ahead,” says a smiling Shorey as if he is viewing his life in retrospect.
His side in the nepotism debate is clear. “Of course, it exists. Don’t believe anybody who tells you otherwise.”
The issue of nepotism in Bollywood grabbed the spotlight after Kangana Ranaut accused Bollywood of practising nepotism on the talk show, Koffee with Karan. Kangana also called the host and filmmaker Karan Johar, “the flag-bearer of nepotism” in the industry.
A lot of celebrities, including Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, Anushka Sharma and Rajkummar Rao, voiced their opinion on the topic.
Johar wrote a blog post defending himself and saying he is not the only one to be blamed.
Blue Mountains releases on April 7.
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