Ranbir Kapoor, on a career high after the success of Rockstar, now has another much-hyped role to consider. The actor has been approached for the film version of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, 2 States.
"Yes, I have been approached for the film by producer Sajid Nadiadwala," confirms Ranbir, adding, "Of late, Rockstar’s promotions have kept me very busy, so I haven’t read the script yet. But in the coming month, I will hear it and take a final call." Interestingly though, Ranbir has already read the novel. "Yes, I really enjoyed it. To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed Chetan’s works," he says.
A few days ago, reports suggested that Ranbir wants his Rockstar director, Imtiaz Ali to step in as the director of the project. "Absolutely wrong reporting. All stories of Imtiaz directing it are false. I don’t think he is even aware of the book," he clarifies.
2 States, for the uninitiated, was earlier to be directed by Vishal Bhardwaj and star Shah Rukh Khan. Ask Ranbir if he is bothered about replacing a big star like SRK and he shoots back: "Absolutely not. Before Sajid came to me, he had already closed the chapter with Shah Rukh Khan."
Probe Ranbir further about why SRK opted out and he plays it safe, saying, "Honestly, I don’t know what transpired between them (makers and Shah Rukh). It’s not my concern or business to know that. But when the film came to me, no director or actor was involved."
Next, Ranbir is eagerly looking forward to good friend Ayan Mukerji’s upcoming film, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani (YJHD), which will commence in February. The Wake Up Sid (2009) director’s second venture also stars Ranbir’s ex-girlfriend, actor Deepika Padukone.
"It will hit the floors in February because Barfee was delayed a bit and I also took time off for Rockstar’s promotions. But I am looking forward to it because it’s a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge-meets-Hum Aapke Hai Kaun-meets-Wake Up Sid-meets-West Side Story," he says.
Furthermore, Ranbir is happy that YJHD will take him back to the youthful side. "It has a great vibe. I feel I have aged a bit with Rockstar and the experience of Jordan. So I hope to pull this role off with conviction and make it the love story of the generation," he says with a smile.
Excerpts from the interview:
Rockstar has hit the bull’s eye – commercially as well as critically. How does it feel?
It has released, but I still don’t think Janardhan Jakhar and the film have left me. It feels great that people are reciprocating to our work. Of course, there are mixed reviews — some didn’t like it, while others have watched it three to four times in the theatres. I have got an amazing response for my character as Janardhan/Jordan.
You performance has been greatly appreciated.
When I read such things, I feel good, but very temporarily. It leaves my system very soon because I know I am in the industry looking at the bigger picture and not for certain tags or expectations people have from me or my work. I am in films to act and do my work, and not to get corrupted by praise or criticism. So, my job is to act and I would rather be on a path to complete the journey I had set out for.
People feel Rockstar perches Brand Ranbir right on the top. Do you agree?
Not at all… I have had a certain degree of arrogance about my acting talent since my first film (Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya, 2007). I don’t take hits and flops very seriously. So, I have been given tags like the ‘next big thing’ and ‘youth icon’, but such things come and go. What stays is the work you put in.
You mentioned somewhere that you look at the three Khans — Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman — as competition.
Yes, everyone is competition because, after all, I am an actor. And I must strive to make my movies bigger and better than others. Else, how will I grow? If I only compete with my colleagues or contemporaries, my growth will be slow. If I want to be the best, I have to put them (three Khans) in front, because they are the best. They have been ruling the industry for 22 to 23 years. So, I have to strive to outdo them.
You know, this is just the beginning. Now, I am learning the nuances as to how an actor should approach a film and what the procedure or process should be. I have to really go miles. I am just four years old in the industry with merely eight films under my belt. There’s still a lot to achieve.
With the Kapoor tag and the good performances you’re delivering, do you feel the pressure for your next lot of films?
If there’s pressure, it’s a good thing, because I have to work and concentrate a lot harder. I should give audiences a movie that is worth their money; one that can engage and entertain them. And I feel I have always been responsible. I never take my work for granted and I don’t have a chip on my shoulder.
Your next, Ayan Mukerji’s Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani is going to go on the floors in February. How do you feel about working with Deepika again?
Honestly speaking, I am absolutely comfortable working with her. And I am sure she is equally excited to work in the film. And we are really looking forward to it.
I really want to direct a film, but it’s a very immature statement because I will only direct a film when I have something to say through it. It should be a story that comes from my heart. Right now, I don’t have any story. Though I am really looking for one. Hopefully, I will get it soon.
2 States: The Story of My Marriage is a 2009 novel written by Chetan Bhagat. It is the story of Krish, a Punjabi boy from Delhi and Ananya, a Tamil Brahmin from Chennai, who meet and fall in love at IIM Ahmedabad. The story is apparently based on Bhagat’s real-life love story with wife Anusha. It revolves around the couple struggling to convince their parents for marriage, and succeeding in doing so.