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Arjun in the hot seat

Model-turned-actor Arjun Rampal reveals little-known facts about his life in an interview to GQ’s August issue. An excerpt:

entertainment Updated: Aug 04, 2009 12:33 IST

The night before he first met his wife Mehr Jesia, he met with a car accident in Delhi — his car swerved and a cow landed on the bonnet of his Maruti 800. “I just remember thinking that I was gone, and I had this cow on my lap and I was trying to push it out with one hand, and the only thing that I could think at that point of time was ‘Please don’t shit on me’.”

I was really scared before Om Shanti Om.

My biggest fears were (a) to be quite honest, that I won’t be able to show this to my children, (b) I can’t relate to this character, so how will I make it real, and (c) whenever I’ve seen anybody play a part from the age of 30 to 65, they’ve ended up looking very creature-ish — you’ve got this white hair and these white eyebrows and it always look really fake.

The only guy who I was completely rattled by was Mr Bachchan in Aankhen. Luckily, I was blind in it, and I had to wear shades and not look at him. On a later film, Ek Ajnabi, I have this cigarette in my mouth, and very coolly I have to walk up to him and look into his eyes and say, ‘What’s up’. So I walk up to him — because he’s not in the frame till then — and by the time I reach him and look him in the eyes, I forget my lines.

My grandmother was Dutch, and we grew up in this multi-cultural kind of environment where we celebrated Christmas, Diwali, Eid, where I sat in people’s homes and ate out of one big plate. I must be one of the few people who have gone into the Agyari pretending to be a Parsi.

I never tell Mehr what films I’m doing because she’s very honest with her opinion, and when she gives it, I know exactly how good or bad the film is — she’s very straightforward, which is fun, but also sometimes embarrassing.

I wouldn’t wish anything to change in my life. Some things are predestined, but you make your own destiny — there are certain things I needed to experience…I never calculated anything because I didn’t really know what I really wanted to do. But if I knew I wanted to be an actor, most probably I never would have become a model. [But] I want to be known for my acting… I don’t want to be known for my looks.