Rs 12 crore? Inshaallah, may be some day but not today,” retorts Arjun Rampal, reacting to rumours of his enhanced remuneration for Rangita Pritish Nandy’s as-yet-untitled thriller. He has also reportedly alienated good friend Shah Rukh Khan by signing the film. “Without speculation, there is no news. And when you dispute the news, you’re told it’s been confirmed by sources. What sources? Some cat or rat! How can you take cats and rats seriously?” asks Rampal.
Speculations are also rife that Rampal is out of Housefull 2 because he demanded a price hike and that Rampal has been replaced by the Dostana dude, John Abraham? “I just met Sajid Khan (director of Housefull) at the Zee Cine Awards in Singapore and he told me that he’d come to give me a script narration soon. If the script is not ready, how can actors be cast?” he argues hotly. “The sequel has plenty of characters and I could be one of them. Saying I’m out because of an unreasonable price demand is nothing but pure sensationalism… irresponsible journalism… and the publication in question has been served with a legal notice.”
More biting sarcasm spews forth when questioned about RA.One’s reported similarities with Robot and Toonpur Ka Superhero that has necessitated major reshooting for Shah Rukh Khan’s home production. “What rubbish!” he explodes. “There has been no reshooting.”
The film’s first look was unveiled recently. The focus is on Shah Rukh Khan alone. Isn’t Arjun peeved given that he’s RA.One, the bad man, while SRK is G.One, the ‘desi’ superman? “The reactions have been overwhelming and that’s encouraging because RA.One is an ambitious look-oriented film that aims to create memorable characters. Maybe they can help build a brand. Superheroes have sparked off successful franchises in the west,” he reasons. “Only my producer can tell you when my look will be unveiled. There’s still a long way to go before its release.”
The body suit he wears in the film resulted in an alarming weight loss. Has he put on some of those kilos that he didn’t need to lose? Patting his still washboard flat abs he grins, “I’m gaining a few pounds every day.”
The auctions for IPL Season 4 were held recently. Arjun and wife Mehr Jessia had organised a string of fashion shows and after parties following the matches everyday that drew sharp criticism for keeping the cricketers up late, as a result of which their on-field performance allegedly suffered. Will the evening’s entertainment continue this year too?
“The contract was only for a year. This season I have no idea who is heading the IPL. The parties sparked off two different thoughts. There was a section that believed the parties tired out the cricketers even though they had no contractual obligation to come for them. There were others who believed that this was just another form of entertainment,” he reasons. “Hey, even when we go on concert tours, after a good show, it is nice to party! Why can’t our cricketers do the same?”