It has been 24 years since Ronit Roy made his acting debut with the film, Jaan Tere Naam (1992). But rather than slowing down, or taking things easy, the actor is now taking on more and more work. Soon, Ronit will be seen in the second season of his hit TV courtroom drama, Adaalat.
He is also working on an American film, a Telugu movie, and a few Hindi films too. The 50-year-old says that the love he has for his work and his audience keeps him going.
As you complete 24 years in the industry, how do you look back at your journey?
I am not looking back, but looking ahead. I will celebrate when I complete 50 years in the industry.
What is the secret to lasting this long in the industry?
I don’t know if there is any secret. When you do good work, you get noticed. People have loved my roles in films and on TV, and I have been awarded for them. That inspires me. I enjoy working, and it will be a long time before I get bored of it. I will always find something different and new to do; something that keeps me up and alive. In India, there is so much diversity, and one can play a variety of characters. There are some really good scripts, including biopics, which are being made now.
Earlier, you missed out on American projects like Homeland (TV show) and Zero Dark Thirty (ZDT; 2012). Now, you have signed an Indo-American film. Is Hollywood an avenue that you are keen on pursuing now?Now, I am. I really regret not being able to do Homeland and ZDT. I would have loved to work with Kathryn Bigelow (American film-maker). It would have helped me grow as an actor. But I don’t live with regrets. I was busy with other commitments [when I was approached for ZDT], and the dates didn’t work out. I am in talks for a few projects in the west. So, I guess there might be a line-up next year. The new film that I have signed isn’t a crossover project, but it’s being produced by a Hollywood studio. It is also being directed by an American of Indian descent. There are American, British and Indian actors in the movie, and the story is set in Delhi. I am stepping out of my boundaries now. I am even playing a villain in a Telugu film. I am doing everything at the same time.
Watch Ronit Roy in a romantic song from Jaan Tere Naam (1992)
After playing negative characters in Udaan (2010) and Guddu Rangeela (2015), your fans seem to have accepted you as Bollywood’s new baddie. What do you think of the tag?
(Laughs) As long as people love me, I don’t mind what they call me. Actors work for the love they get from their audience. Also, I endeavour to do as many roles as possible. Playing a negative role is fun too. These roles might seem easy, but they are not. One has to learn different languages, work on each character, and keep adapting to each one.
You will soon be back on the small screen with the second season of your courtroom drama. Usually, Indian TV shows don’t follow the western concept of seasons, but your show does…
It will be exciting to reprise the role. We are trying to make the show bigger and better. After doing season one, which had 500 episodes, we learnt a lot. We will have some bigger faces on the show now, as opposed to the newbies that audiences saw earlier. My fans have been asking me to bring the show back for quite some time now.
After your last daily soap, Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar, ended in November last year, you took a long break. What kept you busy?
I travelled a lot, as I wasn’t working. While that felt good, it proved to be expensive; I spent a lot of money (laughs). When you aren’t working, the money stops flowing in, but the expenses don’t reduce. At that point, you realise what an expensive life you have been living. Jokes apart, I enjoyed this free time, and I did things that I didn’t get time for earlier. I went to meet my daughter, Ona, in the US, and I had a good time with her. I took my kids on a vacation too, and spent time with my family. I also looked into my other business (he owns a security agency), which I didn’t have much time for earlier.
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