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9 years of Rock On!!: The film instilled confidence in me, says Arjun Rampal

Actor Arjun Rampal goes down memory lane and shares how winning the National Award for his role in Rock On!!, nine years ago, was a pleasant surprise.

bollywood Updated: Aug 29, 2017 14:05 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Arjun Rampal,Rock On!!,Farhan Akhtar
Actor Arjun Rampal played the role of the lead guitarist in the 2008 film Rock On!!

With an ensemble cast and a storyline to intrigue fans till the very end, the 2008 rock musical drama Rock On!! was indeed one-of-its-kind. As the film completes nine years of its release today, actor Arjun Rampal recalls how it proved to be a turning point in his acting career.

“The film gave me confidence and instilled a lot of faith in me about my abilities. This conviction was later reflected in characters that I played in films that followed, such as Om Shanti Om (2007), Rajneeti (2010), D-Day (2013) and even Last Lear (2007) . When I look back at these films, I feel satisfied and complete,” says Arjun, who made memories and great friends while shooting them.

The actor, who bagged a National Award for his portrayal of the lead guitarist (Joe) in the film, says, “I could identify with that character and as an artist, I feel it’s one of the nicest ones that I’ve ever essayed.” However, Arjun is quick to add that winning the National Award was a “complete surprise” but a “pleasant one.”

Actors Arjun Rampal and Farhan Akhtar in a still from Rock On!! (2008).

“It was really strange. I was sitting on the terrace and sipping coffee, when I got a message from a friend saying, ‘Congrats, you have won national award.’ I replied, ‘Don’t be funny.’ He wrote back, ‘Idiot, you’ve won the award; it’s on TV.’ I still felt that he was goofing around. I put my TV on, saw my name on the ticker, and was like ‘Oh God’.

Joking that “such things are a bit dangerous also and not very good for your health”, Arjun adds, “The whole industry was in his house that evening to celebrate and the party went on for a full year.”

Ask him to share an anecdote from the shooting and he recollects how his director, Abhishek Kapoor, would always tell him to behave like a Bandra guy — keep moustache, wear Bermuda and T-shirt and have a guitar on his back. “So I would do these things and when Abhishek would come home, I would try to please him. One day he told me with a serious expression, ‘Yaar, you are too good looking to play Joe.’ I almost wrapped that guitar around his neck and told him to get lost.” Later, however, when the shooting started, after one of the scenes, Abhishek hugged him and said, ‘You are my Joe.’

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First Published: Aug 29, 2017 14:05 IST