Even though he is recovering from a shoulder injury,
rarely has a low moment. As his role in his latest release Dil Dhadakne Do is appreciated by different quarters, we speak to the ebullient actor about his upcoming projects, his take on women-centric films, and more.
What is your opinion of the spate of women-centric films being made in Bollywood?
It’s not about gender. It has just so happened the such good films have happened to be women-centric. On the broader level, they are substantial stories, which have endearing characters, and superb performances. More than anything else, I would say that instead of women-centric films, it is the time for content-driven cinema, which is a great sign.
What did you think of Kangana Ranaut and Deepika Padukone’s performances in Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Piku, respectively?
I haven’t watched Tanu Weds Manu Returns yet, but I am dying to watch it. As for Deepika, I feel Piku is her career-best till date. And she has been doing some great work for the past two-three years. She has been delivering great performances one after the other. With Piku, she has shone brightly in the midst of stalwarts like Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan and Irrfan. I was moved by her performance in the film. I feel she deserves all the accolades she is getting.
Watch Piku review: Drama-less and endearing, Deepika-Amitabh starrer is a must watch Is it true that you were ready to work with Zoya Akhtar and Farhan Akhar (as directors) even without a script?
Some time ago, Ritesh (Sidhwani; producer) had asked me, "When will you work with our company?" I had told him, "The day Farhan or Zoya have a lead role for me, I won’t even ask for a script." I remember he called up when I was shooting for Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013) outside Udaipur, and after talking about the film for a bit, he said, "Now don’t ask for the script." When I met Zoya, and she started narrating the script to me, I was sold on the way she had set up the story and the characters in
Dil Dhadakne Do
You have done a string of solo-hero films. Were you wary of working in a multi-starrer?
Before signing the film, I had heard the script. So, how could I be wary of it? I am extremely secure of my abilities as an actor. I was actually excited to be part of an ensemble cast. You get to interact with so many different kinds of actors and energies. It’s always a learning experience. In fact, I always wanted to do an ensemble film.
The complete crew of Dil Dhadakne Do (Actors Anil Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Shefali Shah, Farhan Akhtar, Ranveer Singh; director Zoya Akhtar, musician Shankar Mahadevan and lyricist Javed Akhtar at a promotional event for the film.) You’re known to be hyper active. Was it difficult playing the role of a boy-next-door?
Yes, initially, I had to wrap my head around it. But I won’t say it was difficult, because I understand what ‘difficult’ is as I am tackling a film like Bajirao Mastani. The style of acting that works for a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film won’t work for Zoya. But I must admit that by the end of Zoya’s film, I was missing that dramatic style of acting (laughs).
Recently, an ad film that showed you fighting a rubber shark, led to a controversy as an objection was raised by PETA ( People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)...
I wanted to put a disclaimer, saying that during the shooting of this ad, kisi bhi jaanwar ko ‘peeta’ nahi gaya hai (no animal was harmed during the shooting of this ad). But that was not added for some reason.
Watch the ad VIDEO How is your shoulder now?
I was always ahead of the average recovery time because I was very fit when I got injured. That time, I was on the top of my physical game because I had to maintain that physique for the action scenes in Bajirao Mastani. But I maintained my fitness levels even after my injury. I have been doing Pilates for the past two months, and it has really helped me.
You hosted an awards show with Arjun Kapoor recently. What was it like?
I did it for fun. I really enjoy things like hosting
. Plus, I hadn’t worked with Arjun for a while (they starred in Gunday; 2014), so I was missing him. We thought of doing something together. It was great fun. We worked on the script, and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Read: PETA criticises Ranveer's shark ad Read: Why marriage is on Ranveer's mind Read: Ranveer, Arjun apologise for AIB Roast, make fun of Aamir Khan