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I feel much more confident: Arjun Rampal

He has just completed Rock On and goes on to EMI, Fox and more. Arjun Rampal in a tick-talk mood with Ashok Rai.
Hindustan Times | By Ashok Rai, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2008 12:31 PM IST

From Bandra to Manhattan, it's just another day's trip for the classically good looking actor who’s scalding hot property after his suavely diabolical performance in Om Shanti Om. He has just completed Rock On.. and goes on to EM I, Fox and more.

In between shoots, he can be in London..New York.. anywhere.

Arjun Rampal in a tick-talk mood with Ashok Rai

Just tell me where do you see yourself this year?
You want to talk formally, like straight questions, straight answers?

Yes yes yes yes.
Awright, bro. I'm at peace.. I'm a father of two lovely daughters. I count my blessings every day, I knew I'd get here and know where to go from here.. to different levels. I have a few business ideas.

Ideas like?
I'm not telling. (Noticing my Gulshan Groverish frown) Ideas about a fashion line maybe, film production maybe, real estate, a restaurant-turned-into-a-lounge. I can dream of such ideas because my career and family lives are stable, touchwood.

Didn't your acting career almost derail at one point?
Sure, which actor's doesn't? I felt as if I was being slapped on the face, that was my reality check. Before and after a film's release, I'd get hysterical inside, but would hide this from my family. I was on the brink, I didn't know where life was leading me.

But you'd been through hard times before.
My nightmare days were in London where I was chasing a modelling career. Nothing happened. I went off to Amsterdam, I was sitting on some steps before the statue of some very important person, it was covered with bird droppings.

And I noticed a sign under the statue, saying, "Some days, you're the statue. Some days, you're shit. So never lose hope." I didn't. Bravo.

Who has been your cementing force?
The women in my life.

Aha, tell me who?
My mum (Gwen) and (my wife) Mehr have held me together. Mum teaches English literature, she's in Deolali. When I was wild and crazy, she gave me a book to read, it was called A Boy Grows Up. We're two brothers and a sister, she has meant the world to us. And Mehr is more mature than I am.. mentally, she's very grounded and unaffected.

Weren't you engaged, at one point, to be married to a high society woman's daughter?
Dude, don't say such things. Yes or no? And I was going to share the wine from Valda's shop with you. Now I won't. Yes or no?

You're talking like a lawyer.
Yeah, sure I was engaged to be married.. to Kate Moss.. hahaha. Got you!

How many times have you fallen in love?
Love happens once in a lifetime and I'm in love with my wife. Okay? (Switching on rap music on an iPod linked to speakers) I don't ever wear my heart on my sleeve, I'm not one of those who kiss and tell.

Theek hai, you wear Prada, Armani and CK. Aren't you a bit too excessively fashion conscious?
Why should I deny myself the good things in life? I'm always told that my looks are my fortune. But looks aren't everything, it's important to carry yourself sharply.. and if I may say so, have a mind of your own.

Have you been through the entire gamut of partying and drugs?

(Raising the rap volume) I've had my days of heavy duty partying but as far as drugs and stuff go, I haven't gone the whole nine yards. Drugs kill. Shall we open the wine?

Later. It's been years.. but do you still kick yourself for backing out of Rang De Basanti?
No. Things went wrong. And please. Aamir (Khan) had nothing to do with it. I just felt that the director (Rakeysh Mehra) was weakening as our discussions progressed.. or regressed. I was to do Lakshya too with Farhan Akhtar but the dates clashed with Asambhav.

Okay, tell me, didn't you have any hesitations before taking on the role of a baddy in Om Shanti Om?
Initially, I did.. particularly because of the older part in the film's second-half. I thought it would require too much make-up, that sort of a thing. But after I did a look test and Farah (Khan) spoke to me about the graph of the role, I was at ease.

And whose compliment do you cherish most for the OSO performance?
Sorry, not yours. It was Mr Amitabh Bachchan's.. after its trial show, he hugged me and said, "I'm so proud of you.. your life will change now."

Has it?
Of course, I have more credilibity as an actor. I feel much more confident, all there.

What have you been shooting for then?
I just completed Rock On, then there's EMI, King Lear should be out in June, and I'm doing Fox.. it's with Sunny Deol.. directed by Depak Tijori.

What oh-oh. I also intend to start projects for my home production company. Enough, enough.

Tell me the gory details of your private life.
Not possible. It's private.. that's why it's called private.

Don't you want to know about other stars' private lives?
No I don't get my socks off by reading gossip.

Meaning, you're a saint?
I thought you knew that already.. ha ha ha ha ha.. some wine?

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