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Jack of all trades

From model to actor and now restaurateur, Arjun Rampal is buzzing with plans. Roshmila Bhattacharya tells more.

entertainment Updated: Sep 19, 2009 21:01 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

From model to actor and now restaurateur, Arjun Rampal is buzzing with plans.

You walked the ramp with your wife Mehr Jessia recently. Are you returning to your roots?
(Laughs) No, my ramp days are over. This was a charity event for a friend.

Are you planning to return to TV after Nach Baliye 4?
Not right away. I’m working on three films that are taking up a lot of my time and energy.

But isn’t Houseful a multi-starrer?
Yeah, it brought me back with Akshay (Kumar) after Aankhen, Deepika (Padukone) after Om Shanti Om and Boman (Irani) after I See You and Don. It will be a very visible film next year.

Rajneeti also has several big names...
It does. But Prakash Jha came to me with it five years ago. I loved it but he disappeared after that. A year ago, he called to say that he wanted to speak to me about the same film. Apparently, he had decided to plunge into politics to understand what happens behind closed doors. The second time round, the script was more detailed with references from the Mahabharat and tributes to the films he’s liked down the decade. My character has evolved, too. We should wrap up the film by October.

Stepmom also revolves around the two actresses, Kajol and Kareena Kapoor. Did you accept the film only because Karan Johar is a good friend?
First, it’s not going to be called Stepmom, we’re still struggling to find an apt title. Second, it’s a fantastic script and I have plenty
to do.

What’s the update on Kunal?
It’ll happen but only next year.

Farhan Akhtar is busy with the pre-production of Don 2. Are you in it?
Yeah, I’ll be returning as JJ. There are talks of a Rock On!! sequel, too. I hope it happens but the script will have to be fantastic.

Don’t you think films like Fox can hamper your career?
You can’t please everyone every time. Though there’s nothing sweeter than success, some films work, others don’t. Mukesh Mehra
proved that I could play a bad guy convincingly.

What about production? After I See You, you haven’t announced another film...
We’ve locked the script and are working on the logistics now. The next production should start soon, with me as part of the cast.

Now that LAP, your fine dining restaurant-cum-lounge bar, has been launched in Delhi, are there plans of opening a branch in Mumbai, too?
Yeah, there should be a LAP in the city by the end of next year.

We are planning to branch out in other countries, too. There have been offers from Bahrain and Dubai.