The best quality about Randeep Hooda
is that in the world of B'wood, where everyone wants to be a diplomat or politically correct, he speaks his heart all the time. He is honest, he is blatant and he is unapologetic about it. He speaks what he feels from the heart and that's about it.He is all pumped up for his upcoming release JohnDay co-starring Naseeruddin Shah
. Randeep Hooda
pours his heart out with the team of India Forums in an exclusive chat.
Tell us about your role in John Day...
I am playing the darkest character of my life in John Day. The film has Naseeruddin Shah
and I can talk about my character only in comparison to his character. His character is of a gentleman who is from a good family, he has a good house, a well to do job, believes in god and leads a good life with principles. On the other hand, my character is of a person who is an orphan, does not have a family. He has faced a lot situations in his life that is why he hates the world and he feels that the world hates him too. He enjoys hurting people and giving them pain because he thinks that even today he is taking revenge for whatever has happened in his life. So something happens where the paths of these 2 people cross in the film and then the line there is between good and bad vanishes. This is a crime thriller drama which unfolds in a who's done it and what happens format. Till the end you'll sit on the edge to know who this person is and how has this happened and that is the biggest strength of this film.
Why did you choose to play this character?
The characters that I get and the characters that I want to do, somewhere I find a middle ground and do a character. Naseer bhai had already said yes to the script and after reading the script quickly and with so much interest that i said yes immediately. I could see alot of possibilities in this character, I wanted to take the experience of such a person that my character is, take out some of my life experiences and put it in the character so that I am satisfied and for the people who like to watch my films get a different taste to witness this time.
When an actor does a dark character, he somewhere discovers himself too. So what is the dark side of Randeep?
I also have all those dark things inside me that everyone has. I am not a gentleman and somewhere I have the righteousness of an Arya- Samaji Jaat Boy. Sometimes I get angry also, sometimes I get drunk excessively as well, sometimes fights happen too and then apologies happen too. So everyone has these shades. I have never seen black or white in any character that I have done. My duty as an artist is to take all the good and bad of a human and sketch a character from scratch with the help of the script and the director. That is what I enjoy the most and that is the reason why I am an artist.
You worked with Naseeruddin Shah in Monsoon Wedding back in the day and both of you share a great rapport, personally and professionally. But when you work with such a brilliant actor, how do you prepare yourself for it?
I have been in that preparation for 12 years of my life. I met him, he was God with halo around his head. I couldn't even look at him. He struck up a conversation and became friends with me. That is the loving quality about him. I went to him for theatre, he was kind enough to take me on at a time when if you're half decent looking, theatre people will not accept you. He accepted me. He has been my director, my co-star, my guru. I have followed him everywhere, throughout the country, where I couldn't even afford to follow him. I borrowed money and followed him. Through his direction I have even taught at FTI. Our relationship has been like this for years now. It is complicated, it is full of love and affection. This film is an incident in this relationship. This film is not everything. We have been working together for a long time and just like that we have worked in the film. Like we concentrate on our particular roles in theatre and do it with sincerity, we have done the same thing here. He has never tried to direct me in this film.
What is the one thing that you have learnt from him and one thing that you have unlearned after working with Naseerudin Shah?
The thing I have learned is that there is no substitution for hard work. The thing that I unlearned was that playing yourself over a longer period of time will not enrich you or your life or your work. I used to plan for my career and one should not plan for their career too much, Naseer bhai has taught me that. I am a person who closes his eyes while he works. There is a proverb in Haryana and I very well believe in the saying that, "Andhe ki makkhi bhagwan udata hai". So we should have that faith and give God a chance to do what he feels is right for you. Universe is there to conspire.
Who was your inspiration for this character?
I got inspired by a child because children are the most cruel people in the world. They can embarrass you anywhere. " beta, aake khana khalo. Aapne hi toh bola moti aunty acha khana nahi banati, toh main nahi
khaunga". They can actually embarrass you in-front of anyone. I have even seen a child breaking a leg of an insect one by one and seeing him in pain and enjoying because they do not have any idea about the pain that the insect is facing at that moment. That is where I drew my inspiration for the cruelty of this character.
Is 'Bad' the new 'Good' right now?
There is no bad for me. Its a human being who makes certain choices on which society judges him but mostly it is his own conscience which is of utmost importance.
You have kissed a guy in this film again...
I have kissed a guy in an amorous way in Bombay Talkies but in this film I kiss him to suck his tongue out, bite him and chop it off. So there is a difference. I have never felt any apprehension doing any scene which is morally not justified or shamed upon by the society because it is my duty as an actor to portray all aspects of human beings. If any human being is capable of doing it then I should be able to do it as an actor otherwise there is no bloody reason for me to even call myself an actor.
You've always maintained that a goody too shoes character seem very boring to you and that us why you step on to grey characters. So will you always highlight the grey?
Even when I do a goody too shoes character, I find greyness in it. That is the only way I can get realism. There is no other way.
Have you changed over a period of time?
Oh! Most definitely. I am far more diplomatic now, cant you see (Laughs).
Will you still pursue theatre after being a successful Bollywood actor?
I am still doing theatre and I think I am the only actor of my age group or my success in movies who still pursues theatre not because he wants to get into movies, not because he wants to be notices but just for the love of it.
Oh yes! I feel great to be a part of the directorial debut if Sajid Nadiadwala
and to work with Salman bhai because genuinely I also feel that he is a very nice guy. Even Highway is coming with Imtiaz Ali
and Alia Bhatt
. It was great being a part of the team and I am really looking forward to seeing it.