Joined: 11 November 2009
The actor with the deep baritone. The one called the Amitabh Bachchan of the small screen and who pitched in one of the most commendable performances of this year in a surprising little film called Udaan. Naturally one is curious about Ronit Roy. He's been around for almost two decades and one is sure that he doesn't want to recall his debut movie Jaan Tere Naam or his subsequent film career which didn't really go anywhere. He however found his groove in television and says honestly, ''Once I aspired to be a superstar. I dreamt of being hounded for autographs. But today I'm happy just being an actor seeking to better my art.'' Profound words from someone who has seen the quintessential struggle.
Mention Udaan and the actor beams unabashedly. "Anurag Kashyap and I are friends and we also stay in the same building. He insisted that I do films as well. He said newcomer Vikramaditya Motwane was making a film titled Udaan and that I was being considered for it. I went for a narration for the role which Ram Kapoor played finally," he reveals. "After a few days, one morning my wife woke me up to tell me Anurag was waiting for me in the living room. With typical casualness he said I'd be playing the role of the boy's (Rajat Barmecha) autocratic father in the film. I'm a believer in destiny. In hindsight, it worked very well for me."
And that is how his part in Udaan came to be. The film has won rave reviews and is easily one of the best films this year. And Ronit played the part of the unflinchingly dictatorial dad with unerring conviction. Audiences hated the abusive father he played in the film. Also, his Bihari accent was bang on. He laughs, "We had a language instructor on the sets. I had to tone down the accent as my character is an urban, educated Bihari. So the twang was kept subtle." And he's all praise for his director. "It didn't take long to figure out that Vikramaditya is a genius. I went with his conviction. We developed a superb bond. We communicated even without words." But there were healthy arguments too. "Vikram and I kept arguing about the climax. Luckily, I don't have the concerns that a star like Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan would have. On TV too, I haven't played a single character that played to the gallery. My characters have been offbeat. I have fun experimenting with my looks. I don't need to prove a point to anyone."
On the personal side too he doesn't adhere to the code of socialising and partying. "I am a social outcast and now people have stopped calling me for their parties," says the actor who's perhaps only seen at mentor Ekta Kapoor's parties. He says, "I've been with Ekta Kapoor for a decade and very early I'd taken the decision never to let her down. She's made sure that I'm never unemployed. She's given me the characters I am loved for today. What I can give her is my loyalty as an actor."
Curiously though, post Udaan, his career in the Hindi film industry hasn't exactly taken flight. Rather he has some spectacular offers from Hollywood. There's a Hollywood bilingual he's considering apart from a project with good friend Anurag. The star of the small screen doesn't overrule the stress that's integral to the medium. "I shoot for 30 days a month. A bandh or a sudden cancellation brings a sense of euphoria. There are days you don't want to work or are running a fever. There are also times when you have failed to understand a scene and have gone overboard. But time being a constraint you have to let it pass," he informs adding, "If I didn't have kids, if it were just me and my wife then I'd have said, 'Forget everything, let's go and recharge'. But the responsibilities and the insecurities won't allow me to take a sabbatical. But honestly, life is much easier than what it used to be earlier." He explains, "When Udaan went to Cannes, UTV couldn't afford to fly my family, so I took them at my own expense. Thanks to television I could afford it. But yes, I'd like to spend more time with my children."
Unlike the strict patriarch in Udaan, he's an indulgent father in real life. "I'm spoiling my kids. They are too young to be taught any discipline. My daughter Aadore passed the 'terrible two' phase and has settled after turning five. My son Agastya is going through that phase now. I let them be. The scariest thing my daughter has told me is, 'Papa I want to have a talk with you'. And we do have our talks regularly," he laughs.
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