Joined: 01 September 2010
Talented heartthrob Ranveer Singh is making news again. The hunk is all set to enchant movie buffs in his latest flick opposite Anushka Sharma, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. During last week's Aapka Farmaan episode, Ranveer made an appearance in Bigg Boss season 5 to promote his film. In an interview Ranveer shares his experience while shooting for the movie and more. Excerpts:
From the successful Band Baaja Baaraat to Ladies vs Ricky Bahl… how has your success journey been?
Band Baaja Baaraat release hui and jo bhi hua overnight ho gaya, matlab within a week there was such a tremendous change from what I was on Thursday aur agle Thursday life kuch aur hi thi. Papers and news channels pe charcha ho rahi thi Band Baaja Baaraat itni achi film hai - ek naya ladka aaya hai, suddenly I was in the limelight and suddenly life went from zero to 100. Itni tez gatee hogayi thi, everything was happening so fast. Fortunately then Mr. Aditya Chopra came to me and he said "Dekho yeh script hai Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, see if you like it." Toh maine suni and it was most exciting for me as an actor. I could not ask for a more ideal second film. Pehli film mein you were playing a specific character Delhi ka launda Bittoo Sharma. Here I had in this script scope to play such different characters. Ek Delhi ka launda hai, ek art curator hai Mumbai ka, ek Lucknow ka bada sharif cloth merchant - adabwalla sharif banda and then of course a classy banda. Toh yeh character was MOST interesting and I had started salivating at the thought of developing this character. What a cool character to play! A guy who cons women for a living and takes on these various avatars and has fun doing it and gets a kick and a thrill out of it! Along with my kick and thrill, was an opportunity as an actor, to be developing these various characters and playing them - so it was like as if I could not ask for more meat in a second script!
How did you prepare to enact so many different characters?
I started off on a page very different from what Maneesh Sir had envisioned. Maine socha yaar main na extreme characterization karunga ke the Delhi guy will be so starkly different from the Mumbai guy who will be so starkly different from from the Lucknow guy and he from the other, matlab jab aap screen par dekho toh aise lage koi aur hi aa gaya hai lekin Maneesh sir ne mujhe samjhaaya ki bhaiya aisa nahin hai ultimately tu ek hi banda hai Ricky Bahl jo yeh sab kar raha hai toh why would realistically a guy like Ricky Bahl go to that extreme length of characterization. Understand that it's the same guy so there has to be a difference but ek common thread hai so you know that it's the same guy who is conning them. It cannot be so stark because it also makes it caricaturist and unrealistic. So very quickly I had to get on Maneesh Sir's page and build the characters, start with Ricky Bahl and how Ricky Bahl would take on this avatar and not treat them as separate entities. I had a starting point - a base that is Ricky Bahl. I would think ab Ricky Dilli mein kisiko ko con kar raha hai toh woh kaise karega, kaise baat karega, kya pehenega kya bolega, kaise chalega. Agar wohi aadmi Bambai gaya hai Dilli ke baad kisi ko con karne toh who kya pehenega, toh woh kya karega, Ricky kya karega. Understand that Sunny, Dev Iqbal are not different people , they are the same guy so you must maintain a common thread which is why you should not go into that extreme characterization. Toh that is what Maneesh Sir explained to me and that was my starting point in developing this character.
Did you go through a process of readings and workshops?
Working with Atul Mongia (Acting Workshop Director) was an absolute pleasure. He has such an insight into human beings. He is so fantastic with actors. The exercises that he taught me… I've had some training in acting but he taught me certain exercises which helped me so much. He helped me a tremendous amount in developing each character. It's not easy. Ab aap 10 din ek character karo, fir 10 din ek aur character karo, fir 10 din ek aur character karo and bearing in mind that they are all the same guy and he's donning these various avatars. Toh it was a very fine thing to do, it was a very fine thing we were trying to achieve and working with him and the co-actors helped me a lot. Now when I was doing the workshop with Parineeti then there were different things to feed off of Parineeti's energy to become Sunny. There were different things I fed off from Dipannita's energy to become Dev. There were different things when I was working with Aditi. You know you also somewhere take your cues from your co-actor and it was the same working with Anushka as well. It was the first time I had done an acting workshop so intensely for a film. In Band Baaja Baaraat I was very much developing Bittoo on my own but in Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, a lot of the preparation was with the co-actor which helped a lot. Sometimes I would come to the table with certain things which Atul Mongia would scrap entirely you know. He would say no, this doesn't work at all and then we try something completely new and we had such a great time you know developing these characters. My tendency was to always go over and Atul Sir had to you know kind of calm me down and say you don't have to go into such extremes of characterization. Toh main zaraa extreme's mein chale jaata tha, aur fir Maneesh Sir aur Atul Sir mujhe thoda control karke ek common thread lagate the us mein. Toh that's essentially how this character got developed.
How was it working with Ricky Bahl's 3 Ladies?
First of all there is Parineeti… it is her first film. I had done my first film not so long ago and I know by default the amount of energy and passion that you approach your first character with. So she was as a person also so bubbly, so vivacious and so high on energy that it is infectious. Toh woh jab workshops mein aati thi matlab it was just explosive "Phak, Phak, Phak" all the time! She's just got so much energy in her that you kind of get infected with it and she was so good just as her character. I think all the 3 ladies plus Anushka - they are all so great and distinct in their characters that it helped me. You know I take a cue from all of them. I latch onto Parineeti's energy and make something out of that, that's distinct from the dynamics that I share with Dipannita and that is distinctly different from the rapport that I share with Aditi. Dipannita - her character is very stern and very stoic. So after having done the workshop with Parineeti it was a very drastic change to be doing it with Dipannita. Here you have this loud, animated, bubbly, vivacious Parineeti and then suddenly you're thrust into a workshop and you are with somebody so cool, so calm, so collected, so stoic, so stern. So it was great and it was a very fun exercise as an actor to be doing such different things at the same time you know. Then of course to change that completely and to have a very sweet exchange and interaction with Aditi - a lot of sharafat, a lot of adab because she plays a small town girl and I had to be that small town guy with her and for her. So it was the most exciting exercise as an actor. The workshop was one of the most fun parts of this whole process.
How was it working with director Maneesh Sharma in Band Baaja Baaraat vs Maneesh in Ladies vs Ricky Bahl?
Band Baaja Baarat was Maneesh's baby. He knew it like at the back of his hand. Ladies vs Ricky Bahl he was exploring a territory, a story that he had not developed. The screenplay was Devikaji's. Habib Sir has written the dialogues. So here he was directing material that had not germinated from him. So to see him also exploring the possibilities of characters, of storytelling styles - all this was like pulling Maneesh Sharma out of his comfort zone and making him tell a story that is so different - so it was exciting to see him function. You know to see what his take on the story is. Also one thing I learned about Maneesh Sir is that he's so good with India. His films are such a great and accurate reflection of the country. You get such a true flavor of India whenever he makes a film. It was the same case in the Delhiness of Band Baaja Baaraat. In Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, when he directed the Delhi portion - of course that's home territory for him, but he was absolutely immaculate with that and then he came to Mumbai to tell the story and he has got that corporate glass shielded world of Mumbai so bang on and then to see him in Lucknow. He is such a rooted director and he knows the country and the culture so well. That comes through so beautifully in his films - that was something that was very, very exciting to see. So what sets him apart is how particular he is about the authenticity of Delhi. That Delhi should have that authentic Delhiness and Mumbai should have that authentic Mumbainess and it should be distinct from Lucknow. The flavors and the indigenous cultural nuances should be bang on and he is very particular and he'll bring it out in characterization, he'll bring it out in dialogues - he'll make sure it's there in the dialogues and will make sure it's incorporated in the shooting style. He'll make sure that it is considered when formulating the dialogues, when formulating the characters and the look of the characters, the spaces in which the story will be shot - he is very particular that the authenticity of the milieu stays true to the space of the story.
How was it working with your co actor Anushka Sharma in Band Baaja Baaraat vs in Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl?
Maneesh Sir says this very funny thing. He says "If you and Anushka have to simply stand in a frame right next to each other, there will be chemistry." I don't know what it is with Anushka and I hope I never find out because it is working. She is just a fabulous, fabulous actor. What I love and admire most about Anushka is that she is an actor who is not trained and what that does is she is not tarnished by somebody else's idea of what acting should be you know. Her approach is entirely natural and original. She is very spontaneous and I think when she is in the scene it just enhances your performance to be acting with her. There are so many things she taught me during the filming of Band Baaja Baaraat and during the filming of Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. Cardinal things like "Ranveer you must in this scene look deep into my eyes and then see what kind of magic comes out." She is just so professional you know it is admirable. I learnt a lot from her and whenever I act with her it just makes my performance amazing. I don't know what is it between her and me that generates such movie magic type of chemistry but I'm happy and I'm very lucky I've found someone like her to work with in my first two films. She is just absolutely fabulous!
Tell me something about the video Aadat se Majboor?
Aadat se Majboor is a song where Ricky is singing about Ricky. It is Ricky's introduction song where you get to see, what is this guy all about and what does he do. It's a song in which we are establishing and setting up this guy - this con artist who cons girls for a living, who's suave, who changes colors like a chameleon and who is so adept at doing it. He's the best con artist around and he's smooth as silk and what was most exciting about this is when I went on a talk show and there was this section in the talk show where they ask you to display one of your hidden talents - so what I thought was I'll write some rhymes and then I'll rap it out on some music and Maneesh Sir saw that and he was like that was very good and why don't you write something about Ricky Bahl. So at about 2 am I got this message, you write a rap about the film and show it to me. At about 3 in the afternoon the next day I came to the office and I rapped it out for him and he was clapping and he was most happy about it. He was like we must put this in the film. I made Adi Sir hear it too and they decided I would rap in Ricky Bahl's intro song. What I love about it is the phrase "aadat se majboor". It is a thought that came to Mr. Amitabh Bhattacharya and it is just a brilliant thought for a con artist who is telling the ladies "kya karoon oh ladies main hoon aadat se majboor" matlab, main kya karoon - this is what I do, I don't know anything better and this is all I know and this is what I'm going to do, main kya karoon main hoon aadat se majboor. So he is a player, and he is a con artist. Salim Suleiman gave this theme to Ricky Bahl (sings the theme). Which is the driving force behind the melody in this song and the words and the lyrics are absolutely kickass. Whatever Amitabh has written its just amazing "har ek haseena ke bank account ke debit mein dikhna hai mujhe" just lines like this which are so cool and then of course, I also wrote a rap. The shooting of Aadat se Majboor, which was just absolutely fantastically shot by Vaibhavi Ma'am - to shoot a montage like that, these different spaces and different characters and thread it all together to make this kick-ass music video. My most memorable experience was being in the studio with Salim Sir and Benny Dayal who is just so talented you know. First when I went into the studio I was just watching Benny at work, you know to see him singing - and just to watch him. I was just sitting there and just watching him. He is so amazing at what he does. To see the collaboration between him and Salim Sir - they were just going back and forth "aisa kar, aisa kar" and there were times when Salim Sir would leave Benny loose and Benny would just go for it and he was like "I like that… I like that… I'm gonna keep that". It was such an exciting creative process to see two such beautifully talented and creative people working in collaboration and in sync with each other like that. It is just something to observe. I was really privileged to be in the studio at the time that it was happening. It just so happened at that time I was called to do my rap as well and I went in and I started rapping and it was sounding kind of monotonous so Benny stayed back after he had finished his bit to give me suggestions. "Try it like this, that part you can do this" and Salim Sir was giving me suggestions like "Ya… you can just do that part, ya take it like that… that's the right pitch ... ya ya go for it with this, you're flowing" so it was my first time in a recording studio and it was so exciting. And I was just there and I was going for it and before we started Benny was there, Salim Sir was there and I was there and we all 3 got on the mike and we were singing. We had done Tarkeebein from BBB together for which Salim Sir had given the music. Benny sang my first song on-screen so we were all just there to get it going - we all went into the studio, put our head phones on and sang Tarkeebein and it was great fun because there are parts of Tarkeebein which Salim Sir actually sang - it was one of the most fun things I've ever done. I had never thought that so soon I would be doing something like this…like you know rapping in a song from the film. It feels good when I see the music cd and it says rap by Ranveer Singh - I'm like kamal hogaya! So it was fun. In Aadat se Majboor, there's this one part where I say chameleon. I was doing kameeeleeon and then Benny was like 'break it and take it like that" so I was like kame-eee-leyan and he was like "ya ya that's, that" So it was just the most... I felt ALIVE in that studio and it is all thanks to Benny and Salim Sir as they were so supportive and so encouraging. I could see my shortcomings, you know I'm not a recording artist but they pushed me and they really got the best work out of me. Of course I had written the lyrics and they were all about Ricky - all the things after having lived with the story and it was all about what I feel about Ricky. It was a lot of fun. And there were other parts that didn't make it (starts rapping) -
Tall dark handsome charming funny
Kabhi Dev, Iqbal toh kabhi Sunny
Sorry Girlfriend tu toh bani dummy
Tu fisli but I was only after your money.
Then there was another part that didn't make it -
Number 29 was my baby girl Dimple
Yaar tere papa ko banana was so simple
Tez aayi meri Mumbai waali Raina
Yaad rakh main hoon Ricky jo kabhi haath aaye na
Saira ka toh mushkil kardiya maine jeena
Not a nice guy because I'm a bloody kameena!
Tell me something about the dance-a-thon song, 'Fatal Attraction'?
Firstly the track itself we knew always that it will be an instrumental piece and fatal attraction it appears at a very, very crucial point in the story, it's not like an item that it comes out of nowhere it's a very integral part of the narrative at the point at which it does appear in the film. So… firstly the track itself. It was an instrumental piece and you don't have too many of those nowadays… so when the track came to me, I'm not allowed to do this but I did, make two of my very closest friend's hear it and they started off like this, they were listening to it in my car, they started off like this (hymns the tune and does a hand action ) and when it hits they were like "Aaahh.. Yeah" I am, myself heavily into electronic music, so are my friends and they were like "This track, this track is the bomb". Honestly I do think musically it is one of the most superior tracks of the album… it's just… it's got this amazing energy to it. It's like almost deep house-ish… and it's a party song you know. Ishika and me are going to a rave and this is the song that's playing in that rave. Umm a bit psychedelic and the shooting of it was the most amazing part. So we had the track and very excited to be shooting this, very curious to see how this will be shot. So we arrived on the set and I was absolutely blown away. What had T.P. Abid (the set director) made! What was that set! It was just psychedelic madness. Neon colors, psychedelic structures, there were… trees, stages, canvases and everything had been splattered with you know Psychedelic imagery, the lighting that was added to it, it just created this… an atmosphere and I was telling the art directors that I would love to go to a party like this in real life, you know, with this type of decor. How amazing would it be. Neon orange, neon pink neon green under the UV lights and all these lights that had… that were moving and it created so much energy on the set. The dancers, we had this section where the winners of India's got talent… umm… Vernon and Group … Vernon and group were doing their bit and it was just... it was… all our jaws were here (pointing towards his chest) it was jaw dropping to see those boys doing what they do. I spoke to them on set because I was completely amazed by what they were doing. They practice 6 to 7 hours a day in Nalasopara and they are at it and you can see… that when it comes out you know… it's just… it leaves you awestruck. To watch that on set was actually really inspiring. It was like… look at these boys so… doing something so amazing and so good at what they are doing… so passionate about it and so much in sync with each other… it was amazing and then we were working with Danny and Gunjan, who are amazing choreographers. It was just...Vaibhavi ma'am's brief to us ..,when we got the song was we will have choreographed portions but the most of it will be an interaction between me and Ishika. It was a very delicate story telling in the song. Not so much dancing and choreography heavy but a lot of acting involved.
Let's talk about the song Thug Le.
It was very exciting to work with Shruti because it was her first song as a choreographer. Now I know, when you debut with something you know with how much energy and passion you tackle it. It was actually Maneesh sir who first told me when we met on the floor and he told me very matter-of-factly, "is mein thoda dancing hoga" (Ranveer laughs). What he was putting very lightly was the fact that this was the song that was very heavy on choreography that… and Shruti Ma'am did not make it easy for us and it was… it was... When I first saw Rachit who trains me directly (he is Vaibhavi Ma'am's assistant), he's the one who teaches me hands-on and when I saw him doing it I was like "Arre Baap re yeh kaise karunga matlab… I mean come on! But Shruti Ma'am used to just always say this "NO tu kar lega, NO tu kar lega, tu kar lega". She used to push and encourage and push and when you used to get something right she used to encourage me, "Yehi hai,yehi hai" and to have her always present when I'm learning was fantastic because… to have somebody who is telling you this is right, do it like this… do it like that and always there and always pushing you and giving you that energy it was amazing. I really enjoyed learning the choreography as tough as it was. I knew that...okay we have done an "Ainvayi Ainvayi"... we have done a "Dum Dum" we have done a "Jigar ka Tukda" and here we are now doing "Thug le" which choreography wise, Vaibhavi ma'am told me that it has to be a notch higher than anything you've already done and that is the way we have designed it. Umm so you've got to push your limits and challenge yourself to do this type of choreography. Umm and this time … usually what used to happen was even if I was learning any other choreography, I would learn it in blocks. I would learn 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 together. This time I had to learn 1, then 1,2 then 1,2,3 then 1,2,3,4 so I had to break down each transition, each shift of body weight,I had to really work at it. But I'm glad I did all that work because now when I see it... I'm like… I… I understand what it takes to achieve that and that's a big learning curve for me.
Tell us some fun incidents from the Ladies vs Ricky Bahl shoot.
Ranveer – Je haan vehicles ke saath hamari luck bilkul nahin thi, humare saath iss film mein. Chahe woh scooter ho chahe who jet ski ho log bas gir rahe the. Hum scooter se gir gaye, hum jet ski se gir gaye, Anushka aur hum... Scene yeh tha ki yeh Anushka ka character scooter chala raha hai.. Maine peeche behtha hoon aur road jo hai woh bahut hi ubad thabhad road hai aur yeh jo ladki hai jo pagli si ladki hai… aise raaste pe itna tez chala rahi hai aur peechewalle… jahan main behtha hoon mujhe darr lag raha hai kya ki yaar gir nahin jaye… kya kar rahi hai kitni pagli se hai yeh ladki… toh we were very authentic, very true to the scene shoot kar rahe the ek ubad thabhad road pe. Road pe mitti thi aur rocks the ek take ho gaya aur Anushka ne mujhe bola hum touchups kara rahe the, usne bola, "Yaar bahut tough hai, mujhe actually bahut tough lag raha hai yeh road pe aise chalane mein tu sambhal lega na apna balance kar lega na?". Maine bola "Haan". Ek baar kiya , dusri baar kiya , teesre take mein unfortunately ek rock aa gaya beech mein and the bike went for a toss. Anushka gir gayi, main gir gaya. My first instinctive thought was to see if shes okay... so I... usko dekha woh theek thak thi yahaan kuch ho gaya tha usko (pointing to his palm) knee pe kuch ho gaya tha, haath mein kuch ho gaya tha. Fir jab the dust settled, fir maine realize kiya yaar mere taang mein kuch lag raha hai. Maine khol ke dekha toh pura jal gaya tha (pointing towards his calf).
The bike had toppled and the silencer had singed my calf and about 30 seconds after the incident I kind of felt it. So we were rushed to the nearby hospital for instant medical aid and it was just… one of those unlucky times but I think what it did was it made us stronger that as actors we went through this also.
So it was fun. I keep teasing her, I keep blaming her it's all your fault that I got hurt. But it's not really, it was just unfortunate. It was… now when you look back at it you can laugh, at that time it was all serious, "Oh by god Heroine ko lag gaya... Aarre Hero theek hai". So it was... it created some amount of chaos on set at that time but now when you look back on it you can look back and laugh.
Then of course there were times on the jet skis. It just so happens we didn't have any luck. Road ubad thabhad tha scooter ke time pe. Jis time jab jet ski par bhethe ho waves itne saade-aath foot ke dus-foot ke waves aa rahe hai. So it was not easy. There was a time when… the blond and me were on the jet ski and we did about 14 takes and in the first few I was on the jet ski and we were going into the water and such massive... tackling such massive waves… the first few times the waves crashed into us and literally we flew off the jet ski.
2 people on the jet ski like this (depicting the situation through hand actions) jet ski is going, wave comes BOOM!! Jet ski flies in the air, blond flies in the air, Ranveer flies in the air. Jet ski kidhar hai, ladki kidhar hai, Ranveer kahin hai. Fortunately we had people on other jet skis. People were on other jet skis in the water making sure that when these things happen we are instantly taken care of. It was scary I'm not going to lie. If I was alone on the jet ski maybe I wouldn't have been so scared but you know you are responsible for the person behind you as well toh there was that bit of nervousness.
But after the first few takes I got a little… you know okay with navigating. Then of course again there was a time on the jet ski with Anushka and she was sooo scared. I don't know if she'll admit this but she was very scared and I don't blame her because on that day in particular the waves were just daunting. Ummm… and you know, that's actually not captured in the film that how daunting the waves were on that day. To you it'll look like "Aey look at how much fun they are having on the jet ski" but we were terrified. I was terrified because again I was with Anushka. If I was alone maybe I would not have been so terrified … it was... it was quiet scary to… to… tackle these waves that are ten foot high waves you're going into head on. There was one time where I could see it coming. Anushka and me on the jet ski and I was just praying that we don't get one of those Big daddies.
And lo and behold we are in the take and I see this monster of a wave coming. A monster of a wave! And I don't want to scare Anushka but I know that she's seen it. She's saying "Ranveer, Ranveer". Our backs are to the camera." Ranveer, Ranveer, Ranveer" and I was like "Don't worry I got this".
I ain't got this. Actually I was not confident of tackling this wave at all. And it was coming, and it was coming and it just built up, it just built up and it crashed into us. She has flown somewhere I can't see her. I have flown somewhere else.We are both under the water, the jet ski has gone somewhere else. Poor thing I look back at Anushka and I could see the terror on her face and I swam up to her and I held her and it was soon that you guys arrived… so ya we fell of scooters, we fell of jet skis. We've put a fair amount of… of ourselves on the line for this film.
It was good. It was good fun though. You always look back and you have fond memories of those days because you've been through something together. You know the whole team… it just… it brings you closer together.
Last words about Ladies vs Ricky Bahl…
Firstly I would like to thank our audience for showing so much appreciation for our first venture Band Baaja Baaraat. The same team, the same director, writer, actors, our assistant directors, our music team, the choreographer - everybody is the same even the editor. Now the same team that gave you BBB is now trying to tell a story that is vastly different and there are some fantastic additions to our team. Some brand new energies on this film that you'll get to witness. It is fast paced, it's fun, its entertaining, its edgy, its intriguing and its engaging. I am thrilled about this story that we are going to tell. So on December 9th, do come watch Ladies vs Ricky Bahl!
Joined: 30 June 2005
Joined: 12 September 2006
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