Lootera is your debut movie, why did you chose this film as your debut?
There were nearly 8000 to 10000 people who had auditioned for the role of Devdas, who is Varun's (Ranveer Singh) friend in the film. I too had auditioned for the film but initially they had chosen someone else for the role. However, two weeks before the actual shoot was to start, they called me and I was the lucky one to ultimately bag the role! So, I would say that the movie chose me and not vice versa!
Your role in the film shows you as Dev Anand's fan and even your character's name is Dev. Are you a Dev Anand fan in real life too and how did you prepare for the role?
I really did not prepare or research for my role as such. I had full faith in my director Vikramaditya Motwane. He is one master craftsman and I just let myself loose and followed his instructions. I am a director's actor and feel that every actor should be one. I have not watched a single black and white film of the old era since I started watching films only from the '90s. I have not even seen a single Dev Anand film except for the film Baazi as I had to use that as a reference for my character.
How was it working with Ranveer and Sonakshi Sinha during the shooting of Lootera?
The entire experience was excellent. Ranveer and Sonakshi are the finest co-actors one could have. We were all in the same age category too. While me and Sonakshi are almost the same age and Ranveer is a bit elder to us, so we bonded well and had a good time shooting together.
We were shooting in Purulia where the temperature was around 40 plus degrees and very hot. We were shooting the scene where I had to address the farmers who are called in to dig around the temple ground and that is my favorite and most memorable scene. I gave around 30 retakes for this scene as I just couldn't get it right. However, now when the scene appears on screen it looks so effortless and evokes laughter at the right place!
We see many Television actors coming in as main leads in Hindi films. Don't you want to do bigger roles?
My focus is to do good work, even if it is in the form of a small role. I will do it as long as it is meaty enough and there is substance in it. For my work in Lootera, I have got critical acclaim from the entertainment industry as well as from the film critics so I am happy that in my first film itself my work has been appreciated. For me quality work done sincerely and honestly matters a lot and I hope that these film makers who have noticed my work will understand this and offer me roles in the future. From my part, I will be giving auditions and waiting for a good opportunity.
So, what next?
I will start shooting for my next film this September. It is directed by Nigam Bomzan who has been the Director of Photography for films like Jism 2 and Blood Money. I play the 2nd lead in this as yet untitled film which should release next year. It is an unbelievable character and I hope to stand up to the expectations of my director who has full faith in me.
You also are a trained dancer, will we see you in any of the dance reality shows on Indian Television?
As of now, I have no plans to take part in any dance reality or any other reality shows as I am an actor, an artist who portrays various roles and characters and would not want to reveal my personal side in front others! However, if I get a film related to dance I would certainly do it.
Your love life has always been full of mystery and suspense when it comes to your girlfriend. Can you tell us something more about her?
Well, I am a very private person. I like to keep my personal life aside from my professional one. I only want to say that I am in a relationship and feel very happy about it. However, currently work is my only priority and I want to focus on my career!
Seema Khot Mattoo