Q. Arjun, are you giving or taking loan in the film, EMI? A. I am taking loans in the film. In fact till today I am still taking loans (laughs). Not only in the film but also in real life I am still busy taking loans. I am trying to pay them off as soon as possible. Q. In real life, if you were take loan from any Bollywood star, who would he or she be? A. I think one should take loans from all of them. But in my opinion stars only take loans and they dont lend to anybody.
Arjun Rampal on EMI, in conversation with Rajan Singh
Arjun, are you giving or taking loan in the film, EMI?
I am taking loans in the film. In fact till today I am still taking loans (laughs). Not only in the film but also in real life I am still busy taking loans. I am trying to pay them off as soon as possible.
In real life, if you were take loan from any Bollywood star, who would he or she be?
I think one should take loans from all of them. But in my opinion stars only take loans and they dont lend to anybody.
The response to Rock On has been thumping, whats your take on it?
I have heard wonderful reaction to the film. The film has done really well and people have accepted it with open arms and so I feel very happy about this. Apart from feeling happy I also feel humbled to a certain extent because it was a very different film and it really encourages us to do different variety of films.
Also Mr. Bachchan complimented you on your performance in The Last Lear.
Yes, that was one of the best compliment I ever got from anyone. Wonderful words about myself and that too coming from Mr. Bachchan means a lot to me. I was very humbled by it.
Now you have proved your critics wrong with the success of Rock On, The Last Lear and Om Shanti Om.
I am telling this to you very honestly that I dont do films to prove anything to anybody. I think thats a wrong reason to do a film. You do a film only because you believe in it and you want to prove something to yourself. And if you do a film this way, you always walk out of the feeling very, very satisfied. The fate of a film is always in the hands of the audience and they are the final judges of your work. You do your work and then for the judgement you leave it in their hands - sometimes they like the film and sometimes they dont like the film. But the idea is about the experiences you gain while working in a film - whether they have satisfied you or not, and thats what I look forward to - always.
Tell us a bit about the role you play in EMI.
I play the character of this DJ called Ryan who is fond of all the good things of life but does not like to pay for them. He has taken lots of loans, which he is unable to repay. Finally he meets Sattar Bhai (Sanjay Dutt in the film) who kind of comes into his life to recover the funds that Ryan has taken. And let me also add that Ryan is one guy who will not easily pay back his loans.
Arjun, you are going through an excellent phase in your career. First it was Om Shanti Om, then it was your histrionics in The Last Lear and now its Rock On on the verge of becoming a blockbuster. You must be a happy man.
Thank you very much for all the good words. But I cant take all the credit. I think behind every film there is a huge team. A great effort is involved in making a successful film. I really cannot take the credit. The credit goes to the team that made that film. I was just an actor in all those films. I did my job and by Gods grace people liked my work and my performance. In fact its the team of that film that deserves all the success.
Sanju must have troubled you a lot in the film.
I think on the contrary, I have troubled him. You will realise this once you see the film. But at the end I really felt good because i have always been a huge fan of Mr. Sanjay Dutt for a long time and I always wanted to work with him. I am glad that I finally got an opportunity to work with him through EMI.
Talking about Sanju, you prefer seeing him doing Dadagiri or Gandhigiri?
I think Sanju is a really wonderful actor and i think through years of experience now he has really come of his own where he develops a strong grasp over the character he plays in his films. He is very versatile and can do everything with equal ease be it Gandhigiri or dadagiri or intense roles or action, just about anything. Sanju is a very intense actor and acting is always a pleasure when you have such actors around dedicated completely to their work. Even after so many years the commitment and dedication is still intact. I think thats really commendable and teaches us so many things.
Its also being observed that you are now selecting your roles very carefully.
Yes, its true. When you dont have opportunities then you tend to select only those roles that are being offered to you. I think for the past one or two years, the opportunities that were given to me and the roles I opted for were challenging from any actors point of view. I really feel happy and thankful that Farah or Ritu or Abhishek Kapoor though about me and were of the opinion that I would be able to do justice to the roles they offered me. There is a level of confidence and trust when such script comes to you after that you have a responsibility to deliver. Yes, I was lucky that those options came to me.
If you were to give the success credit for Rock On, who would that person be?
I cant give the credit for success of Rock On to one individual but if you insist that individual would be Abhishek Kapoor.
Arjun, what do you feel really appealed to the audiences when they watched Rock On?
The reason why I did this movie is also the reason that why Rock On clicked. The simple reason being, that I saw a wonderful human story in the script. I saw story of people and character that I could connect with. We all cherish dreams and we always strive to fulfil those dreams. You have to fulfil those dreams just for yourself and thats also the message of Rock On. We all are same individual only with some dream or the other and we should always try to fulfil those dreams.
Your past few choices of roles also suggest that you are now no more scared of experimenting with roles.
I think a confidence has surely stemmed from experimenting with my roles. Initially people would often come and ask that what are the varieties of roles I want to do? Few years ago, there used to be only hero oriented films that were being made. Comedy, action and romance were the preferred genres. But today everything has changed and now the audience wants us to do variety of roles. They want to see us in different looks and gate ups. I think the credit for this change should go entirely to the audience, because they themselves have changed. There is also a youth audience who want to see their heroes as actors. I think the present generation of actors are trying their level best to portray various shades of characters. Its very essential and this also leads to an individuals growth.
Have you ever encountered any character similar to Sattar Bhai in real life?
Well, I have encountered characters like Sattar Bhai but not as good-looking and as charming as this Sattar Bhai. But yes, there are characters like him who come in Pathani suit at your doorstep, chewing tobacco or pan and then uttering that we have come from such and such bank. I have this full conviction that they must not have passed even the fifth grade.
How was it working with a director who is a debutante?
Saurabh is just great and he is a young director. I was very much impressed with him when he approached me with the script of EMI; it was a new and original concept. I could well relate to Ryans character or for that matter other characters in the film as well, through my phases of life. I think we have all succumbed to EMIs at certain stages in our life. This is true for all except my father-in-law who has never resorted to taking loans. But I think its become an integral part of our lives and has become a way of life and this is what i could relate to and Saurabh has brought out these situations quite realistically in the film. There are some four stories that run parallel to each other in the film. The stories have got nothing to do with each other but they are also sort of interconnected with each other and then move away too from each other. Saurabh for his debut film has done a remarkable job.
Thanks a ton.