Bollywood Actors Roundtable 2019: Ranveer Singh reveals why he initially rejected Padmaavat; Shahid Kapoor defends Kabir Singh
Ranveer Singh reveals he wants to dabble into a slick actioner genre, and is waiting for a very James Bondesque script to come by.
In the first of CNN-News18’s year-end Bollywood Roundtable series, five actors who delivered some of the strongest performances of the year assembled for a freewheeling conversation. Hosted by Rajeev Masand, actors such as Shahid Kapoor (Kabir Singh), Ayushmann Khurrana (Article 15), Akshaye Khanna (Section 375), Ranveer Singh and Vijay Varma (Gully Boy) speak about what entices them in a script while choosing movies, their journey in the industry and the roles they would love to do but don't get offered.
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Here! First glimpse of The Actors Roundtable 2019 on @cnnnews18. Five actors who delivered some of the best performances this year talk about their roles, their process, and why they’re overcome with gratitude. Vijay Varma (#GullyBoy), Ayushmann Khurrana (#Article15 #Bala), Shahid Kapoor (#KabirSingh), Ranveer Singh (#GullyBoy), and Akshaye Khanna (#Section375) open their hearts. Episode airs next weekend on CNN News18. Thank you also to @jwmarriottjuhu for being the best hosts we could ask for! #bollywood #roundtable @itsvijayvarma @ayushmannk @shahidkapoor @ranveersingh #akshayekhanna
Shahid's Kabir Singh, a Hindi remake of the Telugu film was surrounded with controversies ever since its release. The film was criticised for endorsing toxic masculinity and violence against women. Steering towards the topic, host asks Shahid if any sort of criticism makes him reflect on why this film was making a sizable number of people uncomfortable.
Defending Kabir Singh, the actor says, "I actually don’t have a problem with people not liking a film that I have done. Because the whole idea of cinema is for people to have opinions and I think only very very potent films which are made very well and are highly effective cause that kind of reactions, such an intense reaction. And I think its great that film has brought up the conversation of violence in a relationship, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable because I think cinema is a tool which is meant to make society reflect on itself and it can’t always talk about the right thing because if it does that then is actually being hypocritical and it is not addressing the issues that lie there."
Genres they wish to explore
When Rajeev asks the actors about the kind of film they wished they would be offered more, Shahid was the first one to respond. “I think all of us sitting here must be dying to do a genre the other one has done at some point and be like, ‘I love that! Why didn’t I get that?’ I would love to do a film about a rap star coming up from Dharavi. That’s such an amazing space. I would love to play a Moin, I would love to do what he (Ayushmann) has done in most of his films,” Shahid said.
Shahid spoke further about Ranveer’s role in Gully Boy and how he was so impressed that he sang his own songs. “Like I love the fact that when he is doing his performances, he is actually rapping that sh*t. Coz I hate the fact that somebody else has sung it. I feel like a faker,” he said. While Akshay confessed he would like to dabble in an action film, Ranveer reveals he is waiting for a slick actioner, something very James Bondesque script to come by.
A role that they said no initially, and yet went ahead with it
Ayushmann reveals he said no to the cop drama, Article 15. "Though I had extracted the script out of Anubhav sir, but when I read the first draft I was like sir aap ko mujhe padana hi nahi chahiye tha (you shouldn't have read this to me). It was so vanilla, there is nothing exciting about it. And in my head I had said no, he said give me 2 months. He came back after two months and I was shocked. What have you done in these two months? So that happened with me.
Ranveer says he found Khilji's character despicable and so dark, so messed up that it was actually out of sheer fear he said no to Padmaavat. "I told Sanjay sir that this might take me into sort of like a hole that I might not come out of. I can see myself going bit barmy on this guy and I don’t know if I am at that stage in my life. I was very happy, was going to get married. So initially, I was bit afraid but Mr. Bhansali convinced me."
Vijay confesses he was "kind of scared to do Pink."
Akshay adds that it generally varies from "script to script." However he adds, "You know very quickly whether you are interested in a role or not."
How long they wish to be in the profession?
While concluding the interview, Rajeev quips on how veteran Amitabh Bachchan has completed 50 years in Bollywood and yet continues to entertain the audiences with his film and television shows. He further asks them if they would want to continue with acing as a forever job or do you have other interests for which you hope to make time for?
Vijay asserts that he doesn't have any plans to quit anytime soon. He adds how he hasn't found any other interests, passion that he can continue as a profession because this is the only one (acting) he likes and feels is capable of.
Shahid adds an interesting perspective to the question stating that he would work as long as people want to see him. He says, "The larger question is always is how long will people offer me work for and more importantly how long will people offer me the work that actually excites me, which actually gets me going deep within, stirs my soul."
Ranveer on the other hand reveals that he is currently relishing every opportunity and is deeply in love with the work. "What is important for me is I keep getting to do different things. Every time there is installment of body of work, the next one ought to be really really different in order to keep me engaged. Otherwise I like directing, I hope to be a director someday, I want to be a DJ, I want to have kids, I want to spend quality time with them," the Bajirao Mastani actor adds.
Akshay adds, "It’s easy to say as long as my body supports me I’d like to work but what Shahid said is more important. The audience has to keep wanting to watch you. That has to last more important than the body."
Watch The Bollywood Actors Roundtable 2019 interview here.
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