They are young, zestful and irresistibly raw. The Gunday on the block – Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor look promisingly hatke in their forthcoming venture. We caught up with the duo to know how their much-talked about onscreen dostana has trickled into real life as well
When we met Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor at Yash Raj Studios recently, we were taken aback by the distinct reactions we were greeted with by the Gunday stars. While Ranveer was not particularly happy with us for the relentless wickedness we pour on our shocking pink website, about his colourful personality and shocking style sense (Hey, but we have also been all praise for his live-wire persona, haven’t we?), Arjun maintained that he likes reading the tongue in cheek humour (read nastiness at its clever best) he finds on BollywoodLife.
Arjun was his friendliest best.(In fact, the Ishaqzaade actor surprised us with his flirtatious streak, playfulness and charming personality), but the otherwise high-on-energy Ranveer was not exactly courteous. “You guys are trying to be Gunday of the internet space,” declared Ranveer on seeing me. But we were glad to sit with the dashing duo and have detailed conversations. Here are excerpts from the interview…
Arjun you are coming across as a flirtatious person than what we have not seen so far. Is it the tone of Gunday that you trying to reflect when you interact with the media or is this the effect of your ever blooming dostana with Ranveer who makes no bones about being out there and upfront?
Arjun Kapoor: No, in fact, I am an incorrigible flirt. See, you don’t know me well enough because when we met you during Ishaqzaade I was going through probably the worst phase of my life. I had lost my mother. In my second film Aurangzeb I had to portray this intense character. So I never got any opportunity to be fun or flirtatious. Now I am in a happy, relaxed space. I believe your personality reflects the time and condition you live in, ultimately. I have always been this fun loving, flirtatious and vibrant person. It’s just that I take some time to open up. I may flirt with a girl just by looking at her while Ranveer may flirt by saying a million things. The difference lies in how you do it!
We hear Ranveer complaining, albeit jokingly, that you snatch away girls from him. Why do you do that?
AK: No yaar, I am really shy in these matters and you know that. Now if you compare anybody with Ranveer that person will look shy. Ranveer is always ready to hug you and kiss you. I am not really an extrovert in that way. Our tastes are different actually!
I can get along with a lady only if I can have a good conversation with her, while Ranveer gets attracted towards the personality and the physical appearance. Ranveer can describe what a girl looks like really well, while I tend to explain how a girl conducts herself. The best thing about Ranveer -which tends to work in his favour- is that he has no agenda when he approaches anyone. He’s a pure soul and very upfront and I think that’s what women like about him.
The bromance between you two looks really electrifying! What you two discuss when you are not chatting about girls?
AK: We should not get overboard with bromance part of our equation. In our country we might get arrested for showing such affection (laughs!) hum ek dusre ko tabse jaante they jab humein koi nahi jaanta tha. We were irrelevant to the media then. We talk about cars, football and clothes. But generally we talk films because we both are inherently film lovers. In fact, the craft of acting is the biggest bonding factor for us.
Ranveer Singh: Whenever we met socially, before we became actors, we kind of bonded. Whenever I danced at parties, Arjun would join me with equal intensity and dance alongside. I always thought ki yeh (Arjun) mere gali ka hain. We always talked about movies and film-making. We have so much common ground that we never run out of things to talk about. He (Arjun) is more reserved. I am comparatively more free-spirited.
Are you ready for the comparison that is bound happen when two heroes come together and share the screen space ,especially given the fact that you two are young and relatively new to the industry?
AK: I am not worried about that because the movie (Gunday) is designed in such a manner that you can’t talk about our Vikram without mentioning Bala (or vice versa). Both these characters that Ranveer and I have portrayed are the two sides of the same coin. In fact, these two characters are like doh badan ek jaan. Outwardly they might look different, but they stand as one entity. What matters ultimately is how well the film does. That’s all matter!
So far Arjun you have portrayed these intense characters in Ishqzaade and Aurangzeb. And suddenly you stand opposite Ranveer who is known for his hyper energy and his boyish charm. Did you have to adapt yourself to match up to Ranveer’s energy level? Or Ranveer, did you have to mellow down a bit for Arjun to be on the same plane?
AK: I have just been in this industry for two years. I am a very reserved and shy person by nature. But on a film set I am a different animal. I love having fun on the sets. I can live vicariously through those characters I portray. I have not opened up easily so far in front of the media. But this film has given me that scope to be fun and do masti. I love Ranveer’s energy. I just had to blend with it. The movie itself has amazing energy. It was not a conscious decision on my part to create more energy. So you are discovering this new facet of my personality through this high-octane drama.
RS: In fact, we are playing characters that are opposite to how we are in real life. It would have been a comfort zone to play what we are in real life. As actors, we want to explore our potential. It’s an interesting dynamic. I was wondering why are we going against the grain but then we had a meeting with Adi sir (Aditya Chopra) and Ali Abbas Zafar, I was convinced about the whole scenario and dynamics after that meeting.
You have worked with Parineeti Chopra in Ishaqzaade. Pari is getting tremendous accolades for her performances and now you are working her cousin Priyanka Chopra who is a B-town diva. How was the experience working with the two talented actors?
AK: Parineeti toh bahana tha, mujhe toh Priyanka tak jaana tha.(laughs!). Their working styles are quite similar. Both Pari and Priyanka are very spontaneous. I think Chopra surname is very lucky for me since I have worked with Aditya Chopra, Yash Chopra, Parineeti Chopra and now Priyanka Chopra!
Ranveer you are an outsider to the industry and you have been saying that you are not insecure about your craft or your positioning. But do you think this industry is an insecure place, more so if you are not a star kid?
RS: I am not here to dominate the space. I am not the centre of this ecosystem, where everything revolves around me. I believe in my abilities. Plus I don’t understand the definition of insecurity. I would not restrict insecurity to only the movies or the film industry. We live in an insecure world. Kalyug hai-kal kya hoag kuch pata nahi hain. I think everyone is insecure at some level. I value the opportunities I got. I have also learnt that lineage may not guarantee talent. You just do what you have to do. It’s a combination of hard work and luck. And all young actors are working very hard to retain that position and excel.
With so many actors falling in the same bracket as you (Shahid Kapoor, Imran Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sushant Simgh Rajput, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan) what does Ranveer Singh do to maintain his position?
RS: All I can do is to work harder-that’s in my hand and I can choose films I get instinctively attracted to with the best film makers. I don’t see this as competitions. Ranbir is certainly leading the pack of young actors.
When you see the work of your contemporaries Ranveer what do you think works in your favour, as in what sets you apart from this bunch of actors that we discussed. Has Ranveer Singh discovered his USP apart from the fact that he is energetic and irreverent?
I don’t know what my USP is. I give it my craft a hundred percent every time. I think the biggest compliment I got is whenever I work I give my blood and sweat to it. Things can go right or wrong because acting and judging performances is a subjective thing.