Yes! And that's one of the reasons why Rannvijay agreed to be part of Pukaar. Otherwise the 3 A.M. actor was never going to act in a fiction television show...
Rannvijay Singh Singha has hosted reality shows and acted in quite a few films. Though he is a popular face, the Roadies host still has a long way to go as far as Bollywood is concerned. Yes, he has few films lined up but for now the good looking actor is gearing up for his first fiction show Pukaar: Call For The Hero. The action show which is directed by Vipul Shah will go on air from November 24. So we decided to catch up Rannvijay and after pursuing him for almost a week, we finally got through him...
You were supposed to join Indian army but destiny had other plans for you. Interestingly, in Pukaar you play an army officer Rajveer Shergill, so do you think life has come full circle with this show?
It has…it’s like homecoming for me. My father is still serving the Indian Army. He is a Lieutenant General and he is serving in Syria. My chacha is a Major General and my younger chacha is Colonel. So it seems like all their desires and wishes have been granted and I am getting to live an army officer’s life at least briefly. The fact is that I do know all the nitty gritties that goes into being an army officer and that is what has helped me in playing this character.
Do you think your family will be most critical about you show?
My family is anyways critical about everything I do. But at the same time none of them are from the industry so they kind of respect all the hard work that I have put in but in this case they might come up with, ‘you know this is not possible’ or ‘aise thodi na hota hai.’ They may say you should have done this or you should have used that language. You know army officers usually speak a lot in English. But the thing is as soon as I start doing that with my character, I will be alienating a lot of people who don’t understand that. So sometimes when you’re doing a show which is made for entertainment, you need to make sure that people understand what you’re doing or saying. I don’t know if army officers talk like my character Rajveer Shergill does in the show but then that's only because we want the audience to understand what we are trying to convey. Also, we are not using a lot of lingo which is used in the army and only an army personnel will understand which is fair and my family understands that.
Pukaar is an hard-core action show. So did you undergo any training for the same?
The thing is I have always been very active all my life with martial arts and stuff like that. Last year, I did a show called Rann VJ Run where I practiced Parkour and all my experiences like Roadies and the life that I led before that thanks to my Dad, all of that has been used here. Also, Vipul sir (Vipul Amrutlal Shah) knows me since London Dreams and Action Repalyy days. And he knows my ability to do different things and we have used most of my abilities in a good way during action sequences. Of course, I did lot of cable practices, martial arts flexibility and also spent some time with Vicky Arora who is a martial art fight choreographer. Few days before the shoot, we would choreograph the fight scenes so on the day of shoot it’s less time consuming and easy.
Since you come from an army background and you’re also very active physically, was it easy for you to play the role of Rajveer Shergill?
Having knowledge about anything doesn't mean it will be easy when you do it. I know how to hit a sixer but in reality to do that it’s tough. You have to put all your knowledge into practice so knowing something is a different thing. There are dialogues which are intense. I have lot of intense scenes with Raj Babbar who is playing my father and even action sequences are tough. But nevertheless, when you do tough things, you feel better, you get a better self satisfaction and you’re happier. But yes it tough. It’s actually a very grueling schedule. If you equate the kind of work we are doing, we are actually shooting 12 films. 24 hours of a movie is being shown in 1 hour episode each. So if you put that together then its 12 full-fledged two hour movies we are shooting in a span of 8 to 9 months. That means we are shooting every day back-to-back. So it’s very intense but we all are consumed by it so it’s good.
For now the show will have 24 episodes but are the makers planning to take things forward and come up with season 2?
That purely depends on Vipul sir and the channel. But yes they are already hinting at season 2 because we are not going to extend the series like other serials. How we are different from the other daily soaps is that our show will have a definite end. The kind of equipment used on the show, the kind of people involved in the show and the scale at which the series has been shot is all larger than life. A lot of movies you see won’t have such production quality and action sequences. So that’s the plan. If we do it in these 24 episodes, we will achieve what we want and then we can go forward and make another season. But we won’t drag it like a daily soap.
Did you watch action shows to prepare for your role?
There is no picking up cues when you’re already working with a guy who has made films like Commando, Holiday and Force. So in the action genre at all different levels Vipul sir is a success. But what I watch generally is like Homeland, Breaking Bad, Modern Family and Prison Break. I like series which are like mini movies because they have great production scale, amazing performance and plot.
Lastly, will you be focusing only on television henceforth or would you be working in films as well?
This is my debut on television fiction. I have never acted on small screen and I was never going to because what you see on Indian television an actor would do it only because it’s a steady source of income and popularity. But as actors they were not satisfied. I did Pukaar because firstly we were making it like a huge film. Even acting and performances are all very natural, film like. Not over the top or dramatic. So that’s why I did it. As for films, 3 A.M. released recently and I am doing another film which is releasing on January 16 it’s called Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene with Zayed Khan. And as soon as Pukaar finishes, few films are lined up for which I will shoot in March and April. Also, I have done a film with Abbas Tyrewala called Mango which has Swara Bhaskar, Monali Thakur and Chandan Roy Sanyal toh wo bhi release hogi. So movies are happening side by side. There are few Punjabi films as well but I have asked them to shoot it with someone else or wait a little bit.
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