That Ranveer Singh is talented doesn’t need to be reiterated. That his personal life is regularly written about with an uncharacteristic amount of bitchiness also needs no more press. He won’t talk about his girlfriends to the media but will flaunt them on his arm. (At one of our shoots, he takes shots of his photographs with his phone, and says, “I’ll just send it to my girlfriend.”) He’s transparent about his enthusiasm for the movies. He’s easy with PDA with whoever he meets and doesn’t mind being roasted by a bunch of comedians, because he can take a bloody joke.
Here are excerpts from a recent interview with the naughtiest kid in the block:
Why did you debut with Band Baaja Baaraat (BBB)?
Come on, BBB was a no-brainer. And, with good reason. BBB was the first time the industry’s premier banner, YRF [Yash Raj Films], was going to launch a new boy. To be the first solo male lead to be launched by YRF in its 35-year history was a distinction I was not about to pass up on as a struggling newcomer. Frankly, I just lucked out that BBB was a good movie and that Maneesh [Sharma] was a solid director. The script and the director were immaterial to me at that stage.
Four years later, what do you remember the most of Band Baaja Baaraat?
There was Anushka [Sharma], an amazingly supportive co-actor. My lack of experience on a film set made me quite a headache to deal with, but Anushka was very patient with me throughout. I remember Maneesh being a meticulous director, with a clear vision. I remember BBB being a distinct Delhi experience. The people, the food, the sights, sounds, smells, the culture, the lingo, everything was so ‘Delhi’.
How has your personal relationship evolved with Anushka Sharma since Band Baaja Baaraat?
Anushka’s really come into her own as an actor and as a professional. She’s got the same lateral thinking, artistic madness and the devil-may-care attitude in her demeanour that she had when I first met her. I keep seeking her approval and I keep pestering her with questions, asking her if I have improved as an actor since BBB and LVRB [Ladies vs Ricky Bahl]. I consciously tried to be the best co-actor to her during Dil Dhadakne Do [DDD] to make up for the pain in the ass that was during BBB and LVRB. It makes me happy to see her happy.
Why did you take up an ensemble project such as Dil Dhadakne Do?
Two words — Zoya Akhtar. I basically leaped at the prospect of being directed by her. She’s one of the finest film-makers we have, in my humble opinion. Her writing is so astute. I especially love the fact that both her movies bore such fantastic insight into interpersonal relationships. She’s also one of the most knowledgeable, open-minded and panoramic personalities I’ve ever come across. Zoya just has a beautiful mind and heart. No matter what anyone says, I can assure you I am Zoya’s favourite, her pet.
What does Deepika Padukone bring to the table as a co-actor?
Deepika is the perfect foil for me as an actor. Her energy contrasts mine, and it makes for great synergy onscreen. She makes me look good. It’s truly commendable that she continues an upward graph in terms of growth in her craft with every film she performs in. Her emotional intelligence is extremely high. It’s just a wonderful experience to work with her.
What is your strategy when it comes to brand endorsements?
Durex was my first signing. Little-known fact — Durex didn’t approach me, I approached Durex! They leaped at the prospect of having me as their brand ambassador. I wanted to promote an open and healthy conversation about sex among the youth and create larger awareness about sexual health and well-being. I thought endorsing the world’s leading condom brand would be a good way to do it. I also got loads of brownie points from the intelligentsia, who considered it a big step forward in changing the attitude towards sex in India.