For someone who was called teakwood for at least half a decade before seeing some acclaim coming his way, Arjun Rampal indeed has come a long way. It is difficult to believe that the man, who was considered gawky by quite a few during his initial days of Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat and Deewanapan, would one day rise up to the highest pedestal and turn out to be recipient of awards at the National level. Today, there is a definite commercial value attached to his name as well, so much so that his Housefull director Sajid has pitched him as one of the three leading men in his family entertainer. Joginder Tuteja catches up with the man who has seen a lot in his decade long career so far and is expected to see a new dimension in his career post the release of Housefull.
Arjun, since Housefull is your first major comedy film per se, it must have been a new experience for you to try out something that you had not done before. So are we looking at a hilarious riotous comic outing ahead?
This film is definitely going to have you in splits of laughter. This is primarily due to the characters and the situations that have been created. That is always of paramount importance. Whether it is the writing of all the situations, screenplay and the dialogues that each one is mouthing – they are all very funny. People are obviously going to laugh a lot. I had lots of fun doing the film. Also, there is some great music here. No wonder, it turned out to be a breeze making this film. Usually I get tired by doing serious roles and hence it was quite refreshing to do a character which was fun. I didn’t get tired at all this time around.
I get tired by doing serious roles and hence it was quite refreshing to do a character which was fun
I guess it was also the Sajid effect, right? One hears that he involved everyone to be together all the time both on and off the sets.
He is someone whose heart is in the right place. He has a lot of conviction in what he wants. He is very clear. In fact Deepika and I were the only people who hadn’t worked with him before as he has practically got the entire Heyy Babyy team together. Initially I was like a newcomer on his sets, but neither he nor Akshay and Riteish made me feel like one.
Some moments of ‘hum saath saath hain’ revisited here?
(Laughs) I think it is always so much fun when you get to work with a team like this. When you start doing a film, you are there because you have to do a job. You have liked something in the script and hence you are in the film. This is why it is very important to be friends with people with whom you are working. Obviously that chemistry shows on screen. I love all my actors once I start working with them. I don’t have egos; I don’t indulge into playing any games. I approach my work that way.
So you consider yourself fortunate that you ended up working with a like minded team?
Of course yes. (Sajid) Nadiadwala is a great producer and is extremely passionate about what he makes. You can see that seriousness in him when he comes to work. When you find people like these, you get more motivated to do better work. I think a really good team is when everybody pulls the best out of each other. How it happens and when it happens isn’t something that I can explain. But when that happens, it is extremely natural. Each of us had a great time during Housefull. Akshay and I picked up from where we had left after Aankhen. Ritiesh, Lara and Deepika are good friends of mine. Same holds good for Boman and Sajid too.
The genre of the film must have helped as well, right? All the fun is expected to rub off on actors off the screen as well, isn’t it?
That indeed helps because you are constantly laughing. It was a very chilled out shoot. The setting was relaxed and everybody was getting along well. Once you get to know the attitude of the person, the relationship can only get better from that moment on. Like for example, it happened in case of working with Farhan (Akhtar) in Don and then Rock On. So, in the future if we work together we would try to do better work. One doesn’t have to go through the process of getting to know each other. That’s how you create chemistry. It is very important for actors to be friends so that an element of trust comes in. When you are doing a scene and are not getting something, you have to get that comfort level with your co-star to get that help. The more comfortable an environment, the better you feel.
It is very important for actors to be friends so that an element of trust comes in
Well, with the film round the corner, how much better are you feeling today? Anticipating a solid blockbuster in the offing here?
If the film does really well and ends up doing a business of say 100-150-200 crores, it would be growth of the industry. I wish that for every film because then we would be a rich industry. Of course that means that we would be rich actors as well (laughs). On a serious note though, I don’t want to say that this movie is definitely going to do 100 crores or anything. I don’t want to assign a number. I just hope that the film reaches out to a huge majority and people enjoy it. Are there chances of that? Oh definitely yes
because it is a very commercial and universal film. The kind which would be liked by kids and families. It has all the elements of becoming a real big film. Having said that, these are the kind of things that you just leave for Friday to decide because each film has its own destiny. This is why once I am done with the shooting of a film, I just say ‘Thank you God. I hope you are happy with my work. Now please let audience come up with similar sentiments as well.’