Arjun Rampal who is in real life a practicing Hindu, has studied the Holy Quran. For the role of the Muslim police officer in Chakravyuh, Arjun closely followed his Man-Friday Raja, who is a Muslim, and learnt the ritual of performing the Namaaz before performing the Namaaz-reciting sequence in Chakravyuh.
“Yeah, my ‘boy’ Raja who is a Muslim was my coach. It wasn’t about getting the character right. It was about making sure that that I didn’t overdo or under do it.”
Arjun feels Muslim characters are constantly depicted in a stereotypical way in our films. “It may not be intentional. But a certain tone always creeps in when a Muslim character is portrayed, in the way the character speaks and dresses. I wanted my character to appear normal. He had to look Indian, not Muslim. And since my ‘boy’ is a Muslim without in any way flashing his religious identity, I decided to observe him closely before playing the Muslim cop in Chakravyuh.”
Arjun was especially careful about the sequence where he had to perform the holy Namaaz. He religiously practiced the prayer with Raja for close to two weeks.
The end-result is more than gratifying. Arjun is getting tweets by the dozens from Muslims.
“I think they like the fact that my being a Muslim character is not of any consequence to the way I am portrayed and what I do in the film,” says Arjun happily.