He played a lawyer in his very first film, Moksha (2001). Now eight years later, he returns as an advocate in Fox. He is Arjun Rampal, who has seen a definite momentum in his career during last couple of years with commercial successes like Rock On (2008) and Om Shanti Om (2007). Of course, there was an EMI (2008) which came and went, though The Last Lear (2008) was still decent enough compensation as it fetched him immense critical acclaim. On the eve of the release of Fox, Arjun Rampal talks about the roller-coaster ride that he has taken in his professional career and how Fox too boasts of a thrilling roller coaster ride in itself.
From being a rock star to an advocate, it seems like quite some journey for you Arjun…
Well, this is not the first time that I am playing the role of an advocate. I did play a lawyer in Moksha as well. The two films are poles apart though. There is a lot that I want to talk about Fox, but the fact is that, whatever little that I may say could possibly hint upon the suspense angle in the film. I don’t wish to spoil the fun element for audiences who would be watching Fox in theaters. It is really difficult to describe this thriller and you would know what I mean once you will watch the movie.
I can for sure say that Fox is his best film till date
Director Deepak Tijori has made thrillers like Fareb and Khamosh – Khauff Ki Raat in the past. How far has he gone ahead with Fox?
I have seen his previous work and I can for sure say that Fox is his best film till date. People will enjoy the film throughout its length and they won’t able to guess the suspense element all the way till the end. It is a roller coaster ride and stays the way a thriller is meant to be. I was sold on doing the movie once I read it script. In fact, our entire team did everything to take the film beyond the script.
Your character in the film has been tagged as ‘Advocat de Satan’. Can you elaborate?
[Laughs] I seriously don’t know myself about this entire tagging thing. Sometimes people tag it the way they want to and even I would now want to know what ‘Advocat de Satan’ signifies here. On a serious note, I try to bring in as much realism as I can in the character that I play. Thankfully, the situation in Fox is extremely exciting. My character is someone who doesn’t jump to conclusions; he, instead, looks at the situation, studies it hard and then reacts.
Fox is not one of those regular masala thrillers. In fact, there are no lip synch songs either for a change
So, Fox at least, attempts to steer away from being a core Bollywood masala flick?
It has not just attempted this, but also been successful as well. Fox is not one of those regular masala thrillers. In fact, there are no lip synch songs either for a change (laughs). The film isn’t a typical thriller. It is definitely trying to be intelligent without being intellectual enough to go over someone’s head. It moves fast, and most importantly, boasts of good performances from the entire principal cast.
Arjun, now that you have got your feet firmly in Bollywood, what happens from here on? Have you designed a definite career path for yourself?
First and foremost, I have now realized the value of being an actor in a given setup. After having accepted a certain responsibility of playing a particular part in a film, I have to give my all to it. It’s not about a film to be revolving just around you. One has to understand that if the character that I play doesn’t work for the film, then, it may impact the standing of the entire project. I look at how this character is contributing rather than wondering if the film is focused on me. Thankfully, I have worked in some great setups during last few years that helped me grow as a professional and a human being.
Are you hinting at Om Shanti Om?
Exactly. I remember that I was so scared about doing Om Shanti Om. This is when Shah Rukh Khan and Farah Khan put the entire detailing of the character across me and the confidence they had in me. They made me understand the value of doing that part and told me that the victory would be mine if I am successfully able to pull it through convincingly. After all, my character had to grow from someone who was 30 year old to a 60 year old man. I am glad that I listened to them because; doing my part well in the film meant that a lot of people start looking at you as an actor.
Even The Last Lear got you some good recognition as an actor…
And to think of it, I was shooting for both The Last Lear and Om Shanti Om simultaneously. Rituparno Ghosh has an entirely different approach of filmmaking and the way an actor should approach a character. I was enriched with this experience as I learnt a lot on how to justify a character. Now I know good enough stuff to contribute a lot to the whole film rather than just looking at my character, regardless of it being a small or a big part of a film.