Meet Rannvijay Singh and Aditya Roy Kapoor, twenty something video jockeys and friends who play blood brothers in Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s London Dreams. One acts nanny to rouge and devilish contestants of the reality show Roadies, while the latter belts out songs for his unnamed alternative rock band.
I’m the first of about half a dozen press crews that have come down to interview the duo. ”Are you not tired of this?’ I ask them. ”Wrong question. We’ve just begun.” Suddenly I reconcile to certain facts: despite their long TV careers, this is their first big film, I am only as old as them and cannot risk being exposed and my editor’s brief that this is supposed to be a ‘fun’ interview.
So I begin by asking the about the Pakistani angle to their London Dreams, and 40-odd minutes later end up with witty remarks, some randomness and a peek into two dedicated and excited film professional. Excerpts from the chat…
You play two brothers, Zoheb and Wasim. Is that for real?
Aditya Roy Kapoor (ARK): Are you sure? (laughs)
Rannvijay Singh (RS): Jokes part, the filmmakers needed two young boys who could pass of as London boy musicians. I did a test and met Vipul for some 47 seconds, and he told me ‘This is the role. Do you wanna do it?’ And I was on board.
ARK: A month later I got a call from the casting agent, who had seen a photograph of mine in some magazine. Two-three months after that, I met Sir (Vipul Shah), did a screen test with Rannvijay where we acted like brash young rockstars. It was actually as simple as that.
RS: The next thing we know, we were in London together wondering, ‘What is our role?’
Aditya Roy Kapoor: I met Sir (Vipul Shah), did a screen test with Rannvijay where we acted like brash young rockstars. It was actually as simple as that.
Exactly, did you know you were supposed to play Pakistani lads who run away from their families? Did you go to Pakistan? Run from family?
ARK: To prepare for the role?
RS: Main pichle bees saal se-jab se mujhey pata laga ki main is film main hoon-main riyaaz kar raha hoon.
ARK: No we didn’t go to Pakistan.
RS: There is not a lot of emphasis on this Pakistani, sufi angle. There’s just one line in the film where I say, ‘I’m Zoheb from Karachi aur ye mera chota bhai hain‘.
ARK: There’s no conflict coming from our families, but we wouldn’t mind it.
Both of you are VJ’s, how does the shift to the big screen feel?
RN: Firstly, Aditya’s not an VJ anymore. After meeting me he’s realized that he was working for an inferior channel.
ARK: No need to compete when you don’t have respect for the competition.
OK. I get it. Let’s talk about the music.
RS: The music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is really awesome. And a friend of mine from this band called Agnee has sung one of the songs, ‘Khanabadosh’.
There are a few other songs which are catchy.
ARK: Yeah, that’s right…
How was shooting in London?
ARK: Lovely. We are telling everyone this only. We go out to the airport and Rannvijay said, ‘Bro, enjoy this because from here it’s only down.’
RS: I’ve done a film before this (Toss). I told Aditya, any film after this, you’ll feel like shit. We were treated very well, were pampered, had cars to ourselves, and 45 days of very little work! And to top it all, we were put up at the Crown Plaza, right outside Buckingham Palace.
ARK: It was actually like a little group over there, everyone was bonding. When we were shooting ‘Barson‘ – it’s a concert setting – there were lots juniors jumping around, loud music, and lots of lights. And shooting a song can become quite monotonous, I tell you. But every time the Hanuman Chalisa would come on – the juniors have to be told to jump, generally – they’d actually go mad and Salman would be rocking it.
Rannvijay Singh: We were treated very well, were pampered and were put up at the Crown Plaza, right outside Buckingham Palace.
Salman is known for his on-sets camaraderie. Did you get a piece of that?
RS: The sensibilities are so good with these senior actors that Salman would actually ask us to drop in at the wee hours of the morning for a bite, after our partying. He would make sure that we had a car no matter where we went. I think we were just spoilt, rotten…
ARK: We’ll never have this royal experience in our lives, until and unless we do a film again with these guys.
Rannvijay Singh: Salman would actually ask us to drop in at the wee hours of the morning for a bite, after our
Do you have any emotional lines in the film?
RS: It’s a real film, its how you’d be with your brother and sister. No melodrama…
ARK: But we don’t think alike and have a bit of a conflict towards the end of the film.
RS: I am obsessed and mesmerized by Arjun’s (played by Ajay Devgn) dedication to the band and blindly follow him.
Did you also blindly follow the director?
ARK: Yes indeed. With the amount of knowledge and experience he’s had in this industry, we felt like we had to, because we could see how much sense he was making by everything he was saying.
RS: Vipul’s also a good actor. He’ll just tell you, ‘Aise karo‘. And even if you get half the expression right, you’re good. It was just easy because he’s a director who knows what the actor’s going through. Also we were blindly following everyone else – Salman, Ajay sir.
ARK: We were blind only.
Rannvijay Singh: Vipul’s also a good actor. He’ll just tell you, ‘Aise karo’. And even if you get half the expression right, you’re good
Blind to Asin’s beauty too?
RS: We did look at Asin. A lot. Actually it was a dream to work with her.
You guys are just being diplomatic.
ARK: No, no. She is sweet, very down to earth, and very normal. She’s so successful.
RS: You know what? Everyone says that she is from Ghajini and all but with us she was just like a normal co-star. She’s just 23 years old and has worked with senior actors like Aamir Khan. But it’s the first time she got to work with actors of her age.
So you guys plan to stick along, cinematically?
RS: We meet quite often and are doing a couple of films; one of them together.
ARK: We’ll be killed if we talked about it. We’ll be hunted, it’s in the contract.
Back to London Dreams, how’s the promotion drive going on?
RS: Once you do a film and I’ve done Toss, after that everything that had to go wrong with the film went wrong. After such an experience, you realize why promotion is very important.
ARK: It’s so exciting, and since we are doing the interviews together, it’s fun.