It took seven missed calls to get Ranveer Singh to look away from his date and look up the message he’d been sent. It was terse: ‘Aditya Chopra’. But the meaning was explicit. He was being called to audition for a lead role at Yash Raj Studio. Unbelievable!
Producer Chopra and director Maneesh Sharma decided that the boy could act but could he dance, since Band Baaja Baaraat was a musical? Two days later, Singh was back at the studio, shaking a leg to My name is Lakhan… and Chaiya chaiya…Afterwards, Sharma said, “You have rhythm but what street corner did those moves come from?”
Singh says he learnt them during Ganpati celebrations at vadis with buddies, whom he had grown up with. “Even today, I dance with the same abandon but off screen,” laughs the actor, admitting that when he gets married, he’s going to get the DJ to play all the Govinda and Amitabh Bachchan chartbusters. “Also, My name is Lakhan… and Avaiya avaiya… will be permanently on loop,” he says.
Singh plays a wedding planner in his first film and says that for a great wedding you first need to get the menu right. In his case, that would mean bharpur (plenty of) non-vegetarian dishes, including his favourite Butter Chicken. Family, friends and anyone whose path has crossed his will be welcome to let their hair down at his D-day. “I’ll probably get married on a beach because I’m happiest by the sea,” he says.
So, who’s the bride? “Arrey yaar, life’s beautiful but not that beautiful yet. I’ve got a dream break, my dream girl will also come along some day,” he says. Then what’s all this talk about him turning angry young man for a former girlfriend and co-star Anushka Sharma? “Why would I be angry when I should be smiling?” he retorts, pointing out that it’s been a long struggle since he switched career choices from copy writer to movie star following an epiphany in an acting class in his second year of college.
“I performed a scene from an old Bollywood film and though most of the American students present didn’t understand a word, they clapped enthusiastically and I knew then that this was it. I gave myself till 26 to land a hero’s role after which I’d planned to accept smaller supporting parts. Fortunately, I got lucky with an A-list film with one of the biggest banners.”
It’s being said that his debut film is being financed by his father. He says, “This is my biggest achievement yet and no one can take the credit away from me. It’s not cool and hurts my dad who’s proud that I made it on my own.”
There’s another boy from Bandra, Ranbir Kapoor who’s also in the movies. Won’t their similar sounding names create confusion? Singh quips, “It’ll only confuse those who are hard of hearing. Not those who matter.”