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Ranbir Kapoor: “The selfish actor in me opted to play the role of Shamshera too, though I was offered only the character of Balli”

Ranbir is unapologetic about the fact that two of his films Brahmastra and Shamshera are seeing the light of the day in a span of just 45 days this year, four years after his last release Sanju.



Ranbir Kapoor

By Jyothi Venkatesh

Ranbir is unapologetic about the fact that two of his films- Brahmastra as well as Shamshera are seeing the light of the day in a span of just 45 days this year, four years after his last release Sanju. “I just could not help it at all. The release of any film is not exactly in my hands, you see. It was extremely exciting for me as an actor to be a part of the film Shamshera. Shamshera is the story of a guy who becomes the strength of a whole community. Shamshera becomes a cult by himself.”

Ranbir’s personal trainer Kunal Gir pushed him to the hilt for his fabulous transformation in Shamshera. I should tell you that the wait for Ranbir for the interview for nearly two hours was well worth it. Talking about the fact that he had to take up to get into the skin of his character of Shamshera, Ranbir revealed asserted at the YRF where I met him for this interview, “I gave the film a lot of time as I take a lot of time to prepare myself for the part and also at the same time understand the director’s mind an what exactly his vision is every time I decide to do a film.

Ranbir, who I have known right from the time he was not even an actor when I used to go to his father Chintu’s bungalow for a drink or two whenever Chintu used to call me, says, “I had five meals a day. I was on a high protein and low carb diet and went through rigorous training for five days a week! I had a cheat meal only once a week. I trained for 5 days a week, each session was an hour long followed by a quick 5 min high intensity cardio session.”

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Ranbir states that Karan’s brief to him was not to have a beach body. “Balli who has been born and brought up in the harshness of a cruel prison and is from the 1800’s. Karan wanted me to have a bulked up workers body and I dived into it headlong.”

Ranbir confesses that he did not agree with his father’s ideology as far as opting for commercial roles. “What was important to me was to do things with which I could easily relate to on my own. I was happy doing films like Wake Up Side. Dad and I used to come half way through in any discussion bur he always had this complaint lie you know that I was stupid enough to do films which were not at all commercial”.

Journalist Jyothi Venkatesh with Ranbir Kapoor

However, Ranbir says that though Chintu was against him wearing a dhoti and playing a daaku, when he agreed to be part of Shamshera, his father had prepared him about Karan Malhotra as a director as he had worked with him in Agnipath and he was happy that he was dong Shamsher with 1800 dakus. This film physically was by far the toughest for me because I am a thin guy. That’s my natural build. So, to lose weight is easy for me. To build muscle is tougher for me.”

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Ranbir adds. “To be honest, I have been offered films similar to Shamshera but I did not take them up. I have always played the role of the underdog. It is for the first time that in a film like Shamshera, I am acting with a villain, played by Sanjay Dutt. The only other actor who had played the villain in a film of mine was Karan Johar in Bombay Velvet. I offered to play the roles of both the father as well as the son in the film. I’d say that my roles are spectacular in this film which has multiple genres. You just cannot be part of any film for which you have to keep your brains behind at home”.

Yes. In Shamshera, Ranbir says that he is pitted against Sanjay Dutt who is playing an evil, merciless, cold-hearted brute force of nature, Shuddh Singh. Sanjay Dutt V/s Ranbir Kapoor is the clash of the year on the big screen and Ranbir got ripped and got a six pack to take on Dutt in Shamshera! The story of Shamshera is set in the fictitious city of Kaza, where a warrior tribe is imprisoned, enslaved and tortured by a ruthless authoritarian general Shuddh Singh. It is the story of a man who became a slave, a slave who became a leader and then a legend for his tribe. He relentlessly fights for his tribe’s freedom and dignity. His name is Shamshera.

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The high-octane, adrenaline-pumping entertainer is set in the 1800s in the heartland of India. It has the big promise of a never seen before Ranbir Kapoor, who plays Shamshera in the film! Ranbir reiterates that it was the script which inspired him when he was narrated the same. “The selfish actor in me jumped to the fore and offered to play the character of the double role, though yet another actor was slated to play the role of my father. Incidentally, it is for the first time in my entire career of 15 years that I am playing a double role in a film. It was very exciting for me to play a double role in a film like Shamshera.”

“The Hindi film hero has changed for the better over the years and today, I’d say that the quintessential hero has to be wise when he chooses to be a part of a film because the audience is very unforgiving, though in the earlier days a hero could do anything and get away with it because the audience was very forgiving. It is really hard work and your work also ought to look very real if you have to score as an actor. Today filmmaking has become very expensive and you just cannot make it only for yourself and a director has got to make a film for the audience and not only for himself.”

Ranbir signs off, “Filmmaking today, I believe, is not just dictatorship but a marriage of different similar thoughts. Shamshera was made only because all of us had the courage of conviction to make a film like this for 140 days by working like a big team within the time constraint.