Free Press Journal

Sanjay Dutt completely trusted me to do justice to his character: Ranbir Kapoor


Ranbir Kapoor lets LITA CHAKRABORTY in on some inside secrets

This powerhouse performer has just scaled new levels of perfection with his on-point performance in the film Sanju. Of course, he has always been an actor par excellence, but unfortunately for him, the fickle box-office collections of his earlier films offered no validation for his immense talent. With ‘Sanju’, however, he has proved to one and all that he is indeed the ‘Kapoor of all Kapoors’.

…Presenting the immensely talented Ranbir Kapoor who has wowed the critics and his fans with his incredible portrayal of Sanjay Dutt in the biopic Sanju.

I met him at the cover shoot of a magazine and Ranbir looking super dapper in a formal natty black suit, sure got the temperature soaring sky high.  After the shoot, he readily zoned into candid mode evaluating himself as an actor, his film Sanju, life and more…

Ranbir, you are one of the finest actors. What do you look for in this chaotic cinematic world of success and failure?
Thank you for the compliment! I really don’t know what I am looking for and honestly, I hope I never really know what I am looking for in life, and just go with the flow. Yes, one thing perhaps… that I hope I never let my fans down.

You are a phenomenal actor. How do you pick and choose your scripts or films?
There are different perspectives from which I pick my scripts. There is no method to the madness… no calculation. But I have to love something about the film. You spend six to eight months of your life with the team. You need to love being with them to give an inspired performance. So you have to choose your people, your subject and the ideology you want to reflect as an actor on screen. I think it’s a mix of all of this that makes me pick my films.

What made you pick Sanju?
When I was offered Sanju, I asked Raju (Hirani) sir, why me? But when I read the script, I knew it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance for me or any actor to do this film. The story itself had so much of cinematic aspect to it… I was just bowled over. But I knew we would have to work really, really hard to get the look right. Once we did that, I was sure things would flow.

Did you get anxious at the thought that perhaps the responsibility of portraying Sanju was immense?
Of course, the responsibility of working in a Raj Kumar Hirani film and the responsibility of portraying Sanjay Dutt’s character was huge. And I didn’t want to screw it up, so I always had that pressure on my back throughout.

How did you work on your character, did you take any advice from Sanjay Dutt?
There’s a little code that we actors have – that we have a certain trust. Sanjay completely trusted me to do justice to his character. So there was never any pressure. It was a complete trust and I just flowed with the character.

Are you anything like Sanjay Dutt?
Not at all! I am more of an introvert. I’m pretty shy and I don’t think I have an interesting life… not as much as Sanjay sir!

What was the most difficult part of being Sanju?
There was almost five hours of make-up. It was a challenge.

…What about the enjoyable part?
To live that life that he has lived without having to pay any consequences.

A little about your co-actors in Sanju?
I’ve worked with Sonam after 10 years – we worked in Saawariya and now, Sanju – she hasn’t changed a bit. She has a wonderful energy and we are very grateful that she was a part of the film. Also, there is Anushka, who I’ve also worked with before and she plays such an important character in the film. You are seeing the film through her eyes, and you need a fantastic actor like her portraying that. And of course, there was Dia (Mirza) who I worked with for the first time. Amazing soul, so loving and such a team player. And then the mother of all, Manisha Koirala! To work with her –who I have admired as an actress, as a beauty – and she plays my mother and to enact Nargisji’s part was very wonderful. Pareshji and Vicky too have been incredible. Pareshji has been such an influencing actor for me while growing up and to see such a person work in front of you. Someone who is not really trying to take away the attention, he is just part of the story. And that’s what makes him a great actor. And Vicky is probably one of my most favourite actors – after a long time, I have worked with an actor who surprises me constantly.

Are you still living the life of Sanjay Dutt?
No! Actually, I switch-on, switch-off quite easily. Once I finish the shooting of a film, I am already into another project. So, I am already on another journey. So, by the time the film is released, I watch the film as an audience.

What inspires you as an actor?
Working with good people! When you are working with an inspired team, it becomes a lot more fun. When you have inspiration around, it is the most contagious thing.

Which part of acting do you not enjoy?
Media questions! (laughs)