Amidst theatre rehearsals and promotions for his new film, TITLI, RANVIR SHOREY tells VIRAJ SAWANT how acting began for him.
Naturally, after you read about his short temperedness and anger issues, a little bit of caution to not leave your interview subject fuming, builds up. Your brain keeps alarming you to not strike the wrong chord but your questionnaire demands answers. With all these conflicts, I would say, Ranvir and I did get along well for the duration of our interaction and he successfully managed to put all my judgements to rest.
Your upcoming film TITLI has been the talk of the town with its trailer. Tell us about your role in the film.
TITLI is a film which is centred around a family. It’s about the life of a third brother, in a lower middle class family, who wants to escape his oppressive family. I play the oldest brother, who is the antagonist. When Kanu Behl (writer, director) told me he had written a part for me in his film, I thought it would be similar to something that I have done before. When I read the script it was a great script, a subject close to my heart. I was really glad that the director thought of me even when I hadn’t done something like this before.
Kanu Behl is a first time director. How was it working with him?
This may be his first film but he definitely doesn’t come across as a first time filmmaker. He knows his art very well. He’s very thorough, committed, hardworking and passionate. He pulls more than his weight. The audience should definitely go and watch TITLI because I don’t think they have seen something like this before. It’s a very important subject that we don’t think about like violence, patriarchy, disparity in society. It talks about all these things while engaging you in a very good story.
You are said to be a very angry person in real life and in the film you play this absolutely angry brother as well…
(Cuts in) I am, unfortunately, short-tempered. That way there was a definite connect between the film and me. Of course, when you know the role, the relationships, the person you are about to play, it does help.
What makes you angry in real life?
The easiest thing to tick me off is dishonesty. I don’t like people who lie.
Independent films, masala films or commercial films, what do you enjoy most?
I have done very few masala films. A lot of people confuse mainstream films with masala films. Many of the mainstream films that I did were not masala ones. You can say they were films trying to push the envelope and they were intelligent films. But I have done the odd masala film. I don’t discriminate between mainstream and independent films. It has to be a good story with a good director.
What drew you towards acting?
I was pushed into being in front of the camera. I started my career behind the camera as a director for non-fiction shows. Then I directed a show with Javed Jaffri for Channel V. Shashank Ghosh who was my boss at Channel V thought that I would be better off in front of the camera. From there a new journey started for me; I started hosting, VJing and then theatre and then films happened. It was after Khosla Ka Ghosla and Pyaar Ke side effects, that released a week apart from each other, that my work in films was more appreciated. So I would say my journey in films started after 2006.
I have spent almost 12-15 years in front of the camera. But that calling is still there so some day hopefully I’ll direct a film. It’s not easy making a transition. I have made so many transitions in my career. I know how hard the business is and how tough the world makes it for you.
You seem like a reserved person but you are very active on Twitter. How is social media treating you?
It’s great as a medium. People need to learn to take other people’s opinions also. Just like you have a right to express your opinion, other people do as well. That understanding seems to be lacking. I am hoping that once people have spewed enough venom they’ll probably realise how pointless it is. One good thing about Twitter is that you cannot have anonymous profiles. When this anonymity is available to you then it becomes more about mischief and harassment. Freedom of expression means there is no pre condition. But freedom does have consequences. When people have their identity at stake they are a little more cautious.
Which film will you be seen in after TITLI?
I have a few releases but I hope they find some market after TITLI releases. It’s difficult being the kind of actor I am. I think the kind of films that are stuck, the ones that are independent and the not big studio films, always take a beating unfortunately.