A misfit in the commercial juggernaut

That’s what Ranvir Shorey feels he is, as he speaks to Nikita Wadhawan about his interest in independent films, future collaboration with Konkona Sensharma and his new movie

Actor Ranvir Shorey has juggled between commercial and independent cinema quite effectively since quite some years but over time it looks like he wants to focus on indie circuit as he feels the people don’t view him as a viable masala audience. After collaborating with his former wife Konkona Sensharma in ‘Death in Gunj’, the actor is now starring as a ruthless loan recovery agent who fools the farmers to get money in ‘Kadvi Hawa’ along with Sanjay Misra. Excerpts from the interview:

 We all know about the climate change happening around us but we are completely oblivious of the impact this has on the rural areas. Were you aware of the drastic change that is happening?

I was not aware about the rural India aspect of it. Though I have been following this issue for quite some time, this film has helped me focused on how it is affecting interiors of India. It drives home the point that this a human problem, that is man-made and human beings are being affect by it.

When you were shooting, did the locals in those areas know that all the problem that they are going through, is due to climate change?

I don’t think the rural masses are as aware that the issues they are facing are man-made, for them it is natures doing. Climate changes are not dramatic the way they show in Hollywood movies, where there is a sudden tidal wave or earthquake. So due to this slow turn, people are not paying attention to this issue. We can do so much to reduce this change but as usual politicians are distracting us to money moving issue. All this just sounds like a bad plot of a disaster movie.

You have another Chambal connect, you will also be playing a dacoit in Abhishek Chaubey ‘Chambal’…

Yes, it is an absolute joy and honour to work with Abhishek. I think he is one of the brightest directors that we have right now. I am flattered to be part of a cast that consist of Ashutosh Rana and Manoj Bajpayee, as I look up to them. I was an assistant when I saw their acting career take off so it was amazing to share screen space with them.

You have also worked with Manoj in ‘In The Shawdows’, so it is easy or challenging to work with such talented actors opposite you?

I have known Manoj for many years so there is a camaraderie there, already. It always helps knowing your co-actors. And working with actors like Manoj it is important to sit back and learn. I try to soak in as much as I can. But I have never been nervous working with him, I rather up my game.

Over time you seemed to have moved away from mainstream cinema and focused on independent-content films. Is this a conscious decision or it just happened?                                                                     

I don’t think mainstream cinema sees me as a viable box office option. Moreover, I don’t how I fit into the commercial cinema juggernaut where they are playing to the gallery. I have never been excited with that kind of work.

Many of your colleagues say that commercial cinema is just a way to pay the bills, do you feel the same?

Not at all. I have never treated commercial cinema as a cash cow, for me films like ‘Singh is King’ or ‘Chandini Chowk to China’ or ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ appealed to me. My part in all the films has a great arc and all were important roles in the film. So I look for that kind of films, my perspective it is about the script, the part, the director and then the logistics like date and money.

You were initially hesitant to work with Konkana in ‘Death in the Gunj’, after the response the film has received, are more comfortable collaborating with her again?

We did that film at a certain point in our life where we were still drifting apart. I have no regrets doing that film, but about the future I don’t know if we will be working together again. Since we are co-parents our relationship is not acrimonious but when you are working together you need to spend a certain amount of time with them and I this point I would rather leave it open. Nothing is on the cards and nothing is planned yet.

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