Ranveer singh bellowed his audience with his astounding hateful character Khilji in Padmaavat. But in reality, he is far removed from the vengeful and greedy aura he portrayed on screen. Breezing into a brightly lit dressing room of Yash Raj Films studio, he requested to be given time to finish munching on nuts at 11 PM on Wednesday.
Despite a long day of shoot followed by hours of media interview, his enigmatic energy barely dropped, but this had not been the case during Padmaavat’s climax shot. “The shoot was not supposed to happen in May. At 12 or 1 PM I was wearing four layers of leather in a film city ground, feeling myself melt. There were burning tyres and I had to inhale them. The moment they said cut, I slumped. The crew would revive me, I would puke, wash my face and then go in for the next shot,” said the star.
Ranveer may have become used to playing regal roles like Khilji and Bajirao but they nevertheless come with their own physical taxation. He may have an unbeatable spirit but he still possesses a physical body which often broke down under Padmaavat’s demanding schedule. “When I was shooting for Khali Bali my legs were jelly. I could not feel them. When the camera rolled, I did not know what took over me.”
For most actors, reaching to an existing part of themselves is the most obvious way to bring alive a character. But what do you do when your character has a central side absolutely alien to you? “I did not relate to Khilji at all. I could not find a part of me that was that greedy, ambitious, manipulative and scheming. I studied tyrannical leaders through history, oppressive regimes and other dark material like genocide and serial killing. That gave me the conviction that there existed people like these.”
Being a seasoned actor, Ranveer knows that he has to move on to his next character. He seems all too happy to shed away the regality on screen as he shoots for Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy. But Rohit Shetty’s Simmba is what he truly looks forward to as ‘masala films are after all his home territory’.