Randy Puhuda Every new project he picks is a revelation. Randeep After making his debut with “Monsoon Wedding” and receiving critical acclaim for his performances in biodramas like “Rang Rasiya” and “Sarbjit”, he became the “Biography Man” of the Hindi film industry. The actor’s next feature is another biopic based on the life of Swatantra Veer Savarkar.
In this interview with indianexpress.com, Randeep opens up about how at this stage in his career he only looks for well-written scripts and reveals that he stays away from Bollywood parties and events where he has to “pretend to be happy” “Charming people”, an unreal image.
The following are excerpts from the interview:
How do you manage to look and feel so different in every project you work on?
I give myself time. I’m always very nervous and always feel that I can’t act. This time people will say that I have no acting skills. I think it just puts me in a good position and doesn’t allow me to call in my shows like a lot of actors do. It’s a natural thing because you do it every day. I took a lot of breaks and did a lot of other things outside of acting and being with filmmakers, and that enriched me as a person.
After so many years of love and respect for your acting, why do you think you might not be able to pull off a certain role?
The first three or four days of any shoot, I’m like ‘dubaaraa karenge yaar, yeh acchha nahi hua..,’ (Let’s take another shot, it’s not very good…). But once you’re in the flow, it’s fine. I think self-doubt is a very good thing. Confidence is a good thing, but as an actor, self-doubt is also very important, because it reminds you all the time that you are not some god, just a human being who can slip and make mistakes.
Amid all this admiration, how does the actor keep his feet on the ground?
I don’t think I’ve ever won any awards in my life, and I don’t really care about them. They are opinions. However, your goal is to be honest with yourself and keep it real. Most of the time you’re trying to be yourself; if you start faking it in real life, you start faking it on screen. That’s why I don’t go to a lot of these events where you have to pretend to be this happy and charming person and you’re living a shitty life. So, being true to yourself and my job, and knowing your job is not to please people, keeps my feet on the ground. I don’t think likable people make good actors.
Speaking of good actors, how rarely do we see you socializing or partying with other actors? Do you choose to be with non-filmmakers to get in touch with reality? Is that your process?
It depends on each actor, each entertainer, each writer, director has a different approach and perspective on the way they approach their work. Also, real people and all things can be different. That’s the process of me living my life, I don’t know how to do that on screen. But I think I do spend a lot of time with real people, not with film people, because at some point we all distance ourselves and go into our cocoons. If you succeed, then you start living in an ivory tower. You will no longer be able to connect with people because you are living in an isolating vacuum, so to speak. So, obviously you have to get in touch with reality, and the best way to do that is to talk to your mother and she will correct you (laughs)!
You put so much energy and effort into your characters in movies like Sarbjit, Rang Rasiya and Highway. You also had knee surgery after being injured on set, does that make you fearful about your future?
Love hurts! I don’t know of any other way to do this. I haven’t learned any other way. Even though I’ve made films that I didn’t prepare or didn’t have a script for various reasons, I’ve decided not to. So many times I said no to those movies, I said no to a lot of money because I wouldn’t enjoy it. There are many ways to make money (I don’t act). I think that’s what happened to me, I don’t know any other way.
Are you satisfied with your upcoming works, or are you still longing for more mainstream filmmakers to rediscover you?
I don’t watch mainstream movies. I’ve never really enjoyed it this much. Mainstream Hykea? I don’t know. What I do is mainstream to me. I don’t care about “their” streams, Mera apna stream hai, mein apna chappu chala raha hoon, patthar aate hai beech mein, kya hota hai, kabhi paani bhi sukh jaataa hai, koi baat nahi (I’m rowing and sometimes rocks get in my way and sometimes the water dries up, but that’s ok). I am going my own way. And I’ve done a lot of mainstream movies, what are they going to rediscover in me? The people who want to rediscover me are the ones who brought me good work. They live their lives, I live mine, I’m not interested in living someone else’s life, career. As a human being, I’m interested in everyone’s life (laughs).