EXCLUSIVE | Whatever happened with Padmaavat created lot of angst in me: Ranveer Singh

So, after the cut was called, my whole vision would become hazy and I would collapse. There’s openness about his bisexuality but enough is also left to audience’s imagination. He is as much a creator of this character as I am. This abyss that could be dangerous for me. After the cut would be called, I would vomit. I can never be because being in films is the greatest gift of my life. Whatever happened definitely created a lot of angst in me but I chose not to act on it in a destructive manner. That created a condition, which I am still suffering from. Once into the interview, he looks down at your recorder, closes his eyes, frowns and carefully answers every question. I use to vomit my guts out and go for the next take. I took 21 days and locked myself up in my Goregaon house. With the appreciation that’s coming in for the performance, I am filled with gratitude and out of it is just born more love, affection and kindness for people. I had to tap into dark experiences but his world view is not something I can relate to also. The film is a tragedy and the only thing I told him after reading the script was, ‘If we get this right, this could be your best film ever.’ And I loved the film and I can’t always say about my own work but I personally loved Padmaavat. Not at all. Then I would have to be resuscitated and given some water to go into the next take. 2018-01-27T19:19:11+00:00″>
Updated: January 27, 2018 7:19 pm

Ranveer Singh plays Alauddin Khalji in Padmaavat. I was apprehensive for one reason only. I built a sort of foundation that I took with myself to the set and once I was on set, I allowed Bhansali to free flow with my character. But mostly I am relieved that my gamble paid off. The jauhar scene is undoubtedly the most powerful sequence in the film. I chose to channelise that anger and fire into my performance. What were those spaces that you invoked? It was beautifully done. I kept working on my physique, my voice and the gait. I kind of isolated myself, marinated into the character because I can’t relate to Alaudin Khilji, I can’t relate to that level of manipulativeness, greed and ambition. But then you also can’t say no to Sanjay Leela Bhansali due to the kind of rapport you share with him. I was never disillusioned. I understand it all too well, how much he contributed to my performance. Yeah. Now that you are saying, I think I will look up on it as that. It has been quite a struggle shooting for this film. Ummm, some and some not. With the trial the film went through, did you, at any point, feel disillusioned about being in films? I knew how deep I had to go into this rabid hole. I am relieved actually because it was a very big risk for me to take. How did you get into the skin of Khilji? I had to dig deeper in my reserves in order to deliver and it taught me something about myself. I remember shooting those running sequences in the jauhar scene. I was completely isolated. I just gave him the foundation. Overtime a director finds his/her muse and they go on to create a vast legacy together. But talk about the bisexuality of Khilji. There was a time during the film when I was breaking down. So, when you were offered the film, did you have a conversation with Bhansali about the scene regarding how unacceptable it will be to the audience? So, I really can’t say no to him. It (bisexuality) definitely added to his menace. In our country, if they love the character, they love the actor and the opposite could happen. He just knew what he wanted to do with Alaudin Khilji and was having so much fun doing it. In Filmcity, it was 45-degree heat and I was wearing a 12-kilogram leather and prosthetic armour and there were burning tyres everywhere. But it took a toll on me. In the film, he is pitted against people with very traditional moral compass and if you are the antagonist in their world, then it adds to your menace that the fact you are a complete antagonist, you have no boundaries, not even sexual. I feel it (bisexuality) added to the character. He was so full of energy, ideas and passion. I will pretty much do anything for him. Here I am, an actor in mainstream cinema. Well, it all started in the prep. He welcomes you with a big smile. I didn’t want to do it at the stage it was offered to me. He has contributed more than anyone else to my growth as an actor. I would lose my voice every other day. I have had some life experiences that were quite dark. You have seen it. And it was. How are you feeling right now? All credit to him. Perhaps Khilji was meant to happen for you to address those times and move on from them. I am really happy that people have come out with him as one of the takeaways from the film. There are enough of them where you can draw from. So, I learned a lot about my own capacity. There was a time, like during those action sequences with Shahid and during “Khali Bali” dance scene, I would sometimes not be able to feel my legs. It was May. What was your head space like during months leading up to the film’s release? It has released and Padmaavat is there for everyone to experience. So, I wasn’t prepared to do it. He is eccentric, keeps you guessing and interested in him. I believe so too. Jim auditioned and he nailed it. I am very happy with the reaction to my performance. Jauhar is not something to be glorified. The shooting process went in a way that I was under a lot of pressure to be doing too many things. Tell me how difficult was it to film the jauhar scene. The most dangerous people are the ones, who have nothing to lose. I chose to construct it. But what I did discover about myself is that I have extra gears. There were enough struggles throughout the shooting of the film that I had to encounter. I had just seen his performance. So, for Jim to be getting the kind of appreciation he is getting, it is extremely heartening because his is one of the most enriching co-actor experiences that I have had. And it was not always pretty, which validates my apprehension. His is the most amount of direction I have taken from across these three films. I understood all too well what his intention was. I had to do a lot of hard work to generate that conviction in me. I am living the dream. It is something not really seen before in Hindi cinema, that too with a historical character. Yes, the part was very exciting but what I did understand after reading the part was that it would need me to go to a very dark space. So, I am grateful every day for the opportunities I have had. Fortunately, with the help of my friends and family, I was able to neutralise myself. I would have had to go into this dark, black space. Wasn’t it difficult to gain sanity once the director called cut? It really adds to that menace. A part like this at this stage of my career, and especially with people advising me against it. He is Ranveer Singh, and no wonder he was Padmaavat’s Alauddin Khilji. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App
© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd The film nicely explored Khilji’s sexuality, which is also one of the highlights of the story. He set out to make a tragedy and that’s what it is. He made me look good. It is the most incredible thing that has happened to me. I really feel there’s something special between us. I have used it as catharsis and I have come out feeling much lighter. But like you said, I can’t say no to Bhansali. They said it was too big a risk to play a villain, a negative shade at this point in my career. But I am very happy that I put my faith in the evolution of the audience that they will be able to recognise my performance and recognise that I am an actor, who chooses to do things a bit differently. He has given me two of my biggest hits. I feel I have become a better person by playing the worst character, ironically! I only wanted to be one thing and that was a Hindi film hero. So, in that case, Alauddin Khilji presented a kind of shocking menace. I was in tears and it really moved me. I had to kick in gears, which even I didn’t know I had. I can’t reveal too much because it is too personal but it is the stuff I have brushed under the carpet so to speak. He is my guru. I had a bad throat for a year and a half because the voice I had created for Alauddin Khilji was very bad for the throat. Were these dark times before you entered the film industry? He has shaped me as an artiste. Not at all. Stuff that I have buried in my conscience, that I had to dig out in order to play this character. The challenges for me were more physical, not just in that scene but throughout the film. I saw Jim’s performance in Neerja and I told Sanjay sir that for Malik Kafur’s character, you must try this actor. I believe that about Bhansali and myself. But to see the film released and the love and appreciation pouring in for the work, it feels very fulfilling. I used that place as my workshop and that’s where I stayed for the duration of the film because our set was Filmcity. I didn’t know him at all. Being an outsider, my chances of making it here were million to one and it happened. The kind of appreciation that is pouring in is extremely heartening. I think everyone on the film just killed it. Padmaavat has finally released. But I feel like I have tapped into that darkness, to those negative experiences and I have addressed them. As his controversy-ridden epic Padmaavat hits theaters this week, Ranveer sat down with indianexpress.com to talk about the risk and struggle of playing Khilji, his ever-growing relationship with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and why the incessant protests against the film made him angry, but not disillusioned. I am very proud of Padmaavat. I am really happy that our chemistry as actor-director has gotten better.