Anushka and I Are Very Good Friends: Ranveer Singh

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) Newcomer Ranveer Singh, who has debuted in the comedy "Band Baaja Baaraat" opposite actress Anushka Sharma, said the two are "very good friends" and not bothered about rumours that they are romantically linked.

"She and I are very good friends. How can I change that truth just because it sounds cliched? Neither of us is bothered about what people say," Ranveer told IANS.

As for rumours about Ranveer and Anushka, he says: "I was too much into my work to even think about those rumours. I just wanted to perform well. That was my only concern. In fact I was casually dating a girl when that call from Yashraj changed my life. I've never been in a serious relationship so far. And now my career has just started."

"We came from two different schools of filmmaking. I'm a trained actor. She never attended any acting school. As a model she had faced the camera before acting and had already done two films before 'Band Baaja Baaraat'. She is a one-take actor. I believe in lots of rehearsals. And that was very annoying for Anushka because her first take was the best. We had to reach a middleground before we could get along."

"In hindsight I feel I was rehearsing more than necessary because it was my first film. I learnt from her to be spontaneous. But the fact that we had to be at loggerheads on screen was certainly helped by our constant friction in the sets about our approach to acting."

The film was released earlier this month.

"I think after 'Band Baaja Baraat' I need to do a completely contrasting character. Someone who is not loud or opinionated and unsophisticated."

The suffering of waiting is over for this debutant who came in from the outside. "Not since Akshay Kumar and John Abraham has there been a male lead from outside the industry getting such positive reactions. I just hope my example encourages talent from outside. Because right now the perception is outsiders don't stand a chance. I had no reference like mine to give me hope when I was going through my struggle period."

One call from Yash Raj changed my life. "It was completely out of the blue from casting director Shanu Sharma. I remember I was out on a date when Shanu kept calling. I avoided her calls for as long as I could because I had other things on my mind at that moment. Imagine if I had not taken the call from Yash Raj for a fling that lasted exactly 10 days! Anyway the next day I was at Yash Raj doing two scenes. I got called back in three days. Later Adi sir (Aditya Chopra) told me he had made up his mind immediately."

Ranveer is pleased he didn't get a conventional romantic debut. "The story in 'Band Baaja Baaraat' is terrific. And my character Bittu was so much fun for me to play because he's so far removed from my own world. It was more than I could ever ask for. I was more than happy to be a simple character in a simple story. Not too many newcomers can dream of a break like 'Band Baaja Baaraat', certainly not someone unconnected with the film industry."

Catty elements within the industry had spread the rumour that his father, a prosperous businessman, had financed the film.

Confesses the young polite actor: "Yes, that hurt on several levels. Such ugly rumours took away from my pleasure at being the first solo-hero to be launched by Yash Raj. It was upsetting. My father and my family's pride that I had made it on my own got blunted when it was said that they financed my debut film. It was like taking away from my little achievement."

And to think Ranveer thought of changing his name because there was already a Ranbir around. "I am glad I didn't. This is my name. This is my destiny. I'm just so happy ."


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