Like any other Bollywood actor, Arjun Rampal might have had a series of flops but he has emerged as a one of a kind actor who looks great and chooses different kind of films. While Daddy is nearing its release, the actor got chatty with Deccan Chronicle, where he talks about making a film on Arun Gawli, the changing audience and the blunders of his initial career. Excerpts:
Why did you choose to make a film on the life of a controversial man?
I wanted to do something different and to stand out. Daddy is a film on which we all have worked very honestly. People are also liking it since it's different and they are also saying it is not pretentious in any manner. When you say a film is based on someone’s life, it should also look like one and Daddy has been made in such a manner. This is my analysis. I really like this genre. Films like Godfather, Pulp Fiction and Untouchables are my favourites. I love the Narcos web series. I like to work in this space and being an actor, it was a great opportunity for me to do something new. We wanted to make a film without diluting the originality of the real story. I wanted to show the graph of who Arun Gawli is, how he came into existence, his rise and fall etc.
Do you feel that the audiences like to watch content driven films only?
I think audiences have always been smart. I think they wait for Friday now. They are ready to give chances to us. It is expensive to watch a film these days and it is difficult to choose a film when you have multiple releases on the same date. We as an industry have to be more credible. We need to stop treating our audience like children. I hope Daddy will intrigue them. We may transport them into a different world for two hours. Films with star power have big openings but after that Friday, your film is good or bad and you get the real feedback. Before that it is just a perception. I also feel that audiences have so much access to the digital content, which is cheaper too, so they have a lot at their disposal already. It could also be the overkill. Days are gone when going to the cinema houses was the only source of entertainment for people. No star and their stardom matter; it is only the final product that matters. Nobody is bigger than the script.
In the initial phase of your career, you did many films that bombed at the BO. What was your turning point?
Deewanapan did a decent opening at the BO back then. I think for me what happened was I broke the taboo that models can’t act. I got critically acclaimed and accepted in the industry. I pushed myself to break this stigma foremost. I kind of was learning the ropes of the industry being an outsider. Though I was not satisfied with the kind of films I was doing, I don’t like to blame anybody. I only would blame myself and introspect. I had to know where I am lacking. As an actor, it was my turning point. I wasn’t working with like minded people. I started to work with people of the same rhythm like Farhan Akhtar in Don, Farah Khan in Om Shanti Om, Sudhir Mishra in Inkaar, Nikkhil Advani in D Day and so on. Then I knew I would do well. There’s nothing around that is impossible. Now I feel I have created my own niche as my choices of films are different than others.
What’s next after the release of Daddy?
Well, a break for a month for sure (laughs). Will start shooting for director J P Dutta’s war film Paltan with Sonu Sood, Pulkit Samrat and Abhishek Bachchan....