Indian Link Radio’s NEELAM VASUDEVAN travelled to Mumbai to chat with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone about their upcoming film Tamasha. The film is directed by Imtiaz Ali with music by AR Rahman.
Neelam: Ranbir and Deepika, it’s a pleasure to be with you here in Mumbai. I bring you a message from Australia. We are eagerly looking forward to your film Tamasha.
Deepika: Thank you.
Neelam: Ranbir, tell me about your character in the film, which I believe, spans through three stages. How difficult or easy was it to get into these different moods?
Ranbir: I play the character of Ved Vardhan Sahni who is someone who grows up in the world of stories and dreams. But because of the pressures of having to fit into society, the burden of the dos and don’ts, he becomes a robot. He becomes very mechanical and he forgets that carefree side of his life, you know, that dream that he had. Tara comes into his life and she rejuvenates that dream.
About getting into character, I think each film comes with its own challenges but Imtiaz is a director who really expects his actors to surrender to their parts, to feel their parts and to really give something about themselves to the part. And we also feel like doing that for him. It’s not for every film that you spend so much of yourself. It’s a pleasure working with Imtiaz. Always a pleasure working with Deepika too who gives so much of herself to her part, that you also get inspired to give it that extra little bit.
Neelam: Deepika, apparently you signed up for Tamasha without even reading the script.
Deepika: Yes, that’s true. My relationship with Imtiaz is beyond just the movies. There’s a lot of respect and trust. He actually signed me for Love Aaj Kal even before Om Shanti Om had released. And coming from the same director who had made Jab We Met, that said a lot. Jab We Met was a huge hit, and this director wanted to sign me on for a film even without seeing my work or knowing my full potential! In fact, even before I started my acting career, he offered me Rockstar. I said no to the film, for whatever reason. Of course they went on to make it much later with a completely different cast. And then he wrote Cocktail in which I played Veronica. He’s been very, very instrumental in so many of my decisions I feel somewhere, he’s had more faith in me than I’ve had in myself.
So as far as Tamasha is concerned, it was literally one phone call where he said he’s making this film and that Ranbir is in it. It was an instant yes from me because of this equation and trust factor. I always wanted Ranbir and me as an onscreen pair to be directed by Imtiaz.
Neelam: So you’ve both worked with Imtiaz before and you are familiar with his impromptu style of direction. How does that translate on screen?
Ranbir: Very well because I feel that for actors to work with people who they look up to, it is instrumental in your growth. Imtiaz has a wonderful understanding of human relationships. He has been greatly instrumental in my growth as a person.
Neelam: Deepika, is your character close to the real Deepika in any way?
Deepika: In terms of the philosophy, yes. I think a lot of people are going to relate not just to Tara’s character but also to Ved’s character. I feel like we are in a stage all our lives. I think we are in a phase right now where, for various reasons, maybe ambition, maybe technology, people have become mechanical; relationships have become mechanical. Youngsters today expect everything to be instant. Everything has to happen now (clicks her fingers) … Somewhere, we are losing ourselves. And somewhere we are also succumbing to expectations, to the pressure of being a certain someone, or take up certain professions that we are not necessarily passionate about. And this leads to much unhappiness. It’s self-destructive in a way. And that’s exactly Ved’s journey. But he’s fortunate that Tara comes into his life and makes him realise who he truly is. Some of us, I think, have been fortunate to have a real life Tara come and show us the way, but a lot of people are not. I feel this film is for them – those people whoare living a life where they are not truly happy from within, which is why I feel it’s a very relatable story. And somewhere it is the story of all our lives.
Neelam: I think we all like to sit on that “window seat” and dream a bit sometimes… and that was the original name of the film! You’ve both done every kind of role, and with such an astonishing sincerity and dedication, that we look forward to what you are going to do next. How do you manage to do these roles with refreshingly different approaches each time?
Ranbir: Well, firstly, thank you for the compliment. I think we are in a time when cinema is progressing. There are such interesting stories, interesting directors, interesting takes that people are having on characters and movies that, I mean, it is the call of the day. You have to be professional, you have to be interested. And you have to deliver quality. The generation after us, they’re coming so prepared. They are bringing brilliant stories and performances that all kind of inspire each other. So it’s really a good time to be in cinema. I do think that, slowly ‘the star’ is diminishing and ‘the actor’ is being woken up. Actors are now recognised for their performances more than just the stardom, and the movies are more important than the stars. The ‘superstars’ before us, we are inspired by their work of course, but where we are concerned, I think the opportunities that we are getting, we’re at the right place at the right time, to be making some really good cinema.
Deepika: Yes, I think so too. Fortunately for us both, our families have allowed us to live our dream, pursue our passion and live the life we want for ourselves. So it comes from a very, very honest place. I don’t think either of us sign on for films for money or for box office success necessarily. I think it comes from just wanting to tell fun stories, interesting stories, and entertain the audience in various ways. And through the different films that we make, hopefully leave behind a body of work that people are going to remember.
Neelam: What can we expect in the movie from both of you?
Deepika: I think it’s going to be an eye opener for a lot of people, it’s a very relatable story. I feel you are going to identify with Ved and Tara and with the message in the film. But most importantly it is an Imtiaz Ali film. He is one of the best at telling love stories. The film is entertaining yet something’s going to stir within you. It’s going to leave a smile on your face and still get you thinking.
Neelam: Any special message for your fans in Australia?
Ranbir: A big thank you! Deepika and I filmed …
Deepika: … our first project together as a pair in Australia!
Ranbir: We had a wonderful time making Bachna Ae Haseeno there. We stayed there for a good 25 days. So, a big thank you for all the love and support…the least we can do you is give you guys good entertaining movies and Tamasha is exactly that!
This interview was facilitated by Mind Blowing Films
Tamasha opens on 27 November. For details and session times visit mindblowingfilms.com
Full interview on Indian Link Radio on Tuesday 24 Nov at 9pm and Thursday 26 Nov at 9pm