April 6, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): In the upcoming Hindi movie Raajneeti, Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal is cast as Ranbir Kapoor’s zany flamboyant elder brother. The brotherly camaraderie spilt over from the screen, and the two guys were often seen indulging in brotherly activities on location in Bhopal including playing pranks on Katrina Kaif, though on screen they were required to be emotionally and geographically distanced from one another.
Chortles Arjun, “I don’t play the conventional Bade Bhaiyya. It’s the toughest role of my career. I had to be larger-than-life but not over-the-top. This man I play is whimsical, flamboyant and audacious. He can do anything. His kid-brother has gone abroad to study. My character has stayed back in India to create his own unpredictable world. He’s in own space, though not spaced out.” Arjun was guided by his director Prakash Jha in interpreting the character. “Rock On, which took my career to another level and got me a National award, was a dream role. I got to play a rock star! This man in Raajneeti is completely alien to me. He’s a man who does the unthinkable. Do I expect another National award? No performance can be tailored for recognition.”
Arjun will also be doing unthinkable things in Anubhav Sinha’s Ra.1, where he plays the arch-villain, the main antagonist opposite Shah Rukh Khan, though he isn’t allowed to talk about it. But before that there’s Housefull which Arjun says was a laugh riot. “But it also has very emotional moments. As a director Sajid Khan is so wonderfully clued in to what his actors can do. I worked with Farah and now her brother Sajid. Both were fun.”
Such was the joy of working with Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutt , Jiah Khan and the whole cast that Arjun has forgotten he injured his back during the shooting of Housefull.“ It was yoga and physio-therapy that helped heal my back completely,“ says Arjun Rampal. “I was working out at the gym when I suffered a massive slipped disc. I was required to lose considerable weight so as to not burden my back.”
On a more cheerful note, Arjun has lately been shooting with Kajol and Kareena Kapoor for Karan Johar’s adaptation of Stepmom. He says he enjoyed being sandwiched between two women who light up the screen. “While Kajol has always been my favourite actress Kareena is more a buddy. Kareena and I started our careers almost together, so we both bond as colleagues friends and fans of Kajol.” In Stepmom, Arjun stars as Kajol’s husband and Kareena’s lover. “It’s wonderful to have two such gorgeous actresses as my co-stars. But honestly, today I’m confident enough to create my own space in a film.”
-Subhash K. Jha/ Sampurn Wire