He may not be in your face, grabbing headlines and hogging the spotlight, but actor Randeep Hooda has consistently given stellar performances in films like D and Risk. Though the films may not have set the box office on fire, they garnered Randeep immense acclaim and respect as an actor. On a personal front, he has been known for dating actress Sushmita Sen, but Randeep prefers to let his work doing the talking.
After over a year, he is back and raring to go with at least five films ready for release, including Ketan Mehta's Rang Rasiya and Percept's Ru Ba Ru. In an exclusive interview with BollySpice, he chats about his upcoming films, comparisons with contemporaries like Ranbir Kapoor and his journey in Bollywood so far.
You started with a role in Mira Nair's 'Monsoon Wedding' back in 2001 but your first Bollywood film 'D' only released in 2005? What were you up to in-between?
When I saw Monsoon Wedding, I realised I had long way to go to bridge the gap between my potential as an actor and the actual deliverance of the goods on screen. In other words, I thought to myself 'God!!! I stink as an actor'.. So I went about learning more about the craft doing theatre under the able guidance of Naseeruddin Shah who was my co-star in Mira's film. That took a while ;-)
Ram Gopal Varma's 'D' branded you as an intense actor. Have you ever felt the need to break that image?
Hey, it was just a role. It just got followed up with 'Risk' in terms of release and that gave me that image. I have done a variety of roles since and they all break that image automatically, so never a problem. I have always felt boundless.
So far, how accomplished do you feel as an actor?
The more I learn, I learn that there is more to learn. It's an ever growing process. So accomplishment is meant to chased, not reached, just like a beautiful woman ;-)
In terms of box office your films haven't quite worked as well as one would hope, yet you've consistently been appreciated. How important is "box office" to you?
Hey man, box office is very important for an artist as that is somewhere a measure of the amount of people who view your work and trust me I want even other planets to see my work.
How do you feel when you see contemporaries like Ranbir Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh taking off after a single film when you've worked hard for a longer period of time and have given equally commendable performances?
It's their destiny man and good luck to them. I'm more concerned about my own, which time will unfold. Slow to rise might just mean slow to fall too. You never know.
Have you always wanted to be an actor?
As an actor you're subject to intense hounding by the media when it comes to your personal life. How do you cope with this?
I have developed a very thick skin and don't give a rats ass about it.
'Karma, Confessions and Holi' has been stuck for a while now. Do you think it will be releasing soon, if at all?
Yeah, I think it might be releasing soon.
Would you ever indulge in the stereotypical 'naach-gaana' of Bollywood?
You never know ;-)
What was your favourite film of last year?
300 and Apocalypto.
You have a total of 5 films ready for release. Tell us a bit about them.
Well well well.. ok there is 'Ru Ba Ru' which is a wonderful and thought provoking love story, which just might make the people who watch it appreciate their partners a lot more in the present than always postponing it to a time when everything is perfect.
Then you have 'Love Khichdi' which had a better title 'Love Game' earlier but I can't do anything about it. It's a story of a young man on what he thinks love is to what it actually is. In the process, he encounters 7 different women. It's a hilarious film that sometimes makes you cringe at its honesty. It's my most mass entertaining film to date.
Then 'Rang Rasiya' in Hindi and the same film in English called 'Colours of Passion'.. It's a bio pic on the life of legendary painter Raja Ravi Varma, who even today, is the most expensive Indian painter even today after a century since his death.
Any regrets so far, in terms of your journey in the industry?
Having regrets and mulling over them is one of the best ways of *bleep*ing yourself over and over with no positive result. One has to learn and move on and try and make new mistakes.
This year we'll be seeing a lot of Randeep Hooda. Are you excited, nervous or simply indifferent?
I'm excited about my work getting out there after a long wait... Nervous about the choices I made as an actor for communicating the scenes and indifferent about the outcome as I did the best I could on that particular day every day :-)
Thank you for speaking with us Randeep! We look forward to seeing you further consolidate your status as an accomplished and extremely talented actor. Best of luck!
After impressing with his acting skills, Randeep is ready to consolidate his status as an actor as well as a star this year. Don't forget to check out his upcoming films!