Acting is no rocket science: Arjun Rampal
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In 1998, at the very outset of his career, Arjun Rampal, in an interview to a website, had decalred that he would only be part of movies that made sense to him with roles that were exciting. And that we would prefer to create a niche for himself as an actor, than a star and leave the rest to destiny. Rampal, at the time was making a difficult transition from modelling to films with late cinematographer Ashok Mehta's Moksh and Shantanu Sheorey's Jadh.
About 14 years later, it would appear that the then aspiring actor has wisely chosen to stick to his guns. Or that he is destiny's favoured child. With 20 plus films, a National Award for his performance in Rock On! and a reasonably good collection of movies in his kitty, Rampal once again reckons for the litmus test with a lead in Prakash Jha's Chakravyuh. He plays Adil Khan, an upright cop who believes in the system in this action drama about two friends who find themselves on opposite sides in the government's war against Naxals. There is also Madhur Bhandarkar's Heroine, Sudhir Mishra's Inkaar, where he plays the head of an ad agency who is accused of sexual harrassment by a colleague, besides Prakash Jha's Satyagraha and Nikhil Advani's D-Day.
Says Madhur Bhandarkar of the actor, "With Heroine, Arjun's image will change as much as Kareena Kapoor's. He has done a fabulous job of playing a superstar who is in relationship with Kareena's character."
Prakash Jha, who first worked with him in Raajneeti, endorses Rampal's performance. "He has completely broken away from the wooden expression that people criticised him for."
We met the actor at his plush suburban pad in Mumbai, where he spoke about his forthcoming projects. Excerpts.
What convinced you to sign a film with a subject as complex as the Naxal issue in the interiors of India?
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