Randeep Hooda: Awards are a very funny thing
On A sultry Wednesday afternoon, we caught up with Randeep Hooda, who has just got down to the promotions of his next project, 'Laal Rang'. Dressed in a white T-shirt and denims, he looked fresh and game for questions notwithstanding the fact that he had been doing interviews all morning.
"Tired?" I asked. "Not at all," he replied with a smile. He then reached into his pant pocket, took out his phone and started typing away. "Shall I wait?" I asked impatiently, but he insisted that he was ready to start the interview.
Excerpts from the 30-minute conversation:
Q. What interested you to sign 'Laal Rang'?
A. I had met (director Syed Ahmed) Afzal long ago for some other film, but that did not materialise. But during the course of briefing, I realised that he is an exceptional talent. So, when he brought this script to me, it moved me. It deals with crime, romance and bromance. Moreover, it is set against the backdrop of Haryana where I hail from. The film will give Haryana its real idenitity. It is a very larger than life character — one of the most flamboyant characters that I have ever played in my career so far. I could relate to some of the things in the film because I have experienced them for real.
Q. Are you talking about heartbreaks?
A. Yes, and also the bromance.
Q. Although people appreciated your roles in multi-starrers like 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai' and 'Jism 2', your solo hero films have not worked as much...
A. The reason why most of my solo lead role films suffered so much was that they were not promoted well. But that is not really my job. I do my job, which is acting, and then move out of the way. But I am going to do a lot more solo lead films. There is 'Sarbjit' biopic and then 'Do Lafzon Ki Kahani'. But I have also maintained a balance between mainstream and other roles. I make sure diverse work keeps me engaged and also interests the audience.
Q. Your potential as an actor has never been questioned, but not many awards have come your way. What could be the reason behind it?
A. Awards are a very funny thing. They are meant for other things than just rewarding a performance. I have never shunned them (award functions) as such but I have also never worked for an award. That doesn't really get my attention. My interest is more on good work and that keeps me busy. Naseeruddin (Shah) sir told me an interesting thing — in the Himalayas, there is a monastery where monks make intricate sand structures and once they are done with it, they destroy them to make another. That is my approach. Once I am done with my work in a film, I leave it to the audience. Whether the film industry acknowledges it or not is another thing.
Q. Marketing a talent to become a star is as important as acting. Have you given a thought to the importance of marketing yourself?
A. It is a kind of a paradox that follows an actor. You have to market yourself because there is a career involved. I think it is good to master it (marketing). Some people are good at it and some are not. You can decide that your work can speak for itself but because of so much clutter in the information given to the audience, one can get lost.
Q. Is there anything else that interests you apart from acting?
A. Sports. You either win or lose. It is not opinion-based or subjective.
Q. Your love for horses is well known. What was your reaction to the horse beating incident in Mussoorie?
A. I don't know who hit the horse. But it was unfortunate that such a thing happened. My vet friend went there and put a prosthetic leg on the horse. I asked him about it and he said that he wants the horse to not just walk but also run. The government has asked him to perform a surgery on it.
Q. Your personal life is not talked about much, unlike other actors...
A. Maybe because they think it is a way to stay in news. I find a lot of it manipulated. But to each his own. I have a lot of interesting things to talk about; talking about my personal life is unnecessary.