Ashutosh Rana: Happy to play roles of varied temperaments
Applauded for his act in Simmba, Ashutosh Rana on juggling masala films with middle-of-the-road cinema
Ashutosh Rana finds himself in an interesting phase of his career - after playing a pivotal role in Rohit Shetty's over-the-top universe of Simmba, the actor will be seen in Abhishek Chaubey's Sonchiriya, a gritty dacoit drama. "What more can an actor ask for but characters of varied temperaments? Commercial cinema is getting real, so it is a good time for artistes like me," says Rana.
Ever since Sonchiriya's trailer released, there has been curiosity about his role, with fans wondering if Rana is back to doing what he does best - exploring a grey character. "It's an interesting character with different shades to it," he says in measured words, careful to not divulge too many details. "Abhishek is known for his raw dramas. Plus, when you have co-stars like Manoj Bajpayee, the finest actor of our times, and youngsters like Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar who are known for their acting prowess, things work out for the good."
Apart from Simmba, Rana was also seen in Anubhav Sinha's Mulk and Shashank Khaitan's Dhadak last year. "I am fortunate that I have always received appreciation from the audience and critics. It is difficult to earn respect. There have been high expectations from me as an actor right from my Dushman (1998) and Sangharsh (1999) days."
Quiz him why he is not seen more often in Bollywood, and he is quick to point out that projects in the South have kept him busy. "I have done Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Marathi films," says Rana, who has just wrapped up another Telugu offering, Vishwamitra. "Language does not matter to me. As long as it is a meaty role, I am game for it. After over two decades in Bollywood, there's no point doing something for the sake of doing."
Even when he is not honouring his South film commitments, one will rarely spot the actor hobnobbing at social dos. "I am not in the party and paparazzi scene. If I am not working, I am busy writing," says the actor, who released the Hindi satire, Maun Muskan Ki Maar, last year.
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