Tag Archives: UK cinemas

‘Padmaavat’ protests continue in India, UK release unaffected

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bollywood epic Padmaavat, set to release in UK cinemas by Paramount Pictures UK on 25th Jan, is still facing protests in India.

Embed from Getty Images

After death treats were issued to lead actress Deepika Padukone and Bhansali, followed by multiple Indian states banning the film and the local Certification Board in India refusing to classify the film, Padmaavat was postponed.

After five cuts and a name change from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’ the film will finally get a general release this week.

Based on 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem Padmavat, the movie faced resistance from its early stages due to rumour-mongering.

The film that showcases the valor of Rani Padmavati, Maharawal Ratan Singh and the famed Rajput ethos of honour, bravery and sacrifice, has from early last year sparked a furor in India inciting violence against the makers and cinemas showing the film.

The Supreme Court in India earlier this week ruled that all states must show the film. The protestors disagree saying that Padukone’s portrayal in the film ‘disrespects’ Rani Padmavati. Multiple cinema chains have already been vandalised.

Embed from Getty Images

Karni Sena, a Rajput caste extremist group, last year threatened UK citizens and encouraged their followers to burn down UK cinemas screening the film. By doing so, they incited violence and committed hate crime, an offense in Britain. Rajput groups in the UK also decided to protest the film, albeit without violence.

Also starring Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, the film has been classified by the British Board of Film Classification twice, the original and edited version, both with a 12A rating.

The Mayor of London’s office informed BollyNewsUK that the Mayor‘s Office of Policing and Crime has been alerted following the threats.

The Home Office stated “The UK Government will not tolerate any groups who spread hate or deliberately raise community fears and tensions by bringing disorder and violence to our towns and cities and the police have comprehensive powers to deal with such activities.”

Cineworld Cinemas PLC, the second largest cinema operator in Europe, who also control the 60 percent of the UK Bollywood market stated, “At Cineworld we show a diverse range of films to cater to all tastes and preferences, so we look forward to releasing an edited version of Padmaavat on 25 January at our cinemas.

They added, “As always, we take security very seriously and have rigorous procedures in place to protect our customers.”

Paramount Pictures UK will release Padmaavat (Hindi) in UK cinemas from 25th January 2017 in 2D, 3D and at selected sites in IMAX 3D.

Interview: Sonam Kapoor speaks about ‘Neerja’

NEERJA UK CompetitionThe gorgeous Sonam Kapoor can be seen in the much-awaited and already critically acclaimed Neerja in UK cinemas now.

Neerja is a biopic and a cinematic representation of the dramatic events that unfolded on September 5th, 1986 when Pan Am Flight 73 from Bombay to New York was hijacked in transit at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi by Palestinian extremists from Abu Nidal’s terrorist outfit. This is the story of Neerja Bhanot, a 22-year-old part time model, who was the head purser on the flight. Neerja had escaped an abusive marriage and, as a life change, decided to become an airhostess, subsequently impressing everyone so much that they made her a purser.

Throughout the horrifying ordeal, Neerja didn’t succumb to her fears and instead fought her personal demons from the past and, from the minute the plane was hijacked through the terrifying 17 hours to the grueling end, used her courage, wits and compassion to make sure the passengers were protected, going so far as to hide the passports of the American passengers. Through her swift thinking and brave actions, she managed to save the lives of 359 passengers and crew on board out of 379, all at the cost of her own life.

Neerja was hailed internationally as ‘the heroine of the hijack’ and posthumously became the youngest recipient of India’s highest civilian honour for bravery, the Ashoka Chakra; was bestowed the Flight Safety Foundation Heroism award by USA; Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat ( awarded for showing incredible human kindness) by Pakistan; Justice for Crimes Award by United States Attorney’s Office for the district of Columbia; Special Courage Award by the US government; and theIndian Civil Aviation Ministry’s Award.

Speaking to BollyNewsUK, Sonam Kapoor spoke about playing the title character in the film and much more…

You’ve had a great last year and are starting off 2016 with Neerja. How are you feeling?
I am super kicked about Neerja. I really believe in the film. I also really believe in what Neerja stood for. I am really excited for people to now watch the movie and take something away from it.

Audiences would not expect to see you in a film like Neerja. How did it come about?
I don’t like to give audiences what they expect. I like to mix it up. I like to do something different with every film. My agent was working on making this film. Everything just feel into place organically as it’s such a beautiful story and very well-written script. We just wanted to make it badly. We wanted everyone to know her story since it’s so inspiring and everything became really easy because everyone has the same mind-set about it. Neerja is an unsung hero and we wanted her to become heroic again.

Neerja

Bling!, who manage your career, are producing the film. Was that a comfortable aspect of being a part of such a sensitive film?
It wasn’t just Bling! but also Fox Star and the creative producer, Rucha Pathak. I have worked with her on many occasions previously. She was the one who put Khoobsurat together with my sister Rhea at Disney. She moved to Fox Star after Khoobsurat. I have worked with the people at Fox Star before too and I just knew that I was in good hands with all these people. Everyone just really believed in the film. I am really grateful to all these people who have shown immense commitment to the film.

20th Century Fox is releasing the film in UK cinemas. Do you feel the subject and the wide reach of the international studio can make the film go mainstream in the UK?
We are releasing the film in UK cinemas with English subtitles. I am not aware of how wide the release is. It can definitely attract a mainstream audience and I hope it does well abroad. I’m sure if it catches on, Fox will increase the cinema screens.  

Neerja - Fox Star Studios - UK ReleaseComposer Shekhar Ravjiani is part of the film as well, which is surprising. How did that happen?
Vishal plays a cameo in the film. You need to watch the film to explore what he is doing in the film. Honestly, all credit goes to Atul Kasbekar and my director Ram Madhvani to get him on board. He is a musician but he is a lovely human being and I have known him for many years. It’s great to have him a part of Neerja.

How much has the story of Neerja been changed for cinematic adaptation? 
We have not amended anything of the original story. We have to be really sensitive as there are survivors who are alive and we did not want to change anything just for the sake of it. It’s best for people to watch the film and judge for themselves.

What’s next for you after Neerja?
I don’t want to reveal it because all my energy is dedicated towards Neerja at the moment. A week after the release, there will an announcement.

Neerja is produced by Fox Star Studios and co-produced by Bling Unplugged and has been directed by celebrated ad film director, Ram Madhvani. Actress Sonam Kapoor is playing the role of the young brave heart and adding to the cast is veteran and internationally renowned actress, Shabana Azmi, playing the role of Neerja’s mother.

‘NH10’ UK release cancelled

NH10 Still Eros International (6)The latest Bollywood film from NYSE listed Bollywood studio Eros International, NH10 starring Anushka Sharma is not releasing in UK cinemas as planned.

The film was listed by the distributors to get a UK, overseas and Indian release on 13th March 2015. While the film may still open in other international territories, for now the film won’t be seen by UK fans.

Produced by leading lady Anushka Sharma in association with Phantom Films and Krishika Lulla from Eros International, the trailer of NH10 was censored by distributor Eros International through the British Board of Film Classification with a ‘15’ rating.

However, the feature film has not been censored yet, which is necessary for general release in the UK. Directed by Navdeep Singh, NH10 opens in Indian cinemas today, 13th March 2015.

20th Century Fox to release ‘Mr. X’ in UK cinemas

20th Century Fox will release the Emraan Hashmi starrer Mr. X in UK cinemas on 17th April 2015.

Watch the trailer here:

The film also stars Amyra Dastur and will be released in 3D as well. Mr. X is written by Vikram Bhatt and Shagufta Rafique and Vikram Bhatt.

The suspense sci-fi thriller is produced by Vishesh Films in association with Fox Star Studios.

MR.X UK Release

 

Eros to release ‘NH10’ in UK cinemas on 6th March

Eros International has released the theatrical trailer of Anushka Sharma starrer NH10, set to release in UK cinemas on 6th March 2015. 

Watch the trailer here:

Synopsis: NH10 is the story of a young upper middle class couple Meera and Arjun, driving to a well-earned weekend getaway. Somewhere on the road, they step in to help what seems like a usual village skirmish…not realizing what’s in store ahead!

EROS NH10 UK Release CinemasA thriller at heart, it’s essentially a story of survival and courage – of how a woman stacked against all odds manages to not just stick it out but indeed…Give it back!

This is Anushka Sharma’s first home production under her production house, Clean Slate Films. It is also being produced by Phantom Films and NYSE listed studio Eros International.

NH10 is directed by Navdeep Singh, and stars Anushka Sharma and Neil Bhoopalam in leading roles. The film is a thriller, is edgy, gritty and intriguing.

This March, hit the road on Meera’s journey of a lifetime with NH10.

Directed by Navdeep Singh and produced by Krishika Lulla, Anushka Sharma, Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Karnesh Sharma, NH10 will be released in UK cinemas on 6th March 2015.

NH10 UK Release EROS

Reliance Entertainment to release ‘Hawaizaade’ in UK cinemas

Hawaizaada is set to inspire a new generation of filmgoers in a tale of unwavering daring, ingenuity and glory. Releasing in UK cinemas on 30th January 2015 by Reliance Entertainment, Hawaizaada celebrates the Indian spirit of adventure and invention as well as the country’s prolific freedom struggle, as it unfolds the story of one man’s dreams and aspirations amidst considerable adversity.

Hawaizaada is the story of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, an unsung hero, a vedic scholar and an expert on Sanskrit literature. He is regarded as the great Indian scholar who not only sketched out but also built the first ever airplane in 1895, eight years before the Wright Brothers, the American duo who were originally credited for being pioneers in the field of aviation. Shivkar Bapuji Talpade airplane was the first ever controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight. Though his effort failed, his work and research was never given its fair share of recognition or even mention. By way of this film, audiences will truly come to understand his genius.

Inspired by true events, Hawaizaada has been masterfully brought to the big screen by renowned scriptwriting-duo Vibhu Puri and Saurabh R Bhave, whose previous critically-acclaimed writing credits include Saawariya and Guzaarish. Vibhu also makes his directorial debut and masterfully brings to life all the vibrancy, old-world charm and emotion of the narrative in a thrilling cinematic experience for the whole family.

Hawaizaada (2)Hawaizaada features an ensemble cast of emerging and established actors, who all showcase their considerable talents in this thought-provoking and inspiring story. Playing the lead role of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade is multi-talented actor, musician and presenter Ayushmann Khurrana (Vicky Donor), who is joined by rising star Pallavi Sharda (Besharam), who essays the role of Sitara. The star line-up is completed by veteran award-winning actor Mithun Chakraborthy (OMG, Oh My God).
 
The film tells the story of young school drop-out ‘Shivi’ (Ayushmann Khurrana), who falls in love with popular rich girl Sitara (Pallavi Sharda). But their turbulent and tempestuous relationship does not run smoothly and Sitara decides to leave the city to spare Shivi any further pain. The heartbroken and dejected Shivi slips into a constant drunken stupor in a world filled with debauchery and sinfulness. However, His life is dramatically changed when he meets ‘Shastry’, (Mithun Chakraborthy), a Vedic scholar, who inspires him to change his shallow, unfulfilled life. Shastry shares his life-long dream of making an airplane based on the principles of the Hindu religious texts, the Vedas. Hence begins the two men’s poignant, courageous and exciting journey, one a whimsical genius and the other a witty, crazy dreamer.
 
However, the course of life and love never runs smoothly, as Shivi finds himself the perpetrator of the ultimate betrayal against his good friend Shastry. Will Shivi be able to redeem himself after his unthinkable actions and will he and his true love Sitara reunite and realise the life-long dream of his friend and mentor?
 
Hawaizaada is set to be the New Year’s must-see, feel-good film, packed with aspiration and adventure. Hawaizaada will release in UK cinemas on 30th January 2015 through Reliance Entertainment.

Hawaizaada (1)

‘UNGLI’ releases in UK cinemas on 28th Nov

UngliThe stage is set for this year’s explosive black comedy-drama, as five vigilantes take justice into their own hands in the dark and witty urban tale Ungli (Finger), which releases on 28th November 2014 through Reliance Entertainment in UK cinemas.

Produced by Dharma Productions, the film company helmed by supremo director and producer Karan Johar, the edgy film, with a noir comic twist, is set in a sprawling metropolis, where corruption, intimidation and violence are a way of life. A city that never sleeps, the underworld is at full force, led by a sinister mob that demands obedience and respect. Enter five rebels, who decide that they have had enough of the corruption that has blighted their city, and so decide to unite and expose the corrupt through whatever means necessary. The only thing that stands in their path is a tenacious police officer named ‘Kale’, portrayed by veteran actor Sanjay Dutt.

The ensemble cast put on admirable performances, with Emraan Hashmi (The Dirty Picture, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai) taking the helm as the rebel leader ‘Nikhil’.  Other star turns come from award-winning actress Kangana Ranaut (Fashion, Queen) as the spirited ‘Maya’ and Randeep Hooda (Highway, Kick), who shines as cheeky rebel ‘Abhay’. The film also boasts a terrific supporting cast comprising of Neil Bhoopalam (No One Killed Jessica, Shaitan), Angad Bedi (F.A.L.T.U), Neha Dupia (Heyy Babyy), and Arunoday Singh (Main Tera Hero, Jism 2). Stunning actressShraddha Kapoor (Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, Haider) makes a special appearance in an item number not to be missed.

Ungli is directed by avant-garde filmmaker and scriptwriter Rensil D’Silva, who is responsible for some of Indian cinemas most thought-provoking screen hits, including Kurbaan, Rang De Basanti, Student Of The Year and the Indian version of award-winning US TV show 24.

Perfectly capturing the current mood in India of curbing corruption, bribery and intimidation in the upper echelons of power and authority, Ungli is a beautifully acted and directed narrative that conveys in an effective and humorous manner how five ordinary citizens can make a difference in a city blighted by dark forces, as they literally give the proverbial ‘finger’ to the corrupt and dishonest.

Ungli releases on 28th November 2014 through Reliance Entertainment in UK cinemas. 

Watch the song promos of Ungli here:

‘Kill Dil’ comes to UK cinemas on 14th November

Marking the arrival of an exciting new genre in Indian cinema – the ‘slick flick’ – Yash Raj Films presents the best of Bollywood’s new generation of talent in one of the most compelling and innovative films of the year, Kill Dil, releasing in UK cinemas on 14th November.

Produced by Aditya Chopra, Kill Dil is a glossy action flick with spirited passion at the heart of it. The film is directed by Shaad Ali, who makes an experimental departure from earlier super hits such as Bunty Aur Babli

Super stylised but substance heavy, Kill Dil features Ranveer Singh, Ali Zafar and Parineeti Chopra essaying their most leftfield roles to date. Making a radical departure from the comedy genre he is famous for, screen veteran Govinda depicts a negative role with equal prowess.

The buddy movie redefined for a new generation, Kill Dil combines action with romance, portrayed through a pulp fiction style of filmmaking that’s sure to be appreciated by film lovers and critics alike. The captivating mise en scene is complimented by an equally ingenious and addictive soundtrack composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Synopsis: Once upon a time in North India, two killers, Dev (Ranveer Singh) and Tutu (Ali Zafar), roamed free. Abandoned when young and vulnerable, Bhaiyaji (Govinda) gave them shelter and, in turn, nurtured them to kill. All is normal in their lives until destiny throws free-spirited Disha (Parineeti Chopra) into the mix. What follows is a game of defiance, deception and love. Kill Dil is a film about the tricks the heart plays on an unsuspecting victim of love.

Prepare for a new dawn in Indian filmmaking as the Buddy Movie gets redefined in Kill Dil, presented by Yash Raj Films, releasing in UK cinemas on 14th November 2014.

 

YRF to release ‘Kill Dil’ in UK cinemas

Yash Raj Films will release their upcoming production Kill Dil in UK cinemas on 14th November 2014.

The production house has also today released the official poster of Kill Dil after the series of teaser character posters created a huge anticipation for the first look poster.

Kill Dil Poster

Synopsis: Once upon a time in North India, two killers – Dev(Ranveer Singh) and Tutu (Ali Zafar), roamed free. Abandoned when young and vulnerable,Bhaiyaji (Govinda) gave them shelter and… nurtured them to kill!

All is normal in their lives until destiny throws free-spirited Disha (Parineeti Chopra) into the mix.

What follows is a game of defiance, deception and love.

The film releases in UK cinemas on 14th November 2014 through Yash Raj Films.

Directed by Shaad Ali and produced by Aditya Chopra, Kill Dil is an entertaining thriller about guns and romance. The music has been composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and lyrics penned by Gulzar.

The trailer of the film will be released online on 18th September 2014. 

Arjun & Alison to release in UK cinemas on 25th April

Arjun & AlisonWhen their best friend is the victim of a racist murder on a Birmingham university campus, Alison (Monique Squeri), a feisty American student, and Arjun (Shiv Jhala), an Indian who obsessively films everything, plot their revenge on Gordon, the rising star of the university’s controversial “English” Society.

Arjun & Alison is a hard hitting independent thriller directed by debutant Sidharth Sharma which poignantly tackles the underlying concerns of racism and racially motivated behaviour amongst the British youth community.

Set in Birmingham, the city forms an ethnically diverse backdrop, a cultural melting pot amongst student life, where a mixed group of friends are enjoying their days on campus when a horrifying murder takes place. Nigel (Duane Hannibal), the campus joker, ladies man and life and soul of the party is stabbed and killed after a night out. Determined to seek revenge on their best friend’s killer, Arjun and Alison embark on a journey filled with twists and turns, unraveling dark secrets along the way. Meanwhile tempers are high around campus as university activists protest against Gordon (Oliver Squires), a smarmy politician-in-the-making and controversial leader of the newly created English Society. While Gordon’s far right views and outwardly racist demeanor make him the prime suspect in the racially motivated killing, Arjun and Alison must battle their own dark problems before seeking revenge.

Arjun & Alison is a gritty British revenge thriller with a talented new cast and whilst the edgy plot simmers with anger, lies and treachery, there is certain warmth between the two lead characters. As their friendship grows, circumstances deepen and the murder mystery starts to unravel new discoveries and past secrets. Debut Indian director Sidharth Sharma says of the film:

“I was fascinated by the UK’s unique blend of cultures and the behaviour amongst the youth. During a visit to Birmingham I was particularly moved by the race riots that occurred during my trip. I was shocked by the fighting, which was happening and discussed a film idea with screenwriter Andy Conway. As a result the script for “Arjun & Alison” had surfaced and I was compelled to make a film about the racial tensions in this part of the country as opposed to shooting in London, which is a familiar backdrop in modern Indian cinema. I feel the underlying scenarios of the lead characters are ones which the majority of young Britons can relate to.”

Arjun & Alison features an all new British cast as well as a cameo role from ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ star Kulvinder Ghir. The film was first premiered at the London Indian Film Festival (2012) before being officially selected for the St Tropez International Film Festival (2013) where it received critical acclaim and lead actress Monique Squeri picked up the Best Actress award. The film has since been received warmly in America, after a special screening and Q&A session with director Sidharth Sharma at the Boston University.

Arjun & Alison is being released in the UK on Friday 25th April at selected Cineworld cinemas. The first look of the trailer will be shown from this Friday (11th April) at screenings of ‘Bhoothnath Returns’ and ‘2 States’.

Sonakshi Sinha’s look inspired by Laila Ali

Sonakshi Sinha will be seen in UK cinemas again this year in the much-awaited Vipul Shah directorial Holiday: A Soldier is Never Off Duty.

The Rowdy Rathore actress is once again paired opposite Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar in this action filled rom-com.

We heard that Sonakshi Sinha was undertaking boxing lessons for the film and has apparently inspired her look in the film from Muhammad Ali’s daughter Laila Ali, who is a world renowned boxer.

Sonakshi Sinha in Holiday - UK

The braids and leather gloves that she has chosen for her boxing scenes have been “inspired” by that of Laila’s.

Holiday releases in UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

 

‘Dedh Ishqiya’ in UK cinemas now!

Dedh Ishqiya_MadhuriShemaroo Entertainment Ltd  has released Dedh Ishqiya in UK cinemas last Friday, 10th January 2013. 

Starring Madhuri Dixit Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Huma Qureshi, Dedh Ishqiya is a romantic thriller directed by Abhishek Chaubey, with music by Vishal Bhardwaj.

Synopsis: Taking on from where things were last left, Dedh Ishqiya uncovers yet another escapade of Khalujan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi), a poetic journey underlined with revenge, drama and deception.The Begum (Madhuri Dixit-Nene) of Mahmudabad is hosting a festival of poetry and music in her mansion. The country’s best poets are in town.

Khalujan, posing as the Nawaab of Chandpur, is participating as a poet in the festival. He is not there merely to show off his poetic wares but to impress the widowed Begum who, as the grapevine suggests, is scouting for a husband – preferably a poet. Babban (Arshad Warsi) arrives in Mahmudabad to take Khalujan back to their old life but his plans change the moment he sets his eyes on Begum’s maid and confidante, Munira alias Muniya (Huma Qureshi), a brash and sexy young woman. Muniya too has plans of her own. She leaves the palace every now and then in disguise to meet gangsters in dark alleys. The palace is rife with intrigue. The shayari is dropped for guns, daring chases and hidden intentions. In the end, love triumphs even if the players of the story do not.

Dedh Ishqiya is comedy/thriller that promises to be worth the watch, with fantastic performances, catchy music and captivating dialogues.

The film is in UK cinemas now. 

‘Ramaiya Vastavaiya’ to release on 19th July in UK cinemas

Shruti and Girish
After enthralling international audiences with adrealine driven films such as the blockbuster Race series, superhit producers Tips Films are ready to take audiences on a romantic trip down memory lane with the new Millennium‟s answer to the epic romantic hit, Maine Pyaar Kiya, Ramaiya Vastavaiya, releasing on Friday 19th July in UK cinemas through Reliance Entertainment.

Giving the film added star appeal is South and North Indian renowned director, choreographer, dancer and actor extraordinaire Prabhu Deva, behind the 100 crore club hits Wanted, Rowdy Rathore, who hangs up his action boots to direct this Summer‟s freshest rom-com. The film sees producer Kumar Taurani’s son Girish Kumar make his much anticipated debut. He is joined by Bollywood rising star Shruti Haasan for the remake of Prabhu Deva’s directorial Telugu blockbuster debut “Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana” which was inspired by the 1980s cult Hindi film “Maine Pyaar Kiya”.

Prabhu Deva has enjoyed a highly successful career spanning 15 years and is widely regarded as one of India‟s most influential and avant-garde dancer-choreographers. He is referred to as „India‟s Michael Jackson‟.

Among his cache of award wins, he has two National Film Awards for Best Choreography for Minsaara Kanayu (1997) and Lakshya (2004) as well as a Filmfare Best Choreography Award and Star Screen Award for Lakshya (2004).

 Ramaiya Vastavaiya unfolds the sweet yet tumultuous love story between two youngsters Ram (Girish Kumar) and Sona (Shruti Haasan) set against the backdrop of a rural Punjab farm.

Girish Kumar

Ram always introduces himself as spoilt, naughty and badly behaved. Being the only child of Australia-based billionaire couple Siddharth (Randhir Kapoor) and Ashvini (Poonam Dhillon), he‟s not that far off the mark. Sona is a simple and poor girl from a small Indian village, who has been lovingly raised by her brother Raghu (Sonu Sood), who has worked night and day to make sure Sona gets a good life.

Ram and his snobbish mother Ashvini come to India to attend his cousin Riya‟s wedding. Here he meets Sona, who is Riya‟s childhood friend. Their first meeting is literally a clash between Venus and Mars. Ram, the habitual flirt, gets drawn to this lovely but simple girl from the village.

Young love blossoms but Sona‟s brother Raghu hates the wealthy, and Ram‟s mother has nothing but disdain for the not-so-wealthy. Ram will have to face impossible challenges and Sona will have to witness his hardship and humiliation. How will Ram and Sona face these impossible odds? How can their love have a happy ending?

This colourful and extravagant entertainer replete with music, drama and action will showcase all that Indian cinema does best. Ramaiya Vastavaiya releases on 19th July 2013 in UK cinemas through Reliance Entertainment.

 

Interview: “I am excited about my line-up of films” – Ranveer Singh

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh speaks to BollyNewsUK about his films, co-stars, social networking and much more…

Ranveer in Lootera

How are you choosing your films?
If I have to be very honest, I go by the director’s previous work. I need to be excited about the person whom I will be putting my faith into. I am a director’s actor and for me, he is the captain of the ship. Then I look at the story of the project. It should be a story that has entertainment value and should be engaging. The story should evoke some kind of emotions out of me. Finally, I look at my part and character. It has to be a challenge that excites me because I’m going to put everything into it and I’m going to transform myself into the character. These are the main criteria that I look at when choosing a film.

Does this mean that you aren’t concerned about who plays the leading lady in your film?
No, not at all as that’s not my concern. I leave that to my director. If I am asked about my opinion, then I do say what I think. However, I don’t get involved in the casting of my heroines and I don’t make any demands. If I trust the script and my director, then I trust him to cast someone opposite me who will do justice to the role.

Ranveer Singh - Photo by Rohan ShresthaYour most recent release is Lootera, released in UK cinemas on 5th July. The director’s last release, Udaan, won many accolades and awards. Was that something that drew you towards doing his next film?
Yes. When I saw the film, I thought to myself how this director made such kind of a film in India. It was so unique and powerful. I decided back then that this is a creative mind that I would like to collaborate with. When the director, Vikramaditya Motwane, won the awards for Udaan, I won my award for my debut film Band Baaja Barat. I met him at the award function and told him that I loved his film and that I would love to work with him if he has a script for me. When I was offered the film, I loved the script and my role. The character I play in the film is slightly reserved and he doesn’t speak much, which is not usually attributed to my persona.

You were linked with your Lootera co-star Sonakshi Sinha. How do you deal with such rumours?
(Laughs) I have to give credit to Sonakshi for that rumour. She was the one who broke the ice initially and was really cool as a person. I remember the first time we met for this film was for the look test. She had started before me as we were shooting for a magazine cover. There were also all these rumours doing the rounds about us two. When I entered the room, she just shouted across ‘Hi Boyfriend’. She is really nice and comfortable to work with. She has a lot of ease to her approach towards a take and her character. I got to learn a lot from her. She chilled out throughout the whole process. She takes everything very easy and that translates into her performance. She doesn’t stress about anything and is cool as a cucumber.

So it doesn’t bother you whatever is written about you in the newspapers?
Well, both of us are mature enough to know that it’s just tabloid journalism. They need to fill space and make sales. They sensationalise news and that is part and parcel of the work that we do. We are young people and we know that we will be written about. We know better than to let such rumours affect our professional equation. I personally used to worry about these link-up stories but not anymore. I don’t subscribe to any tabloids anymore. I find them really beside the point. The point here is that I am a performer and a professional and I am here to perform and act in films. I allow all my energies to focus on that and don’t let myself to be distracted by what is being written about me. I don’t even know these days what is being written about me. When people tell me that they have read something I react with ‘Really? Is that what is being written about me?’ as I have no clue myself.

Ranveer Singh by Rohan ShresthaYour confidence was misconstrued as arrogance. Did you change yourself after almost everyone thought that you were arrogant?
When I started out I didn’t know that I have to act differently in front of people. I was just being comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t know what to say and what not to say. On whatever platform I went, I behaved just as I did with my friends, family or in my living room. I didn’t know that I shouldn’t do that. However, I have now learnt that. I don’t believe that I am arrogant. I don’t think that people who ever spoke to me would say that I am arrogant. I have developed a certain sense of tact which is important for a public figure. I know that I was misunderstood and fortunately, I still sometimes speak my mind. I still say what I am asked about and have managed to retain eighty or ninety percent of what I am. So it’s all good. As you get more experience, you learn more about how to be a public figure, which is not easy.

How do you prepare for a scene? Do you rehearse or are you very spontaneous?
I used to study a lot and do a lot of homework for acting before I performed. But now I have seen that a lot of my co-actors, especially Sonakshi Sinha, leave a lot of room for spontaneity. There is a certain organic nature that comes into the performance when you do that because it’s unplanned and unrehearsed and that’s the beauty of such a performance. I leave far more room now for spontaneity. I pretty much just learn my lines now and don’t fix a way of how I am going to perform the scene in case the director wants to change or mould the performance. He can then take it into any direction once we are on the film set.

You are recently joined Twitter and have a verified account but you don’t tweet much but retweet more…
(Laughs) Yeah, I think If I start tweeting then I will become obsessive. For the time being, I am using it as a platform for my work so that my fans know what professional work I am doing. For example, I will tweet a poster of my film. I use it as a platform for that. I had to get it verified before I started using it. It was a real battle to do that. I had to go through a lot to get it verified. There were many imposters on Twitter who were tweeting many incorrect political comments and inappropriate things about senior actors. I was getting into trouble because newspapers were picking up those tweets and were attributing them to my name. I was getting into a real mess because of these imposters which is why I wanted a verified account.

Ranveer SinghHave you experienced people on Twitter who ‘hate’ you or your work for no reason?
I was warned about this by my talent management. I was told that once I get on Twitter, there will be flak coming my way. I have been lucky though because I remember just two negative messages that were sent to me. All I see on Twitter is love. I get the warmest and full of love messages sent to me by fans. I read every message and I really can’t recall more than one or two negative messages.

What other films are you currently working on?
I am working on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram Leela opposite Deepika Padukone. I also have another Yash Raj Films production, Gunday, releasing early next year. I will start working on Shaad Ali’s Kill Dill, also a YRF production, this year with Parineeti Chopra. I am excited about my line-up of films. There is plenty of variations of films and differences between the characters I am playing in each film. I will have four releases in a span of a year so I am happy with that.

How was your experience working with Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela?
It was amazing. She has really come into her own as a performer. She is very professional as well. The one thing I admire about her is her ability to multitask. She works very hard and that’s what I admire about her.