He looked prim and dapper, noticeable from about twenty feet afar in the crowd. In a grey, shiny blazer, Ranveer Singh looked straight out of a Raymond’s Complete Man ad. His beard and handlebar moustache (the look for his then upcoming film Ram Leela) meticulously covered the not-so-appealing contours of his face. The press conference was to begin in ten minutes. I quickly made my way through the crowd. I was there for a chat with him and director Vikramaditya Motwane for their film Lootera (2013). (This was going to be my first interview. The PR team of the film had reached out to me through my blog, only a day before).
I had stayed awake pretty much the entire night in the excitement of what lay ahead the next day. It wasn’t as much the actor who kept me awake; it was the fact that the little blog was finally getting noticed. Needless to mention then that I was super chuffed!
Even as the media conference was about to begin (at Sheraton, Saket) and the event organisers ran around to get the show going, the general public snuck in to get a glimpse of Ranveer Singh.
The 3-film old actor may not be among the most good looking faces around, but was a delicious mix of charm and confidence.
Two sooper-energetic fifty-something ladies, who couldn’t get enough of Ranveer from amidst the crowd, rushed up to him with an excuse to wish him luck for Lootera. The actor, all smiles, bent down to touch one of the ladies’ feet and thanked her. Back then, the gesture seemed more for the cameras. When I think of it now, I guess he was just being himself. He has barely ever shied away from expressing himself. The actor is a real live wire. Despite the star that he is today, he doesn’t walk around with the baggage of being one. He appears one amongst us. There might be many a lesson for stars to learn from him: ‘How not to take stardom too seriously,’ to start with. It’s probably this humility that’s brought him this far.
“I slogged for three and a half years in the industry, before I finally received an audition call for Band Baaja Baraat. We have (my family) has seen really tough times. That is why I value what I have today,” he had said recollecting his early days in Mumbai.
Most of the questions from the media were fluff and pretty much a waste of time but he answered them all in a patient and rather, welcoming mood. Maintaining his boisterous and (sometimes) mysterious ways, Ranveer was sober and quiet in one moment, playful and fun, the other. It was tough to tell who the real Ranveer was. But for the most time, he remained super pumped, keeping everyone entertained with his antics and banter. He would occasionally break into a random song or joke around with the journalists.
Just before we wound up, I took a quick picture with him. I was about to hand over my iPad to the girl who stood across us when Ranveer smiled and said, “Let’s do this ourselves. Just flip this around.” And while he clicked the picture, he didn’t hesitate from telling me, “You’re amazingly pretty.” Guess he was just making sure he didn’t get bad press 😉
After we wrapped up the conference, we were all headed to Siri Fort, where the screening of the film was to take place.
Ranveer, along with his director Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Ekta Kapoor made a quick appearance on stage before an over-enthusiastic 3000-odd people. The public cheered and whistled. After their quick speeches came the host’s final announcement for the evening. It was Ranveer’s birthday the next day (July 6). The cheers grew louder, the enthusiasm uncontainable. The mob screamed and sang birthday wishes. At this point, Ranveer gave away bouquets to the audience. The auditorium roared. The noise and the energy levels went notches up. He had four in hand. One by one, the girls, quite obviously caught most of them!
He handed me the last. The fact that I sat closer to the front row helped. His memory too, hopefully, served him well enough to remember we’d been talking and clicking away pictures only an hour ago! Or probably not!
Nevertheless, it was a memorable evening made even more memorable with Lootera, one of the best films in Ranveer Singh’s career thus far.
(Which makes me wonder if he’s ever disappointed us in any of his films? No, I haven’t seen Kill Dil :))