STAR SPEAK Bollywood hottie Arjun Rampal has had to wait six long years to taste success. RESHMA S. KULKARNI
After capturing a million hearts with his villainy in “Om Shanti Om”, and a few million more with his rock star act in “Rock On”, Arjun Rampal is set to beam into our homes as a judge in Star Plus’ “Nach Baliye 4”. Excerpts from a conversation with the debonair actor about his new role:
How does it feel to have finally tasted mega success?
Of course it feels good. Commercial success always makes one feel nice though one also cherishes those films that were not successes; each has contributed in making me grow.
Doesn’t it tug your heart to think that you had to wait six years for success in Bollywood after having been a huge success in modeling?
It’s never too late to taste success; also, what’s important is what you do with the period before you get success; whether you use it to learn and grow to reach your goal or whether you fritter it away. I did the former and so have no regrets. Also, I never compared myself as a model to myself as an actor; both are very diverse fields and distinct ball games altogether.
What brings you to TV now, when you have Bollywood queuing up at your doorstep?
TV is an emerging medium that has a reach beyond compare. I want to be an ‘approachable’ star — comfortable with either mediums and one with whom the audience is comfortable on both mediums. It’s not a medium to be ignored by an actor who’s in for the long run. Also, as a producer whose production house is looking at doing a lot of work on television, the stint presented a good opportunity to learn about the avenue, firsthand.
Still commercially, do you think the time is right for you to make a TV debut?
I’ve given up making decisions in such a calculative fashion because they have never worked for me. Whenever I’ve tried to deduce the outcome of a decision over the next few years, it has always gone awry. Hence I now choose what appeals to me and my heart said it’s a great time to step onto telly-turf. I’m just doing what I’m sure to enjoy.
Why “Nach Baliye 4” as your debut on television?
The credit goes to Farah (Khan) who’s one of the judges, my director in “Om Shanti Om” and a very dear friend. I had been offered quite a few reality shows on TV earlier including “Big Boss 1” but none of those interested me till “Nach Baliye” came along and Farah convinced me to take it up saying we’d have a lot of fun! Also, I have been an avid viewer of “Nach Baliye” over the last three seasons; it’s a show with which I share an emotional connect.
Don’t you think you would have been better-suited to judge a modeling related show than a dance show?
I would have been a disaster! That stint lasted only three years in my life and I’m quite out of touch technically, since it’s been years since I left ramp modelling. I enjoyed it while it lasted.I believe in doing something new, in growing as a person in terms of skill-sets, for which it is essential to get new experiences.
How do you plan to judge the couple?
I haven’t thought of a game-plan as such but the chemistry between the couples and how they grow during the competition is what I’ll consider. Of course, style, charisma, perfection in technique is all important too but I will play it by the ear as we get going.
Do you enjoy dance personally?
Oh yes! I love to indulge in some freestyle dancing with my wife Mehr!
Lastly, what’s happening on your films front?
Well, I’ve been lucky to be getting good offers from directors like Farhan Akhtar, Farah Khan and Rituparna Ghosh even before getting commercial success but, yes, nothing succeeds like success and it has only multiplied the number of good offers coming my way. I just had a great film in “The Last Lear”. I now have “EMI” coming up followed by “The Fox” and then “Raajniti”. Life’s looking good!
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