It was an evening filled with fun, frolic and festivity as Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone celebrated Diwali as a part of the promotions of their upcoming film, Tamasha.
Organised in a lawn decorated with lights and diyas, the event was a far cry from the noisy press conferences. While Deepika looked elegant in a beige and red sari, Ranbir looked dapper in a maroon kurta pyjama with a black printed Nehru jacket. Ranbir and Deepika kicked off the celebrations by lighting up diyas and adding colour to Rangoli. The duo lit sparklers and danced to ‘Matargashti,’ a peppy number from their film. Over a 30 minute conversation with timesofindia.com, the duo talked about their Diwali memories, working with each other and their kissing scene in Tamasha being axed…
Ranbir, did you have any creative differences with Deepika?
I am sure there have been and there should be. It is not in a way that you are conflicting and that you have fights. Deepika has a very strong opinion. I have an opinion. Imtiaz has an opinion. Filmmaking is not dictatorship. It is about everybody coming in together with their ideologies and their take. It is a marriage of thoughts. I think we enjoy that also. I have never worked on a film with Deepika where it has been like we have to do it this way, so you just do it this way. It is a lot of give and take, a lot of improvisation, a lot of care and respect for each other’s work and talent.
Ranbir, are you nervous about Tamasha’s box-office performance?
From my very first film I have been nervous about the success of my films. My first film (Saawariya) was a big disaster. So, I feel the pressure. I feel it all the time. I feel that the audience trusted me and paid their hard-earned money to come and see my movie and I didn’t entertain them. I let them down. So, I think I have to earn their trust because there is nothing like a box-office success. We are not making movies for ourselves. We are not making movies for critics. We are making movies for the audiences. And the least we can do is entertain them. And that is what the process is. You have to constantly try something new, try something which is not boring yourself as an actor and give them entertainment.
Deepika, were you worried about him after the Bombay Velvet debacle?
Not at all. He knows what he is doing. It (Bombay Velvet’s debacle) didn’t surprise me because everyone’s career goes through its ups and downs. What you can’t take away from someone is their talent, which he is blessed with. He is also very hard-working. He is not someone who takes his lineage for granted. He is not someone who takes the audience or the film for granted. I have also been through phase of my career where some of my films back-to-back did not work. But with certain maturity, you realize that it is a part of everyone’s journey, everyone’ career and it is only going to make him a better person.
Deepika, after having done so much during the last eight years, is there still a dream role you think you haven’t done yet?
I don’t understand the question of dream role. My attempt as an actor is to take on a film or a role which is exciting and make that a dream role. You make it exciting and challenging and you hope that in the process of making certain films and playing certain characters, you make them iconic. I am happy to play the girl-next-door sort of character but still make it challenging for myself.
Ranbir, there were reports that you have quit smoking. Have you?
Yes, I have. But to be honest, in the last 10 days, I have been taking illegal drags (everyone bursts into laughter). I have been a two-packet smoker. When you are young, it is fine, as you have a good hormonal system. But as I was getting older, I felt that my skin was ageing, I was looking older on screen. So, I quit smoking for that purpose and also because I wanted to be healthy. I hope that being an actor, I can inspire people to quit smoking. I was a big smoker and when you give it up, life is so much better. You have so much of free time to think about other things instead of thinking of lighting a cigarette. I feel more alive.
Ranbir, in some of the promotional videos of Tamasha, you have projected yourself as a person ignorant of the social media.
I am very aware of social media and plenty of times I go there as a ghost. Social media has become such a big platform. Especially, in the field of films that we come from, it is very important to be relevant on such a platform. It’s not that I am not on the social media because I am against it; it is just that I am less confident about it.
Ranbir, your father (Rishi Kapoor) usually invites trouble for his tweets. How do you feel about it?
He has been like that since I was born. He is always in trouble with my mother at home. He speaks his mind and that is what is really good about him. Unfortunately, in this country, you can’t really speak your mind. Anything you say is misconstrued and especially if you are an actor, every word, every thought, every picture has so much of interpretations. But I don’t think he cares about that.
Fond Diwali memories
Deepika: I just did one with my parents and I think exactly like the ad says. The beauty of it is its predictability- the fact that you know that you are going to wear new clothes, going to celebrate with your family, there are going to be certain rituals, a certain routine that at this time the pujawill happen, your mother will call you out in the same way, gifts will be distributed, sweets will be distributed, everyone will sit together and eat, you will do a puja, you will light crackers, light the diyas. That’s the beauty of it that some things never change.
Ranbir: Pretty much what she said. It has always been a very family oriented festival when we make sure that we are with our family. I go to my grandmother’s house. I go to RK studio. We do Lakshmi puja at our home. We wear new clothes, give gifts to everybody, to our staff, loved ones and then we go to respective parties. Parents go to their friends and we go to our friends. I think this year; everyone’s going to Amitabh Bachchan’s house where the fraternity is there to celebrate. It is fun as everyone is under one roof, lot of positivity, lot of complimenting people about their work, lot of criticism, it is a good time when everybody comes under one roof and celebrates.
What do you have to say on Censor Board’s stand of cutting the kissing scene from ‘Tamasha’?
Deepika: First of all, the kissing scene in the film isn’t like it was reported in the media. I think certain scenes are part of a film because they are the demand of the story. However, I think that the kissing scene, which has been cut out, isn’t going to make any difference to the film. Having said that, I respect CBFC’s decision.
Ranbir: I hope that they (CBFC) can become a little bit more lenient and a little bit more open-minded where art and films are concerned.
Ranbir, since you consider Deepika as your lucky charm, would you ever say no to a film with her?
No, I don’t consider Deepika as my lucky charm. A woman who has worked so hard, who has made her own place in Bollywood, I can’t consider her as my lucky charm. As far as the working with her is concerned, we will continue to work together if the right films and right roles come our way.
Deepika, which film is closer to your heart – Bajirao Mastani or Tamasha?
It is like asking who are you closer to-your mother or father. Both the films are completely different from each other and have audiences of their own. I think both of them are special are very close to my heart.
None of you were as big stars at the time you did your first films with Imtiaz as you are today. Has your super-stardom changed his behavior towards you?
Deepika: No. Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change and nothing should ever change.
Ranbir: Two days back, we had a celebratory dinner before I was coming back and then we went to a bar. So when I went, Imtiaz told me that he had spent a good two hours with her (Deepika) and I think it is the similar conversation which would probably have been in Love Aaj Kal where he just talks to her and he is so happy when he hangs around with Deepika and would always tell me that this girl has something which he still has not discovered yet. So, I think Imtiaz has a lot more to discover about Deepika. He is going to work more with her, give her another challenging role and I think that is always exciting for an actor. You know that when you work with a director twice, there is not much that you can surprise them because they know you so much, they know the look you are going to give, that you are going to be happy when you act. Imtiaz thinks that with Deepika, there is not a set pattern. She is someone like a volcano who is just going to come out.
Ranbir, how did you prepare for the sequence where you mimic Dev Anand?
I am not a good mimic artist. I worked with a mimic artist. He trained me for a week. Imtiaz writes such good dialogues, he writes such good scenes that it is not really an actor’s performance but it is the vibe of the whole world that works. I am really happy that I got a chance to pay homage to Dev sahab.
Deepika, what’s next?
I haven’t planned anything as yet. I have been reading scripts and meeting directors but I am not in any rush. I think I have had a good year. With Tamasha and Bajirao Mastani coming up, it will take me a while to get over that and actually sink my teeth into something else.