Randeep Hooda's Exclusive Interview on the 'Highway' to Kolkata!
e was never the truly conventional stereotypical hero that Bollywood was bombarded with, but coming to performances and unconventional roles with that dash of a difference, Randeep Hooda has made heads turn with some lip-smacking acts and most importantly some applause worthy choices. On his recent trip to Kolkata for Highway, Randeep spoke to our Little Birdie in a candid one-to-one about Life, Movies and Kolkata, at large!
So Kolkata embraced you with food, mishit and questions. Anything on the agenda now?
This is the first conference that I am joining the team and I have already packed myself with loads of sweets and food. We have been having food everywhere ever since we dropped in town. And just minutes before the conference, I had two huge rasgullas and I am so full now that I might have to skip dinner! Aminia’s biryani and the rasgulla here is my favourite now. Plus, the weather here is beautiful and the people are warm. What more do you need?
Imtiaz is known to make different kinds of films, mostly with a romantic tinge. So did you kind of believe it when he offered you Highway?
Being very honest, I will admit this today that I haven’t watched any of his earlier films, be it Rockstar or even Jab We Met. But yes, when he first offered me the film and he called me to do that, I kind of could not believe it. There is this one person called Abhishek whom we lovingly call Rocket, who had called me first but maine socha ki mazaak kar raha hai. Toh maine wapas se call hi nahi kiya. Phir mujhe ek casting director ka phone aaya and tab mujhe laga ki yeh serious hai. I was very happy and thrilled to be working with Imtiaz and also he has a great repertoire and a great reputation of making great films. Along with that, he has got a very nice quality as a human being, which is nice and discerning at the same time. It is great to have worked with him and I just hope I get to do more work with such directors in future as well.
Imtiaz Ali portrays different layers or shades of romances in all his films. How was it adjusting to the romantic surroundings which have always been a miss in your career graph?
See, I would like to clarify this at the very beginning that this is not a conventional romantic film so please do not come looking for love in the film only. In my opinions, there obviously exists romance in the film but it is of huge stature and it deals with many more aspects than just a relationship between a man and a woman. There are other forms of relationships possible between a man and a woman other than being physical or romantic with each other. So this movie deals with the larger aspects of society with the haves and the have-nots and also keeping in mind that there is a possibility for these two different characters who belong to different backgrounds to have a bonding that is beyond the conventional or the petty part of relationships!
How was it working with a newcomer like Alia?
She actually never felt like a newcomer. She is like this old soul in a new body. She is very talented and I never felt that she is a newcomer because she seems to have the right kind of head upon her shoulders and spirit in her heart to become a good actor and she has done very well in the movie. She has got a very special place in my life throughout the film which is undoubtable!
You had to learn some different language for the film, called Gujjari. How was that experience?
Yeah it is the NCR area where you have this community called the Gujjars and they have their own dialect which is kind of mixed with Haryanvi and Brijbhasha! So they have got a lilt to it. We had a person like Sanjay who was coaching us through it and me being from Haryana itself but speaking Jatu, which is a bit harsher and abusive language than Gujjari, it was really hard to prepare and stick to Gujjari and not fall back upon Jatu! Thankfully, I didn’t have many lines to speak in the film.
The film was shot in a truck in the most uncomfortable weather and climatic conditions. How challenging was to for you to be a part of the Highway team?
For me, the first few days of a film is like going through a dense forest. I don’t really know which way is north or which way is your ass! Both ways, it is extremely confusing but when you have somebody like Imtiaz, he instills so much trust and love in you that you feel comfortable. Though the travel bit of the film might seem uncomfortable, it was really a far more interesting shoot than any other film that I have been a part of. There were changing locations, changing people, changing food and changing topography. It was like we were moving in a caravan. I personally despise travel unless it is for work but here it didn’t feel like one. It was more like college students going for a camp!
What are the other projects that are keeping you busy?
Well, I am working on a film called Kick, directed by Sajid Nadiadwala with Salman Khan and I am also just about to finish shooting for a film called Main aur Charles! It is on the jail break of 1986 from Tehar Jail where Charles Sobhraj was involved. There is another film called Unglee that releases in May and there is a film called Shooter directed by Vikram Sawant who did films like D and Risk with me earlier. So I have this interesting plethora of movies lined up this year which is why I am at a happy space as an actor now.
Pictures by: Akash Goswami