I'll do films that are marketed well - Arjun Rampal

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

After a string of flops, model-turned-actor Arjun Rampal has become choosy and his criteria for choosing a role is - "would I like to watch it, secondly, would the producer market the film well?"

When approached for an interview, he jokingly said: "Why do you want to interview me? Let me do some good work. Let my new crop of films show up. Then we'll talk."

That's the new chilled-out confident Arjun, oblivious of his image, trying out new roles like new clothes at a well-stocked departmental store. It all fits in with the new exciting phase in the actor's life.

When reminded of his meeting with Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, Arjun cautiously said: "Yeah, we've met. I like what he has narrated to me. Let's see."

The actor is standing on a cautious edge.

"I'm no longer tied down by the image thing. Today, so many genres of films are being attempted. An actor's possibilities are unlimited. For example, 'Ek Ajnabee' where I had interesting things to do... And now, I'm doing a film with the same director Apoorva Lakhia again," Arjun told IANS.

"My criteria for choosing a role is simple - would I like to watch the film that I'm being offered? If yes, then I move to my role, character, the set-up and if the producer can market his film well. Today, it's no longer about an actor looking only at his own role. Vanity is no longer in. I'm very happy to work with actors and filmmakers who think of the project in totality."

Arjun's current assignments are an eclectic mix of the interesting and the challenging.

"I've 'Don' where I play the role that Pran saab did in the original. It's a film that we all loved watching. And I'm sure we'll love watching this one too," Arjun chuckles.

"I confess I'm doing this role primarily for the joy of doing a film with Farhan Akhtar. His sensibility is incredible. The old 'Don' was ahead of its times. I'm sure this 'Don', too, would be ahead of its times."

He admits some of the films he selected didn't turn out to be right.

"It could've been inept direction or just bad marketing. There's nothing that can be done about it, except move on. 'Yakeen' was one of my promising films that was a victim of bad marketing."

So, is he now looking at attractive set-ups rather than pivotal roles?

"It's not as if I'm not playing central characters any more. I am. But it's only in films that will be budgeted and marketed correctly. You never know what will click. Look at 'Titanic'. It's basically the production that created the project and stars.

"Today, I won't choose a film for the sake of playing the central character. I want to know where the film is going. And also, I should be excited about my role. I can't just jump into a film because it's a big banner. I want to do good work so I can be proud of what I do. That's how I've been from the beginning of my career. And when a film fails the disappointment is huge. Because you've no one to blame but yourself. I've a long way to go as an actor. I see myself as part of a long journey."

Arjun was also seen in Ram Gopal Varma production "Darna Zaroori Hai" where he was paired with Bipasha Basu for the first time.

"It was my first film with Ram Gopal Varma and my first film in the horror genre. It was not a typical horror film with ghosts and creaky doors."

Being a father twice-over, Arjun is completely smitten by his two loved ones.

"My daughters are my 'jaan'. I do try to set aside a certain amount of time for them. But one can't be rigid about it. But family is very important. They're my constant support system. I'd never do anything to mess with my family life. I know where I'm coming from, and I know where I'm going. I've been given a lot. And I don't stop counting my blessings."

Finally, any director he is dying to work with?

"Please! Do you have to ask such a common question? I'm working with a terrific director Farhan. I'll be working with Ram Gopal Varma soon. I'd love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali."

Arjun had done a walk-on part in Karan Johar's "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna".

"Hopefully, he'll give me something more substantial next time."

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