Alauddin Khilji Is An Enfant Terrible, Says Ranveer Singh - CATEGORY Headline News: TITLE

The man of the moment, Ranveer Singh, has little time to celebrate the success of his standout performance in the recent release Padmaavat. Critics and viewers both have agreed that amidst the airbrushed visuals, his interpretation of the unhinged

evil incarnate character Alauddin Khilji is a sight for sore eyes. Dressed casually in a sweatshirt and track pants, Singh is lounging on the teal blue sofa in the dressing room assigned to him in Yash Raj Studios in Andheri. He has rushed to the venue after wrapping up the day’s shoot in Dharavi for filmmaker Zoya Akhtar’s upcoming rap-drama Gully Boy.

Pressed for time, and juggling a frantic schedule, Singh is not the livewire we are used to seeing, but all that changes in an instant when we begin the ten-minute chat we are allotted. “I am ready to spit fire, look at me, look at my eyes,” he says, roaring and turning into the tempestuous Sanjay Leela Bhansali thespian we have seen in the three films (Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat) they have done together.

After playing a wide range of impassioned characters, is he not done with Bhansali-land? “Absolutely *insert expletive here

* not,” he sits up, expounding on his cherished association with Bhansali. “I don’t think we have even got started yet. There is so much left to do. Look at the gamut of characters; you play a randy Romeo, you play a noble dignified warrior-king and a despicable, evil tyrant, so yes, we have explored very diverse characters together but every day I go on his film set I feel like we do something new, we discover something new together,” he emphasises.


Double trouble

Singh tacks it down to having found in his mentor-filmmaker Bhansali a common trait that binds them together. “We are both extremists, we are both attracted to heightened emotions. We both make very high-risk choices and it is the basis of our synergy,” he says.

His collaboration with Bhansali has made a strong impression on another filmmaker Aditya Chopra, who launched Singh in the 2010 romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat. Produced by Chopra, and directed by Maneesh Sharma, Singh’s appealing character Bittoo Sharma earned him a Filmfare Award. Chopra directed Singh in the 2016 romantic comedy Befikre. Singh says when Chopra saw Padmaavat he congratulated Singh on his unique tuning with Bhansali. “He [Chopra] said there was something very special in our partnership. I have seen it happen, and being a cinephile myself, I have seen when a filmmaker finds an actor and they work together to create a vast legacy. I am hoping that the same happens with Mr Bhansali and myself,” he says.

After a perfect three score Singh could jinx the association if he and Bhansali announced another project together. “No, I am not going to attach that stigma to it. Although this thought does cross my mind now and then. My desire to be on a film set with him trumps this superstition,” he says.

In playing the menacing character of Khilji, Singh also fleshes out his infantilism, adding a layer of buffoonery that is the hallmark of all the great villains we have seen in such characters as Gabbar (Sholay), and Mogambo (Mr India). Was the part written to be equally scary and clownish? “This layer was not in the script. I brought it in and Mr Bhansali encouraged it because he understood that it makes for some entertaining viewing,” he says, elaborating, “I would not use the word buffoon for it, but definitely the [phrase] enfant terrible.”

Actor Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji in a poster from ‘Padmavati’. Source: Twitter/@RanveerOfficial, set News, Photos, Profile, Video, Artist & Celebrity World complete.

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