With three biggies - Lootera, Ram Leela and Gunday - in his pocket, Bollywood hunk Ranveer Singh is in a happy state of mind these days. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu catches up with the actor in Mumbai
How come you keep experimenting with your looks in every film you do?
It depends on the character you are asked to play. For instance, there's a film (Lootera) that I have just finished which doesn't demand any kind of ripped physique. I just have to look like a regular guy because I don't think in the 1950s they had a very strong gym culture. There wasn't the craze for a ripped body like we have these days.
So basically it's all about looking the part. In Ram Leela, Mr Bhansali (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, filmmaker) made it very clear that he wants me to look extremely hot. He said: 'Baby, when you come on the screen, I just want girls to either tear your clothes off or their own clothes off.' So he wanted me to have a ripped physique to have that 'wow' impact on screen because I am playing Romeo, who is a quintessential heartthrob.
Similarly, Gunday (Yash Raj Films), which has just gone on the floors, is an action drama. And Ali (Ali Abbas Zafar, director) was clear that for the action sequences he needs me to have a certain kind of body.
So what did you do to get the 'extremely hot' look for Ram Leela?
Actually I saw some pictures that Hrithik Roshan (actor) had clicked while he was preparing himself for Krrish and I thought the results were absolutely unprecedented. I did some research and I spoke to his trainer and I told him that I too want to get on this programme, whatever it is.
He assigned Mr Lloyd Stevens who put me on the DTP (Drastic Transformation Programme). It is basically a 12-week programme and very soon I released the differences between 'before' and 'after'. It's quite shocking what is possible in 12 weeks.
How is it working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali?
When you are working with Mr Bhansali, you have to come like a khula saand; you have to be prepared for anything. The man is an absolute genius. For instance, we were shooting a song and I had to wear a traditional Gujarati kedia (outfit). So while I was trying out kediyas, he said 'Your body is looking amazing. Let's do this song shirtless'. So you will see a section of my introduction song absolutely shirtless.
Talking about ripped bodies, do you think Bollywood plays a major role in the booming gym culture?
Ya, true. In the recent years, we have a booming gym culture. Gyms are springing up everywhere. I think people look at our film industry as a cue to pop-up culture. So when you have Mr Salman Khan, Mr Akshay Kumar or Mr Hrithik Roshan building such physique, people started looking up at them and wanted the same thing.
I think they have contributed in a large way to the prevalent gym culture. As a result, people have become much more health conscious and you see a lot of fitter people these days. So if people are going to look up to you, you should have a physique they can look up to as well.
Who, among actreses, have the fittest body in Bollywood?
I think Anushka (Sharma) and Deepika (Padukone) really have fit bodies.
How do you look at the tough competition that your colleagues give you?
Well, there is competition, no doubt. But I never bang my head thinking if will become a bigger star than any other actor. I don't even think of becoming a star or a superstar or a megastar. I am happy that I am getting work in this industry and I am making my way forward satisfied with what I am doing. I can't ask for more as I am doing what I love to do for a living.
What made you become an actor?
I always wanted to be a mainstream Hindi film actor ever since I was a kid. Since the day I started understanding about the world, I didn't think I will do anything else. It's quite amazing that I am actually doing it and living my dream.
What kind of food you prefer?
I love all kinds of food, including fried stuff. In fact, I have list of food items on my phone I made during my dieting days ... the day I will have my day off, I will have those. And the list includes a ten-course meal at a particular restaurant, Dal Pakwan, Sindhi Curry, Shahi Tukda, ice-cream, fried chicken, burger, gandawala, roadside Chinese food, Chhole Bhature, Kulcha and more biscuits.