A lot has been said and written about the alleged “tension” between Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s lead actors in Padmavati – Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. Right from finalising a hero to ego clashes and the demand for individual posters, the film was clouded with controversies ever since it’s announcement.
Ranveer, who plays the role of Alauddin Khilji in the historical saga finally addressed all the rumours in an exclusive interview with HT Cafe and cleared the air about his alleged uneasiness on sharing screen space with Shahid and other such reports that were doing the rounds.
At the beginning of the year, Mr Bhansali spoke to me about it, saying, “I want to make a film called Padmavati with you.” I was very excited and committed to it. Then, I went to shoot Befikre, while the scripting (for Padmavati) was on. When I came back and read the script, there was a prominent third part. I told him what I thought about the script. We had that discussion and I clearly told him that, “We should get the best possible actor to play this part.” And I am very excited about Shahid [coming on board]. I think he’s a brilliant actor and an amazing inclusion to our team. He will add immense value.
I committed to the film even before the script was ready. I was always going to do this film, regardless of who was cast as Padmavati or Rawal Ratan Singh (Shahid’s role). I knew that it would be a maverick move and could be a risk. But I listened to my instincts and went ahead with it. There’s no question of opting out. I always wanted to do something different; I was always interested in doing an anti-hero part, and who better to do it with than Mr Bhansali.
I think the way the film has been set up, it makes for spicy stories, where [people] assume there’s friction [between actors]. But, at one point, I was like, “This is getting out of hand and as the leading man of the film, I need to take the responsibility and initiative to make sure that everything is okay”. We all got together and I was very happy to see that we gelled well. Shahid joining the team is a blessing and I was happy to see that we are all on the same page, and we could have a laugh about all the absurd stories.
I like to believe that I am Mr Bhansali’s blue-eyed boy. He has given me my two big hits and creatively, he has been the most significant contributor to my career. I am extremely honoured that I am selected as his leading man film after film. I believe landing a leading role in his film is a marquee acquisition for any actor. I will be unabashedly greedy and say that I want to continue to be the leading man in every film he makes even after Padmavati.
I have always had a warm and affectionate equation with him. I have tremendous amount of respect and admiration for his work and him as an actor. I have been watching his films even before I got into the industry. I am excited to be collaborating with him. The idea of me doing something like that (demanding to chop off Shahid’s role) goes against my grain. I am no one to ask a film-maker to give another actor a certain billing or to alter the script.
You can read the entire interview here.