‘I Deeply Empathise With The Underdog Characters I’ve Played’ — Ranveer Singh

‘I Deeply Empathise With The Underdog Characters I’ve Played’ — Ranveer Singh

Shubanka Sridhar

Bollywood superstar, Ranveer Singh is truly a cultural phenomenon — an actor and terrific performer, a bona fide fashion icon, the face of Indian hip hop, an artist entrepreneur — and he has really changed the game when it comes to entertainment in India. His brand of fearlessness and grit resonates deeply with the youth of country that aspires to rise above their lot on the power of their own merit.

In a recent conversation, Ranveer spoke about how he has always believed in the mantra ‘nothing is impossible’,  about his venture, Inc Ink and about empathising with the underdog characters he has essayed.

Talking about his journey in the industry, he says there were many times in his struggling years when it all seemed bleak. But he says, “I was willing to take that leap of faith. When there wasn’t a good lead in sight for long periods , the phone wouldn’t ring for months, my faith was challenged, but I debunked the idea that what I was trying to achieve was impossible. I almost forced the universe into making it happen for me. My single-mindedness and determination eventually paid off and my dream became my reality. Ever since, every day feels like I am living a dream.”

When asked about his biggest learning in all these years in the industry, Ranveer says he only has one advice he would like to give any young actor.

He says:

When young actors, especially ‘outsiders’ , come up to me seeking advice on how to navigate their hustle- the first and most important thing I tell them is “do it for the right reasons. Do it simply because you love performing.” I urge them to not be lured towards performing arts or the entertainment business because success in this field comes with fame and money. Those are transient , they are frills – just trappings. Another thing I learned along the way, is that authenticity has the most resonance. If you try being something that you are inherently not, you are doing a disservice to yourself. If you stay true to who you are , if you lose the fear of being judged, only then will you vibrate at a high frequency. ‘You do you’, I tell them. Be original, be your unique self. And another important thing I’ve learned is to keep taking risks. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. You may falter during that process, but I believe that there are no failures in life- there are only lessons.

Recently, he had chosen to lead from the front in the music industry too by founding an artist collective called ‘Inc Ink’ — a platform that supports talented musicians across the country to showcase their work on a global stage.

Speaking about it, he says:

One can have the passion and grit and can even prepare endlessly for the moment that one gets to shine. But often times the missing piece of the puzzle is ‘opportunity’. My hustle was as difficult as it was because of the sheer lack of opportunities. That’s what I wanted to create for fellow dreamers. To provide the opportunity to young creators who were burning with passion. To give them a platform to showcase their talent. It is my way of giving back. It is my way of paying forward the blessings I have received. It is my way of showing gratitude to the universe.

When we see a lot of his films, we see that he has championed films about underdogs like ’83, Gully Boy, Jayeshbhai Jordaar.

Speaking about whether he draws from his own life mantras to deliver these performances, he says:

For each different character, one has to tap into one’s own bank of experiences to make the portrayal truthful, visceral and honest. I deeply empathise with the underdog characters that I’ve played because I’ve been through a similar journey in my own life. There is a dialogue from the film ‘gully boy’ which broadly translates from Hindi into this : “I refuse to change my dreams to match my reality, I will change my reality to match my dreams.” I have felt this sentiment deep down in my soul. When these characters have to prove themselves against all odds, I can relate to that struggle at a very profound level. In Gully Boy, Murad achieves the impossible. In 83, Kapil’s devils achieve the impossible. I can lend truth to these roles because I’ve been there in my own journey. I feel their disillusionment, I feel their anger, their frustration, I feel their grit… all in a very intense way because I’ve been through it myself. I’ve felt it for real.

I surely look forward to seeing Ranveer back on screen again in his upcoming films, ’83 and Jayeshbhai Jordaar!