Ranveer Singh talks to Harshikaa Udasi about his upcoming film Lootera, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane

Ranveer Singh is definitely not pleased that his third film, Lootera, (July 5) is releasing a good 19 months after his last 2011 release. “It’s been bad. We were shooting in Dalhousie where initially there was too much snow and then too little of it. Then Vikramaditya (Motwane, director) got injured. The set broke down. I had a back injury. Just the sort of thing we would like, wouldn’t we?” he says, sounding obviously exasperated with the delay.

Still he has managed to be in the news through the period — either through his energy-packed performances at award shows or through some rather sensational coverage of his alleged dalliances. “I am not the sort to ride on the mileage of personal space. I love Bollywood — the acting, the fights, the dance, the drama; I have been very filmi since childhood. But this bit about being a public figure in the industry is very taxing. Like every other thing that I have learnt on the fly here, it has now seeped in that I need to have a certain amount of tact at public forums,” he says wryly.

The man, who exhibited his talent as an effervescent Delhi guy in Band Baaja Baaraat and as the serial conman in Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl, is now in experimental mode. His Varun Shrivastav in Lootera, set in 1953 in a West Bengal village, is an intense, brooding character. “I am getting into uncharted territory. I haven’t played anyone like him even in my acting school. I definitely think it’s going to have a mild shock value,” he says. Asked whether he is closer in person to his earlier characters or to the one in Lootera, Ranveer says it’s not easy to confine him to either space. “I would like to believe that I have a layered, non-unidimensional personality.”

Slow-paced story

Lootera is inspired by O. Henry’s The Last Leaf and also stars Sonakshi Sinha. The actress had openly expressed her desire to work with Ranveer even before the film was signed by her. “When Sonakshi said yes to Lootera, both Vikram (director) and I were a little nervous. She comes with a lot of commercial baggage, having always delivered hits. We were wondering if she would take well to this slow-moving story. But she belied our fears. Sona is very gifted. She has a huge impact on the masses. And in this film, she will stun you with her range.”

Asked about the risk of a mellow film in the fast-paced world of entertainment, he says, “My well-wishers were divided on whether I should take up Lootera. While some thought it was too risky, others felt it would encourage people to take me seriously as an actor. That Lootera is unlike any other film is its USP. Our film has a very evolved and sophisticated grammar. Watch out for it.”

Ranveer says that Vikram has not allowed it to fall into commercial trappings. “Lootera will not let you to merely sit and watch. It will compel you to connect the dots. Vikram’s voice is unique and I feel he will be the catalyst for a positive change that Hindi cinema will undergo. Besides his creativity, he has impeccable technical know-how. That’s why for me, this film is the safest bet!” he smiles.