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`Models are trying to be actors'

I disagree completely. There are lots of models who'll be fantastic actors Rahul Dev

They are India's hottest models-turned-actors and when MetroPlus (MP) got Rahul Dev and Aryan Vaid to meet for a Take Two, they began by purring compliments at each other. Rahul raved about how hard Grasim Mr. India International Aryan Vaid worked to get to his current stardom, and Aryan raved about Rahul's performance in Champion. And there the bonhomie ended. In minutes, Rahul and Aryan had bared their claws and ripped each other to shreds. Hemangini Gupta watched and recorded the off-ramp chemistry as it turned sour.

Rahul Dev: When I first met this guy he was with Sahara as a purser... no, not a purser... what do you call those guys onboard?

Aryan Vaid: (politely) Flight attendant.

Rahul: Yeah. He's very motivated, he writes down things to remember...

Aryan: (laughs)

Rahul: It's nothing to laugh about. He's very hardworking; he's like a robot in terms of conscientiousness. Very serious and focussed. He was managing two careers: one was a flying career and flying makes you older (talks at length about the TIME article on impact of flying on health). He also managed a modelling career. He's a thin guy basically, and putting on muscle is very difficult (talks at length on body types).

MP: (desperately cutting in) Let's ask Superman how he managed all this.

Aryan: I don't really feel...

Rahul: No, no I'm not done. Then he won the contest, Grasim Mr. India and went on to become Mr. International Grasim, putting us on the world map. Then he decided suddenly he wanted to do films; he's very motivated.

Aryan (embarrassed at this effusion): Er... Can I, like, not be here?

MP: You'll have to cut in!

Aryan: OK, OK, Rahul... one sec, one sec... I promise I'm not paying him for this! (Talks loud to drown him out). We're both passionate about movies; I loved him in his first movie `Champion.' For a first movie it was phenomenal. Now Rahul, tell us your five favourite movies.

Rahul: `Godfather' trilogy, `Farewell My Concubine,' Zorba The Greek', `I am Sam' and `Rocky.' (Rahul proceeds to talk about nukkad, Chinese theatre, and acting techniques for over five minutes.)

Aryan: `The Godfather' even as a book, is really brilliant. The trilogy comprises not just great storytelling but also great psychology in terms of what the character's all about. It's one of my all-time favourites. But about my film career...

Rahul: Talk about five films.

Aryan (pointedly): No, er, then we'll just go on. (laughs). I started off with a TV serial, then I started flying, having a hotel management background I was a chef at the Leela. The contest changed my life and as soon as I won, I was offered a film by the same people who made `Black.' I did a movie called `Heartbeat.'

MP: What does it take for a model to turn actor? It's not natural progression, is it?

Rahul: I'll take up for the actors, in my 10 released films, I've managed five awards for us model friends. They are great actors, otherwise why are they signing models on?

Aryan: Acting is not just something that comes. Like any other business it takes input and practise.

It's not as simple as going out and speaking your lines. I had five years of a theatre background so I came in through a different route. My movie `Daanav' went to the Cannes Film festival so for me, it wasn't as new as for some of the other models. But the models are really trying...

Rahul (cutting in): I don't think they are `trying'; they're right up there. Look at John Abraham...

Aryan: No, no we are talking about acting not stardom...

Rahul: But it's just about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Unfortunately, that's how the situation is.

Aryan: I disagree on that a bit. When we talk about acting talent we're not talking about stardom. Let's face it. None of the models are going to be the next Shah Rukh or the next Naseeruddin Shah in terms of acting talent.

Rahul: I disagree completely...

Aryan: Well, that's his point of view. Acting is not something where you get a script one day, and start acting. Acting expertise is acquired over a number of years through the kind of years and zeal you pursue it with. That's why NSD actors are phenomenal.

Rahul: There are lots of models who'll be fantastic actors.

Aryan: I'm not saying they won't be fantastic actors...

Rahul: You're being fairly unrealistic here, I'll tell you why. (talks at length about model-colleague with huge arms who worked at becoming a top model). It's practise.

Aryan: That's exactly what I said...

Rahul: (arguing) Then why...

Aryan: (drowning him out) If we're in the movie business and you have ten movies to prove your worth, models are already written off right at the start. Even if you put in a decent performance in a movie...

Rahul: I'm saying that's wrong. It's an advantage today.

Aryan: Well, you'll be noticed. The metro crowds will know you. But it is extremely difficult for people to turn around say `that's been a mind-blowing performance'. Let's face it there hasn't been a mind-blowing performance barring Rahul's in Champion. I haven't seen a performance I would take home with me, even if I were to take into account myself...

Rahul: I'm sorry... at the Zee Cine Awards I presented my friend John Abraham the trophy, which is decided 50 per cent by viewer's choice. If they thought he was good enough, the jury and the audience, to choose him over Ajay...

Aryan: Hang on, hang on. I don't mean to be rude. We're not talking about awards...

Rahul: (cutting in) Then how do you know someone's good...

Aryan: (drowning him out) Awards are not an indication...

Rahul: (loudly) Then you're saying those who are not good get awards?

Aryan: Listen man... awards are not an indication. I can go on arguing this way for millions of years.

Rahul: This is not about awards, they are good on their own... you won an award.

MP: (loudly over their voices) OK, let's talk about something fun.

Aryan: This was fun.

They carry on to talk about how they don't necessarily look for models as mates: Aryan looks for a "decent person with a decent mind-set, not up to too many games. I want to sit across the table and have a good conversation." Rahul has been married to an advocate for nine years and has a son. But none of this is as fun as the claw-baring, so we log off.

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