Ranveer Singh says he’s ‘effortlessly macho’ in Simmba

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Ranveer Singh is practically a household name now.

From his first appearance as Bittu Sharma in Band Baja Baaraat to his most recent Alauddin Khilji in Padmavati, Ranveer’s career spans a variety of roles and performances. His off-screen persona is as wild and versatile as choices in the films he’s done. Post the controversial yet epically shot and acted Padmavati, we will see Singh embrace Rohit Shetty’s action-packing masala film Simba opposite Sara Ali Khan and Zoya Akhtar’s musical drama Gully Boy.

When we start talking about Simba, we begin with talking about who he is as a person and how this character, Sangram Bhalerao, comes together in his life. “You’re a very thinking being,” I ask him. “How involved are you in the developing of a character in a film?” There are shades of machismo to his character, and he’s a man of today. How keen is he to keep the character a little bit politically correct?
“There are a lot of hues and cues on what the character is, in terms of gender,” he answers thoughtfully. “If you go deep into the textual analysis of the character, you’ll find those hues. I’ve had many conversations with the filmmaker, I’ve spent a lot of time with the writers. I’ve tried to keep the foundations down to what they want in the script itself but on that foundation, I do a lot of development, I’ll do a lot of work on my own. Physicality, energy, pitch, action – it all comes from a process. It’s not the same process – it’s a different process for every character. There is a trial and error process for the developing of a character. But there is help from the filmmaker because they have a clear vision. I’ve been very fortunate that all the filmmakers that I’ve worked with have always been open and welcoming of what I’d like to add to the foundation that they’ve set.”

Ranveer refers to Sangram Bhalerao as ‘effortlessly macho’ without having to ‘make a point for his machismo’. “It’s a layered character, it’s very different,” he says. “You’ll have to see the film to know this. He’s very lovable, sensitive, very respectful of women.”
Ranveer adds many qualifiers before taking credit for what he’s bringing to the table in Simba. “I’d like to believe that – without putting myself in too high of a position, I’d like to say that I’ve brought, or have endeavored and attempted to – bring something new to this performance in this genre. It fits the cinematic language of the film but it’s not superficial. What I’ve done is given it a very honest emotionality and that is something that I think – I hope – people will recognize that.”

Ranveer, off-screen, is quite a character with his charming conversational skills and some thoroughly unique fashion styles. There is a lovability about him that allows him to get away with all of this. “They’ve given me a very lovable character, sort of like the lovable rogue that has long existed in classical literature. Fortunately, I’ve got some traits as a person that fits well,” Ranveer laughs.

How does the dynamic work for a character like that opposite a young girl who is truly fresh off the boat? Ranveer stars opposite Sara Ali Khan, whose recent film Kedarnath, has received favourable reviews for her performance. “Sara brings an amazing amount of freshness to the film,” Ranveer explains. “It’s very rejuvenating for any actor to work with a newcomer. They’ve got a keenness and a hunger that’s very revitalising.”

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