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Ranveer Singh spent ‘dark, hungry days’ before making it big in Bollywood

In an industry that relies oh-so heavily on talent being passed across generations, making a name in Bollywood as an outsider is not easy. Not everyone is capable of it, not everyone is as gifted. However, the odds truly seem to have worked in favour of Ranveer Singh, who recently completed 10 years in the…

In an industry that relies oh-so heavily on talent being passed across generations, making a name in Bollywood as an outsider is not easy. Not everyone is capable of it, not everyone is as gifted.

However, the odds truly seem to have worked in favour of Ranveer Singh, who recently completed 10 years in the Indian film industry. The actor, known for his talent and charming, unabashed and over-the-top persona, is undoubtedly Bollywood’s it guy these days, with fans and directors scrambling to get an audience with him.

But Singh didn’t always have it this easy. In a recent tell-all with Hindustan Times, the star shared his journey to Bollywood, the early struggles and the legacy he wants to leave behind. “With each passing year and every film, I have learned something more about the craft, about myself, and I have always tried to keep improving my set of skills. With every film and character, I hope to keep exploring myself a little more,” he began.

While Singh’s debut Band Bajaa Baraat was under the massive banner of Yash Raj Films, the actor confessed it took him a while to land it. “My struggle period was not easy at all. There was a recession going on at that time and the film business was not very prolific so people were making fewer films. Therefore, opportunities for actors were far lesser as compared to today. We didn’t even have any of the web or OTT platforms. So, good opportunities were hard to come by,” he divulged.

“For close to 3.5 years, I was just groping in the dark, attempting various avenues, trying to get a break, endeavoring to get my foot in the door, doing rounds of various offices with my portfolio, looking for work, but not knowing whether it will ever happen at all.” Singh continued. “It was very far-fetched for someone in my position to think that I’d get a big opportunity as a performer, to act as a lead [actor] in Hindi films. The chance was one in a million but I still went for it. With the love, blessings, sacrifices and support of my amazing parents, I mustered up the fortitude to keep going. I was hungry and, at times, foolish, but also very persistent.”

Singh was 21 when he started trying his luck in Bollywood and at 24, it finally worked out for him in a spectacular fashion. After a number of hits, and quite a diverse career graph, what else does the actor desire? 

“I would like my brand to stand for the pursuit of excellence. Plus, it ought to be fundamentally diverse in its nature so that you can have films that are at opposite ends of the spectrum. For instance, two diverse films such as Lootera and Ram Leela came out within a span of just a few months, or films as diverse as Dil Dhadakne Do and Bajirao Mastani released in the same year. And then, two completely opposite films like Simmba and Gully Boy hit theatres within a gap of just two months,” he explained.

“I want to do it all and do it well. When someone sees me on a poster, the first thought that should come to mind is that, ‘This [film] is going to be the best in its class/genre.’ Regardless of the category, my film should be rated amongst the best in that genre.”

As good an actor he is, Singh is deemed to be a people’s person as well. You can always see the star interacting with his fans, and unlike many other Bollywood stars, the actor is touted to be quite approachable. The actor revealed that this trait was first identified by film-maker Aditya Chopra.

“Aditya sir encouraged me to engage with people. Today, social media gives one the opportunity to engage with people like never before. I remember he once said, ‘The more you interact with people and more of yourself you reveal to them, the more love you are bound to receive because you are charming, sensitive, empathetic and have a winning personality.’ And I am very fortunate that, so far, his prophecy has been proven right.”

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