For an actor, to have an electrifying on-screen presence is akin to a second nature but if his magnetism consistently draws the audience for 20 long years and beyond, it does say something. That is Arjun Rampal for you all.
In a conversation with ScoopWhoop, actor Arjun Rampal gets real about Bollywood then & now, his binge-watching habits, his upcoming show London Files, and beyond.
It is an arduous task for an actor who’s slipped into the skin of umpteen characters for 20 years to admit which one felt closest to him.
When asked about his favourite role on-screen, he went deep into his memory vault and could name a few like Rock On, Rajneeti, D-Day, Daddy, Om Shanti Om, amongst many others.
Everything has been so different and challenging. They’ve also been very well written, I think that’s what one looks for.
Nonetheless, what’s fascinating is that he talks about a stockpile of fresh work that he is excited for us to watch. Right from London Files to Dhakad, The Rapist, Penthouse, Three Monkeys to his new project with Honey Trehan, there is a slew of films and shows he is looking forward to.
In his journey, he’s seen Bollywood and its audience grow and transform. Speaking of which he points out that the fundamental change has been in the mindset and the way the audience has evolved.
We are catering to what they want. They have become far more demanding, they want content-driven films and there has been a focus shift in good writing.
Along with good writing, with the rampant rise of OTT platforms, there has been a focus shift in the actors too.
Now they approach their work with more professionalism. Actors are more actors than they are trying to be stars.
The level of responsibility & competition in the industry is fused with the demand, curiosity, and engagement of the audience which has completely changed the ball game, he believes.
Whether you love watching cinema or not, the lockdown has turned everyone into a binge-watcher.
On being asked about which other show he’d have loved to be cast in, he first says that he can’t think of anything but London Files, owing to its uniqueness.
Yet, he talks about the shows that grew on him as he binge-watched them, something he wishes he could be a part of.
I think the two I’d choose from would unfortunately not be from our industry but one would be Succession which I really enjoy watching and the other would have been Game Of Thrones.
So a typical GoT fan could imagine themselves as Jon Snow or Rob Stark but Arjun has a pretty interesting thought about which character he’d play in the show.
If I’d have played in Game Of Thrones, they’d have to create a brand new character.
Moving further to his upcoming show on Voot Select London Files, he talks about what prompted him to sign up for it after a while of hesitation.
When we think of a whodunnit involving a homicide detective, it automatically takes us back to similar shows Bollywood is plagued with. But when he delved into the narrative, he understood the nuances of the detective’s journey which isn’t what we’ve stereotypically seen on-screen.
Om is a dysfunctional detective who isn’t a superhero. He makes mistakes. He’s doubting himself. His past is catching up with him. For me, that makes the character extremely humane. He’s very relatable. Sachin Pathak is great with emotions. The emotional draft that he’s created for every character in a suspense thriller was very intriguing.
From Arjun’s lens, what sets London Files class apart from others of its kind is how it dares to touch upon a boatload of raw and real issues amidst the investigation.
The show is keen on touching on real and relevant human problems on a global scale, which is something we have never seen in a murder mystery before.
Be it a villain or hero, Arjun Rampal has always delivered. And the fact that he’ll be exploring more in the spectrum with his next projects already has us thrilled.
Brace yourself to binge-watch London Files on 21st April, only on Voot Select.