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'Working with Ash was a dream come true'

January 16, 2003 15:35 IST

It is difficult to decide if bad choices or bad luck has hobbled Arjun Rampal's career. Aishwarya, Arjun in Dil Ka Rishta

With his chiselled good looks, deep voice and reasonable ease in front of the camera, he should have made a lot of headway by now.

But today, he clings on to the straw of Dil Ka Rishta, hoping that his pairing with Aishwarya Rai finds favour with Indian audiences.

Excerpts from an interview with Vickey Lalwani:

What is Dil Ka Rishta about?

In one line, it is all about one woman, two lives; one man, two chances. It is an unpredictable love story. It is a film based on circumstances, fate and obstacles in life.

Working with Ash was a dream come true. She is one of the best actresses we have, enormously talented. Her best is yet to come.

Tell us about your character in the film.

I play Jay Mehta, an industrialist's son who has everything in life but never fallen in love. He is an insecure and jittery person because of certain things that happened in his past. That brings out certain undesirable traits in him as he goes along in life.

He falls in love and, true to his disposition, feels terribly insecure that he will lose the girl. In the second half, something happens that makes him 'grow up.' I was floored when I heard the script. I have a lot of scope to perform in DKR.

Naresh Malhotra, the director, worked very hard on DKR. He tasted blood in Yeh Dillagi but he has not done well since. So he is hungry for success.

You were touted as the next best thing during the days of your debut film, Rajiv Rai's Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat. What happened?

If I was the ruler of my destiny, you would not have asked this question *smiles*

Do you think you made wrong choices along the way, like you turned down Abbas-Mustan's Humraaz, which later went to Akshaye Khanna?

I did turn down Humraaz, but I don't think that was a wrong choice. One, I did not have the dates. Two, I could not relate to the character. I could not comprehend why the character was so greedy, non-emotional and lethal. Wouldn't I have goofed up if I hadn't got under the skin of the character?

Abbas-Mustan appreciated my frankness. I don't do films to create news. I don't regret not taking up that role.

The final outcome revealed that Akshaye fitted the role to a T. He won a lot of acclaim; I am happy for him.

Films are fiction, aren't they? You don't necessarily have to feel every single character from within.

*interrupts, shrugging* That's me!
Arjun Rampal in Dil Ka Rishta
What made you accept Kundan Shah's Dil Hai Tumharaa which had Rekha, Preity Zinta and Mahima Chaudhary hogging the limelight?

You are asking me this simply because DHT failed at the box-office.

It was a light role, with shades of comedy. I wanted to try comedy. Besides, I admire Kundan Shah -- he is the man who directed Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. The mother-daughter conflict subject of DHT was good.

Is it prudent to only satisfy the creative aspect and not worry about the practical aspect of your career?

It is difficult to straitjacket oneself. I am no expert in the film industry, but any sane person would agree that the time has come for actors and actresses to experiment and meet the demands of the unpredictable audience.

It is up to every actor and actress to lead the way.

How confident are you about Dil Ka Rishta?

One of the best cinematographers in the country, Ashok Mehta, has shot the film. We have great locations. The plot is not hackneyed. The rest, as they say, is fate.

What next?

Humko Tumse Pyar Hain with Bobby Deol and Amisha Patel, directed by Vikram Bhatt. Then there's Rajiv Rai's Asambhav which is going to keep me out of India for the next three months at least.

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