'Deepika has got a lot to do with whatever I have achieved in the last six years.'
'She has kept me grounded. Otherwise, who knows what I would have turned into?'
Ranveer Singh is always super-charged at events and during interviews.
When we met him for the promotions of Simmba, he greets everyone enthusiastically, hugging and kissing the journalists!
Just before sitting down for the interviews, he attends a wedding in a banquet hall at the same venue and warmly greets the newlyweds.
He sings Lady in Red to a journalist wearing a red top.
But when the interview starts, Ranveer is a changed man.
His voice drops and he speaks softly and slowly -- and at length -- about the year gone by.
And, of course, he speaks about the love of his life, Deepika Padukone.
"We met in August 2012 and started dating by December. In six months, I knew she was the one I wanted to marry," he tells Patcy N/Rediff.com.
How has the year been for you?
I couldn't have asked for more. This year has been a big high.
At the start of the year, there was Padmaavat, a turning point in my career. Getting critical acclaim for a part like that became my biggest commercial success. It made Rs 300 crore.
It was a big gamble for me -- I was playing a dark, negative character -- but as they say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the pay off.
I had a creatively fulfilling experience with Gully Boy which explored my musical side.
I am so connected to Mumbai, so connected to rap, the hip hop scene.
It's my first film with Alia (Bhatt). She is such a fine actor.
This is my second film with Zoya (Akhtar, after Dil Dhadakne Do).
It was a refreshing change from playing a dark character.
Then I lost my nani (maternal grandmother). It was very sad, but the whole family really bonded.
I am playing a masala hero for the first time in Simmba. There are no cars flying in it; it's an evolution of Rohit Shetty films.
When the film was announced, there were high expectations, but we wanted to go beyond that.
We had lofty ambitions.
We knew our combination was great and that we should create something that will, hopefully, set a benchmark.
We want people to understand that masala films will never be the same again after Simmba.
It's got all that entertainment value and at the same time, there is a strong narrative that binds it all together.
Rohit sir's team have stayed with him through all his films and they say it's his best film.
If Simmba does well, I will enjoy a little more in life.
Please go on.
The highlight of the year was my wedding in November.
I am glowing, na?
I have been sleeping only three hours a day for the past three months -- it's been crazy! -- but still, I am glowing because she (wife Deepika Padukone) is keeping me happy.
I keep telling her the kind of wedding you curated, it is like a dream.
Agar main sapna bhi dekta toh I could not have envisioned this.
She had a vision for this and she meticulously created everything.
It was so grand, yet so intimate.
There were tears of happiness throughout.
It's the most joyous month of perhaps my whole life!
Then both of us got nominated for the Star Screen Awards. I hadn't prepared a speech because I am very superstitious.
I always had this vision that one day my wife would be sitting next to me -- and in my vision, my wife has always been Deepika -- and my name would be called out for Best Actor, and I would turn around and give her a kiss. And that's exactly what happened at the awards.
They called out my name and I gave her a kiss.
Then, I went up and did not know what to say.
I said whatever came to me at that moment.
I have been working as a professional actor for eight years, out of which I have been dating Deepika for six years. She has got a lot to do with whatever I have achieved in the last six years.
She has kept me grounded.
Otherwise, who knows what I would have turned into?
When we started dating, she had finished Cocktail and was shooting Race.
I don't think Lootera had released.
We have been dating since then and we have really grown together.
There is so much I learned from her, about professionalism, time management, discipline...
She got emotional (at the awards show) because she had seen the struggles I went through to play the part; it was not easy.
The year we shot Padmaavat was emotionally funky for both of us. She got emotional because that was the payoff for all that hard work.
I really love her; you can say it is marital bliss.
She calls me and asks, 'Ghar kitne baje aa rahe ho? Kya khaoge?'
It's really lovely.
I would recommend marriage to all young people.
What do you like most about Deepika?
She is very grounded.
She is fiercely independent, yet at her core, she is very homely. A family-oriented girl.
We met in August 2012, and started dating by December. In six months, I knew she was the one I wanted to marry.
When will you go on your honeymoon?
I will take a break after Simmba releases.
Every year we take a break during her birthday on January 5.
You have given three big hits with Deepika: Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. Will we see you working with her post marriage?
I love her as a co-actor. She is one of the most generous co-actors I have worked with.
There are so many fans of our jodi; we want to make sure we do our best for their sake.
So the material will decide -- if there is something that speaks to both of us, most definitely!
Your films make Rs 300 crores. You are married now. Have your responsibilities increased?
I would not feel the responsibility earlier.
Now, I feel a certain responsibility towards all those who are invested in me -- monetarily or emotionally. Like my fans, who engage so much time in me, watching my videos, my photos, my work...
They shower so much love on me that it becomes my responsibility to make them feel proud.
I am very connected with my fans on social media. I know my die-hard fans by name, I know their accounts.
I sift through comments to see what they are saying about my work and my life.
My parents are simple people, they already are proud of me.
But now I have a wife. I want to make her proud of me.
I want to make my in-laws proud of me.
I want to make my team proud of me; their livelihood is totally connected to mine.
When I win the Best Actor award, can you imagine the motivation they feel?
If I am working from 10 to 10, they work from 8 to 12. They are working harder than me because they come before me and leave after me.
Will your criteria for choosing scripts change now?
Now, Deepika will sit in my narrations! (Laughs)
We were just joking about it the other day.
Her script sense is great. She will be a good creative bouncing board for me.
My criteria has already changed. There was a time when I would give weightage to what my core team of consultants would have to say.
Now, it is more my call than what it used to be.
I take the decisions, and they are based on the story, the character and the film-maker.
Earlier, I had no idea about what was good and bad. I used to think kaam mil raha hai, bahut badi baat hai.
I said yes to everybody.
Everything seemed like a good script to me.
Over a period of time, you start understanding when a really amazing script comes to you.
After Simmba, you have 83.
I will go into training for that.
It's another extraordinary story, one of the most glorious chapters in our nation's sporting history.
Kabir (Khan, director) sir and I find ourselves entrusted with the responsibility of capturing it on celluloid.
They were underdogs, nobody believed them.
They would talk rubbish about them, insult them that they are idiots.
Then, this captain comes from Haryana. He is only 24.
He changes the whole attitude and gives a winning mentality to the team. And they have the ultimate achievement.
It is such a massive undertaking because we had to get sign offs from so many people as we are using real names.
It is a credit to our producers who did all the hard work and managed to put this together.
Gully Boy has been selected at Berlinale; it's a big deal!
I would always remain in character, not talk much or look at the monitor. I had no idea how the film was shaping up.
Zoya completed the shoot and went to New York for eight months to edit the film.
I just saw the teaser because I had to dub a line since Zoya had to send it to Berlin. That film is on another level.
If I had seen any other actor in the trailer of Gully Boy, I would have died of jealously. I am so impressed by the trailer!
Tell us about Takht.
I was the first actor who was approached for Takht.
I saw a very different Karan Johar when I met him. It was almost spooky to see the change in him.
There was sheer grit and desire to make this film.
The story is delicious; there is so much meat in it.
Karan doesn't take himself seriously. He is very casual and light-hearted but behind all that, there is a very serious and passionate film-maker.
People are surprised that Karan Johar is making a period film. They are not understanding that it is a family film at its core.
It is about love, greed, ambition, betrayal, brotherhood... It is about the dynamics between brothers, a brother and a sister, a father and a son...
Being one of the most powerful men in the industry, Karan Johar will put together a team that will give him all that.
It is his magnum opus.
He will go all out to make sure that the world created by his technicians is on an unprecedented scale.
He has put together a stellar cast -- Alia Bhatt, Anil Kapoor, Janhvi Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Kareena Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar.
I have worked with Alia and Anil.
I am really looking forward to working with Vicky.
I always wanted to work with Kareena Kapoor.
Bhumi took my audition during Band Baaja Baaraat.
Janhvi looks promising.
Band Baaja Baaraat was made eight years ago. How do you compare the first day of that shoot with Simmba's?
I was so raw at that time!
I didn't know anything.
I didn't know where to stand.
I had no idea what a vanity van was. I had no idea stars would go and rest inside it.
In the beginning, I would go and sit on the edge of the seat in the vanity van, waiting for them to call me on the sets.
One person was standing with the boom (mike), and I asked Anushka (Sharma, co-star), 'Yeh full time aise he khada rahega?
Compared to that, I have evolved as a performer. Now, I can play with the craft.
Simmba ka first shot was okayed in one take! (Laughs)