The first line that we get to hear from Ranveer Singh in the trailer for Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani is this: “Shits yaar, aap toh mujhe full check out maar rahe ho (you’re fully checking me out).” When Alia Bhatt as Rani responds with embarrassment, Singh’s Rocky Randhawa grins and says, “Koi objection nahi hai ji. Taad lo jitna taadna hai. Dekhne ki cheez hai (No objection at all. Ogle all you want. I’m worth checking out).” While this is Singh playing a part, this unabashed delight in performing and being the object of everyone’s attention is true to Singh off-screen as well and has made him one of Hindi cinema’s most beloved superstars.
In an industry of measured responses and polite personas, Singh revels in being the wild card. It’s a persona he’s nurtured diligently with his off-screen antics, sorry, appearances. To celebrate Singh’s 38th birthday, we’re looking at moments when the actor showed us he doesn’t need a film to be a hero.
In 2014, Singh appeared in a Durex ad, which quickly became a media sensation. It is unconventional for a leading man to be in a condom commercial, let alone reach out to companies asking to be in it. However, this didn’t stop Singh from pitching a campaign and also writing the lyrics to the song in the Durex ad. He sang and danced promoting safe sex, breaking barriers of societal expectations (while raising awareness). The joy that Singh feels when rattling the cages of prim propriety was most recently on display when he chose to do a , which led to some scandalised gents filing police complaints and Singh’s bottom being discussed on prime time news. How’s that for a star act?
When fans were listening to ‘’ on loop, Bhatt posted a reel from her vacation, using the ballad as soundtrack. Singh adopted a different tack. On Instagram, he posted a badly-edited, low-budget and outright hilarious reel using ‘Tum Kya Mile’ with the caption, “Alia ke reel jitna budget nahi thha (my budget wasn’t as much as Alia’s).” This ability to have fun and not take himself too seriously is a key part of Singh’s charm. Also, please appreciate how the actor took it up a notch by adding some Matrix graphics to his green-screen-ed music video for the song.
Blinding colours, clashing patterns, high-heeled boots — the things Singh has worn are only to be seen and believed. Whether it's a bold suit, an eccentric hat, or a flamboyant outfit, Singh has established himself to be the most unusual of fashionistas with a style that is beyond definition. Detractors will say Singh just wants to shock people, but the fact is that his choices are both fearless and fun, reflecting his main-character energy. And perhaps lurking somewhere in that determination to entertain you is the sly intention of making you wonder about why we think certain kinds of attire and behaviour are appropriate. Because admit it, Ranveer Singh decked in a dazzling sky-blue Gucci tracksuit replete with a gold necklace dangling like a trophy around his neck and a luscious wig cascading down made you stop. And think.
For an actor, fan service is part of the job description, but Singh’s efforts stand out for feeling genuine and unrehearsed. The actor often surprises fans with impromptu meet-ups. Whether it's on the streets of Mumbai dancing to ‘Main Aisa Kyon Hoon’ in a Krrish costume or gatecrashing shows of his films in Mumbai’s iconic cinema hall, Gaiety Galaxy, Singh goes out of his way to seem accessible to his fans. Plus, his enthusiasm when in the presence of fans, is unparalleled. It’s almost as if he still can’t believe he’s this famous. He carries that radiance wherever he goes making him a true hero in the eyes of his admirers.
If imitation is flattery, there is no fanboi quite like Ranveer Singh. In the seventh season of , Singh offered a glimpse of his mimicry talents. His Hrithik Roshan impression was particularly noteworthy, perfectly capturing Roshan’s mannerisms and tone of voice, leaving the audience in splits. Singh also imitated Varun Dhawan, Kartik Aaryan, Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn – a total laugh riot.
Every great hero needs a mighty background score. Singh has a person in his entourage carrying a boombox playing iconic music whenever he enters a venue. Singh leans into his persona of being a “Hindi picture ka hero” with the soundtrack that’s a key element of the hero’s entry — because he’s a hero not just on screen, but also in life (thankyouverymuch). Is Singh hyping himself up or is this a self-aware, tongue-in-cheek joke about stardom? Who can tell and does it even matter when he’s able to bring so much joy and laughter each time he makes an appearance?