Edited excerpts from an interview between Ranveer Singh and Baradwaj Rangan. The actor speaks about his experiences in the film industry, the role he wishes to be roped in for and his most liked South Indian films.
You have actors like Fahadh Faasil acting in Telugu and Tamil movies, Dulquer Salmaan acting in Hindi films. Have you ever considered that kind of a language shift for a movie?
I think it would be very difficult. My wife Deepika (Padukone) is now doing a multi-lingual film. She comes back and tells me about the process and how it's not the easiest thing. I never say never and I'm most certainly open to the possibilities. I think it would be quite exciting because I always relish a new challenge.
I know Hindi and English. But to act in a different language altogether is almost many steps ahead of just imbibing an accent. I think it would be tremendously exciting. I find so many filmmakers who work in Telugu, Tamil and even Malayalam cinema very exciting. I love their movies. And I would love to work with them and if it means picking up a new language, I'd totally be up for it.
I'm very fascinated with linguistics. The different sounds, sentence structures, meanings and the emphasis – everything is different in every language and I'm very inclined to linguistics. So I think it would be an exciting new challenge.
The way I look at it is that I think you are the best actor that Sanjay Leela Bhansali ever got. I think you're the only actor who really gets him and what he's inside his head. The way I see it is like you working in another language would be you working with Bhansali after working with regular directors.
Now, I am collaborating with Alia Bhatt, she tells me what it's like to speak a Telugu dialogue. Deepika is working with Nag Ashwin. So I'm hearing from them what it means to work in a language that you're not primarily familiar with. I'm collaborating with Pooja Hegde, I've interacted with Tamannaah, who has also told me what it's like. Because they are acting in languages that aren't their primary language. I have some surface-level understanding of the challenges. But, I would love to do something. I think it would be very cool for me to do something new.
Do you end up watching a lot of southern films, especially now, because of OTT?
Yes. I've been watching them for years. I am thoroughly excited about RRR and Rajamouli is one of my favourite directors. I love his movies and his crazy ideas. I'm also thrilled that I am going to be collaborating with Shankar, a titan of Tamil cinema. He has these crazy wild canvases and just the thought that I'm going to be a part of Shankar's canvas makes my hair stand. I love his storytelling and I'm thrilled to be collaborating with him.
Some of the best films I've watched are from the southern region. I've grown up watching Mani Ratnam's movies. Nayakan is one of the greatest movies of all time. There are a few others I've seen in the past two or three years that have really resonated with me.
First of all, Magadheera. Then Super Deluxe, Mahanati and Kumbalangi Nights. Whenever somebody strongly recommends a film, I make it a point to watch. I have such admiration for the artists. I love Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil's work.
I think the world of a number of actors. Whether it's Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan or NTR, I love to see what they create and I hugely admire them. I love the films of Nag Ashwin, another amazing director.
I'm deeply appreciative of everything that's happening in Southern Regional cinema. I will have to say they are leading the charge of technical finesse. And some of the best movies of our country are coming out of Chennai and Hyderabad.
Do you find any difference in the acting styles in the southern industries? I mean, this is a tough question because acting styles also depend on the movie. But is there a generic difference between the Bombay industry and the Southern industries?
I think both industries have different kinds of films being made. You have films that are playing to the gallery and those that adopt a more, for lack of a better word – natural school of acting, more internalised and more understated, perhaps.
So both industries have both kinds. And both have proponents putting out the best of the best. But I have a huge amount of admiration for all the artists and all the technicians. I really doff my hat to many of them. They are some of the most stunning pieces of work I've seen in the recent past.
I mean, take your pick. I think the last film that I really loved was Super Deluxe. I also love Mahanati, especially Keerthy Suresh who was awesome. What a performance! I dig it and more power. I'm already working with Shankar. I would love to collaborate with more artists and technicians from Southern regional cinema.
Also, I forgot to mention one of my favourite actors of all time. I love Dhanush. I love his work. He's such a stellar performer. His performances blew my mind and he's amazing.
As you just mentioned a whole bunch of southern films, tell me one movie where you saw the role and said "Damn, I wish I had done that."
I wanted to do Magadheera for the longest time. Reincarnation is my jam! Magadheera has just such a cinematic flair. Somebody was trying to remake it with me. They gave me a VCD of Magadheera. Watching it in my room alone early hours one morning and I was crying and clapping. It's three in the morning and I'm alone in bed watching it on my television screen.
That's the setting and I still find myself reacting so much to it. It was, at the time, one of the best cinematic experiences. I would have loved for the Magadheera remake to have worked out, but it didn't. But never say never. I am very interested in doing something with the reincarnation theme.