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Bollywood's villains speak for their villainity

Posted By: Staff
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By: Mid-Day, IndiaFM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

'Now there's always a how and why attached to the bad guy' - Prem Chopra

The meanest role I ever did
When I played villain, the roles were totally black. So to create more interest, I put in comical elements or sadism. My meanest roles were in Kaala Sona, Phool Bane Angare and Purab Paschim. The character's name that I really liked was Shambu in Kranti.

My family's reactions
My family always knew that I was just doing my job as an actor. I was a normal guy. Audiences reacting to me showed their acceptance of the actor. There's a lot of difference today - the public is more emancipated and see roles as performances.

How the villain has changed
Now heroes are playing negative roles and there's always a how and why attached to the bad guy. There were no reasons given before. But ever since Shah Rukh, Amitabh Bachchan or other heroes started playing bad characters, there are justifications.

Going from bad to good
At first, there was a certain curiosity because people felt that I had a hero's face. So I did play the romantic villain in between. A change had to take place. I got more emotional or comic roles (like the don in Dhamaal). Personally, I enjoy emotional roles - they give me a platform to perform.

The worst villain in history

My most endearing quality according to family/friends
My sense of humour. I can take a joke. I believe in laughing with people, not at them.

'I relished every scene I did!' - Ranjeet

The meanest role I ever did
Frankly, there have been many - like the time I pulled someone's nails out or when I crushed a child in a woman's stomach (Hema Malini) in Meri Awaaz Suno. Censors were not so strict then.

My family's reactions
I did my first rape scene in Sharmilee and was introduced as a new villain. I come from an orthodox family that didn't even let me read film magazines. I invited my family to the Delhi premiere and when the rape scene started, all of them left! When I reached home, there was chaos. My father had a swollen face and my mother asked, 'How can your father ever show his face in Punjab again?' They felt I should have played an army or doctor type. Another time, my mother nearly fainted in a Delhi theatre when she first saw me getting killed.

The worst villain in history
I'd say Ranjeet in different roles! Or Kanhaiyya Lal in Mother India.

My most difficult scene

I relished every scene I did! In Viswanath, I did a guest appearance as a drug addict/killer. That violence was scary. I had a line, 'Once in a blue moon, kabhi kabhi Koka naam hai mera.'

My most endearing quality according to family/friends
I'm the life of the party. I've also never behaved like an actor or had an ego. I'm easily available to everyone, I don't make a fuss or wear branded clothes. I'm an ordinary, simple man.

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