A block of wood. Nothing more than a piece of furniture. A good looking bloke who is fit just for the ramp. These were some of the comments reserved for Arjun Rampal, an established model then, who believed that he had it all when he had as many as three films of his releasing in his debut year (2001) - Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat, Deewanapan and Moksha: Salvation.
Today, close to a decade later, he is being wooed by the biggest of film makers, as can be seen in his current body of work which includes Housefull, Rajneeti and the remake of Stepmom. No wonder, he can be seen smiling as he moves ahead in his journey.
"It is really nice to see such diverse subjects coming my way. I am playing around with different characters, working with the right people. See, as an actor you are raw stone and it needs to be carved. When you are in the right hands, it gives great results. Yes, as an actor you would always want to give it all but then it is on the director that how much does he want to extract out of you. Today, people are giving me responsibility. As an actor, what more could really please me? These are great times", says Arjun in a calm and composed tone.
Sharing his experience around working with diverse film makers, Arjun says, "Both Sajid Khan and Sajid Nadiadwala made sure that our entire stay during filming Housefull was so comfortable and happy. I could feel an overall positive energy. We were all together for 60 days shooting the film and everyone from Deepika, Lara and Jiah to Akshay, Riteish and me got along really well."
He adds, "The beauty of such shoot outside the country is that people do become quite close to each other. Actually you don't even have much choice. If you don't understand each other and form friends, it can become quite a nightmare when you are away from home for such a long time. It is important to go out there and be a part of the film. This means interacting not just with the cast and the principal crew but also the technicians, assistant directors, light men, spot boys, drivers etc. This is why the camaraderie shared between us was great. "
On the other hand, the very experience of working in a subject like Rajneeti was overwhelming for Arjun.
"Prakash Jha is a veteran and knows what to extract from an actor. His movies are real, rugged and hard hitting with strong characters. I had heard about all of this in my growing up years as an actor but now that I am a part of it, I can sense it for myself", says Arjun.
As for the remake of Stepmom, the very fact that he has Kajol and Kareena for company brings on a smile on his face. "Oh both these ladies are just superb. Incidentally I have never worked with either of them before so it's a double bonanza. Now these are the kind of performance oriented role that I wanted to lay my hands on, especially after 'Rock On' where I got good acceptance as an actor", signs off Arjun.