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After months of controversy, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmaavat finally got a theatrical release last week. As expected, the film has been doing extremely well at the box office.
While people couldn't get enough of Ranveer Singh's Khilji act, many felt that Shahid who played Maharawal Ratan Singh churned out a subtle performance as compared to his co-star.
In an interview with Pinkvilla, the actor spoke about the film's success, underplaying his role and the biggest compliment he received for his performance. Scroll down to read more...
Shahid Is Very Proud Of Padmaavat
"Padmaavat has earned love and not because of the fact that it's a big budget movie, not because it's Sanjay Leela Bhansali's next and not because the film has Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone or me, but because the people who have gone in the theatres have come out saying these two things - one, the film is not controversial and it's a film that should be seen because of a great cinematic experience. I am very proud that Padmaavat as a product has fought every possible battle to make it heard and seen."
He Didn't Speak For The Next Two Days After The Film's Release
"I correlate that to my journey in the film - everyone wondered about my role - was it a special appearance or what am I doing the film. I had to wait for one-and-half years to feel validated and for people to know why. In fact, I didn't speak for the next two days after the release - I wanted to see whether the people have felt what I have tried to depict, whether they walked out of the film saying good on you, Shahid."
A Brave Move
Shahid further added, "Padmavati - If I can say so - was a titular role for Deepika, if Ranveer was scared to play the villain and if I was afraid to play a hero who is an underdog, the film wouldn't have been the way it is."
Shahid Doesn't Think He Underplayed Maharawal Ratan Singh
"I don't think that I underplayed Maharawal Ratan Singh, I would say I played Maharawal Ratan Singh. This is the character that was meant to be subtle. Nobody overplayed or nobody underplayed - it was our characters and we did our job according to the briefs we were given. It is the people who are deciding. As an actor, I have come from Tommy Singh which is different to what I have done in Padmaavat."
Guess Who Gave Him The Biggest Compliment!
"Actually, the best thing was the minute after the first screening of the film, Sanjay sir looked at me and said, 'you know Deepika and you should do one more film together, I want to see more of you'. That was the biggest compliment. Well, the movie had less of romance and it had to say a lot many other things too - so we didn't have much time to linger and ponder over it. But, that's the nature of the film. Deepika is spectacular and we have waited for it and now that people have loved us, it's great."
Was He Afraid To Take Up The Least Author- Backed Role?
"The way it went, I was curious about it. Sanjay sir told me that 'I need you in the film'. He said that 'you have just come from Tommy Singh that was a dark edgy character - why don't you play a good guy or someone with valour and why do you feel that a good guy cannot be powerful and he can't make an impact. I just looked at him and asked - 'Do you think I should do it? He said yes and I was like I am doing it'."
Padmaavat Was A Tiring Journey
"Mira has been the constant support throughout. It's character in the film that needs a lot from as an actor. I was like the new entrant in the team which has already worked before. To the fact, the film had to deal with before it actually came out. There was so much written about the film before it was seen. It was a tiring journey and Mira has been a support system and like a wall for me. I couldn't have done it without her."
His Wife Mira Pushed Him To Take Up The Role
"You know sometimes it's not about someone telling you to do something. Sometimes you have a feeling that this will work for you and Mira was very optimistic about it. She has always said that 'you should take up the role'. It was because of just a few words that pushed me to the edge to take up the role."