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Randeep Hooda: Not used to being part of Rs 100 crore club

“Deepa’s a rock star, she keeps me on my toes. If any laziness has crept in over time, you gotta banish it,” he laughs, longdistance from Toronto. Randeep is hoping this film will cut across borders and appeal to the Indian diaspora.”It’s about the journey of a man, a Jatt Sikh called Jeet Johar. It’s a hero’s role, larger than life, yet grounded, with heart and soul,” he says.

Any other actor would have been cut up about missing the celebrations, as his latest release Kick makes box-office history back home, but Randeep reasons that the distance helps him view the film’s success objectively.

“I knew that given bhai’s (Salman Khan) phenomenal pull and Sajid bhai (producer-director Nadiadwala) making the film with no expenses spared, it would be a blockbuster. What surprised me was Sajid bhai coming to me with such a cool role when he could have chosen any big name and bhai accepting me as a co-actor and a friend,” he admits candidly. Earlier in the year, he’d watched Alia Bhatt hijack Highway. Kick comes as a bonus to balance out the disappointment.

“I’m not used to being a part of the Rs 100 crore club and I’m over the moon. But there’s no doubt that it is because of bhai that so many people are watching the film and along with him, liking me too,” he says, adding his biggest takeaway as an actor is that the audience has accepted him in roles as diverse as Bombay Talkies, Highway and Kick. “Now I hope that some of these people come to see my smaller films, Rang Rasiya and Main Aur Charles.”

Rang Rasiya will be releasing with SRK’s Happy New Year this Diwali but will have a limited release. Yet, Randeep, who’ll be back in the first week of September, is excited about the film. “So many people’s hard work has gone into it and I’m keen that people see the film. It’s the story of an artist, Raja Ravi Varma, who took art out of the palaces and into common people’s homes. The pictures we’ve been praying to for the last 100 years were painted by him, even Dadasaheb Phalke, the Father of Indian cinema, used his art in his films,” he says.

But Rang Rasiya has been more in the news for its love making and nude scenes rather than it’s art. “When you see it, you’ll understand there’s more to it than,” Randeep retorts. Main Aur Charles, another biopic, has Randeep as Charles Sobhraj, the conman and serial killer who manipulated the system. “Our film is about his great escape from India’s high security prison, Tihar,” he informs.

It’s time for another shot. Before Randeep breaks the connection, you remind him of his earlier statement to Mirror,(June 26), “My girl changes with every film.” What’s the equation with Canadian co-star Sarah Allen? No rumours yet. He guffaws, “We’re keeping it under wraps but the still they’ve put up says more than a 1000 words,” he jokes, then adds seriously, “She a sweet , talented actress and I’m very fond of her.”



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