Violence over ‘Padmaavat’ was infuriating beyond control: Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh, whose latest release ‘Padmaavat’ ran into controversy over a fringe group alleging distortion of history, has said the violent protests against the movie infuriated him, but his producers restrained him from reacting fearing it might make matters worse.
Speaking at ThePrint’s ‘Off The Cuff’ in Mumbai, Singh said it was also enraging to see Padmaavat director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who he considers his ‘guru’, attacked and humiliated.
“When the first incident happened in Rajasthan, I was personally shocked that something like this could happen and I was infuriated beyond control,” he said.
“To see disturbing images of a person I consider my guru to be brutally attacked was infuriating,” the actor added.
Singh was in conversation and interacted with noted journalist Shekhar Gupta and shared many anecdotes about the film.
“As an artist, to see people come and break the set, break the film equipment was enraging for me. I literally had to be held back,” said Singh who plays the role of Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji in the film.
“My friends and producers said we are asking you categorically to not do or say anything because if you do anything it will only make matters worse.”
The actor said he chose to channel his anger towards preparing to play the role of the 14th century Muslim ruler.
During moments when it seemed difficult to go on during the shoot of the film, this rage over the violence surrounding Padmaavat would give him that extra gear, Singh said.
Padmaavat was supposed to hit the screen on December 1 last year, but had to be postponed until 25 January after Rajput groups resorted to violent protests across the country. The Rajput Karni Sena had demanded a ban on the film, claiming the movie distorts history.
While several Indian states Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat wanted to prevent the movie’s release, the Supreme Court eventually cleared the way for Padmaavat.
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Singh said that social media had also compounded problems for actors as it gives every person a mega phone and an easy way to judge and point fingers.
“Social media is a big old beast. Of the six billion people in the world, about 15 might oppose something that you say and unfortunately that is what gets highlighted,” the actor said.
The actor also made a strong case to provide incentives and bring up writers in the Indian film industry, hinting that he has some plans for the same.
“In our industry there is an absolute dearth of writers. We don’t incentivise our writers enough,” Singh said.
“Every filmmaker is writing his or her own material. I feel like if I owe anything to the industry I want to bring up writers.”
The actor is of the view that although writing is the spine of a film, it is also, unfortunately, the most undervalued aspect.