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Once upon a time in ‘Bollywood’ you could find a direct connection between people and the films they were praying to succeed or fail.
And, then Ranveer Singh happened.
Unlike stars of yore that would surreptitiously pop champagne when the competition failed at the box office or look through fellow stars in public, Ranveer Singh openly promotes the films that he isn’t a part of, or stars that he might not be known to be friends with.
A few weeks ago he featured in a video showing his love for Salman Khan’s Sultan (2016) by dancing in a cinema hall in Paris while watching the film. Now, Singh professes his love for Akshay Kumar’s upcoming Rustom (2016) in a video where he is dressed like Kumar’s character from the film and calls himself ‘Chuppa Rustom’ and even breaks into a jig to the older actor’s hit ‘Zehar hai ki play hai tera chumma’ from Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995) playing in the background.
With such videos and news of him prancing around in a silver jacket that repels paparazzi’s flashes in the night, Ranveer is a welcome departure from not only how one looked at a star – but also how a star is expected to behave.
Unlike many young stars, Ranveer Singh doesn’t appear to take stardom too seriously. That doesn’t mean he’s not interested in it or doesn’t work hard to attain it but the difference lies in what he is doing with his popularity. Apart from his histrionics that even with a relatively small filmography hardly leave any doubt about his talent, antics such as photo bombing, posting videos, rooting for his competitors make him a treat both on as well off screen.
Perhaps the only contemporary star to promote safe sex, Ranveer happily became a brand ambassador for Durex condoms and in the bargain, made stardom relevant. It is said that it was Ranveer who approached the brand to be associated with it and the fact that he opted for something like this over the standard practice of selling colas and such sets him in a different league.
In fact, to a great extent, he reminds one of an early Shah Rukh Khan who in the 1990s made for interesting copy and didn’t bow down to conventions – and even Pooja Bedi, who didn’t shy away from promoting safe sex and sexual well-being by featuring in a condom advertisement way back in the early 1990s.
Singh even goes out of his comfort zone when it comes to paying tributes to screen legends: He performed a 15-minute tribute at an Awards function earlier this year for Amitabh Bachchan; and his fascination with Anil Kapoor is such a well-known fact that Aditya Chopra had to ask him to stop mimicking Kapoor during the shooting of Befikre.
Ranveer makes it all look so easy and at times his sheer energy might tire the viewer, but nothing exhausts him and he actually makes stardom look like fun.
Some might say that the things that Ranveer Singh does off-screen could very well be a smart ploy to keep himself in the news. His quirky dressing with harem pants, beanies, a Mickey Mouse print shirt with a bow tie and even a skirt (yes!) only strengthen the argument.
But here’s a counter argument – what if Ranveer Singh is one of those who are simply fun and not embarrassed by it? Assuming this writer is wrong and the naysayers right, and Ranveer’s doing all this to appear ‘important’, the bigger thing is that his actions aren’t causing any harm. His promoting a Yash Raj Films’ release (video for Sultan, a dubmash for Fan) could be his way of saluting his mentor, Aditya Chopra, or not. But him showing love for Akshay Kumar or telling Deepika Padukone that nothing makes him happier than her isn’t something that reveals a mind that’s angling for a role.
Ranveer Singh’s an ideal fit between being a star and not losing one’s primal instincts and in that one can’t help but be reminded of the late Prince’s line: ‘What’s the use of money if you ain’t gonna break the mould?‘
While you deconstruct the mystery of Ranveer Singh, here’s a look at his new poster for Befikre, in which he stars opposite Vaani Kapoor:
– Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) August 9, 2016