Arjun Rampal, who completed 15 years in the industry, has tasted success, and even more, failure, in his career. The actor, who will soon be seen in ROCK ON!! 2, opened up about his movie character, music, Shraddha Kapoor, future projects and more.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
You are returning to the ROCK ON!! franchise after a long time. So how challenging was it for you to continue your character Joe in the film?
It was challenging just to make the sequel. That's why it took 8 years for ROCK ON!! 2. We always thought that definitely there could be a sequel to the first film. We left it like that in the first film but we just couldn't get a story around it for the next. It was important to figure out when the story came to me finally - that where is Joe at this point of time in his life and what's the difference in him. The characters are the same but the situations have changed. It took 8 years to come up with a sequel so we wanted to show what happened within that span. They had a nice take on Joe in this film. You will see him in a totally different light. He has achieved quite a bit in his life now and you will see how music brings back some nostalgic memories to him.
Was it difficult for you to get back into that zone after eight years?
I thought it would be difficult but I swear to God, once I came back together with the team, it just happened within three days and we were once again those characters. Of course, Joe has changed a lot in this movie. But his core is still the same.
What do you think about the new members in the Magik band?
Initially I felt that I don't know how this girl (Shraddha Kapoor) is going to fit in because she is from a totally different generation and that's what the film is all about. It's about this girl who comes in from a different generation and joins this band to find herself. I was wondering how Shraddha would do it when the makers told me that they have signed her. I had no idea at that point of time since I haven't seen many of her films nor had interacted with her. But when I heard what she had done with her vocals and the way she had sung, I felt it was so incredible.
'Initially I didn't know how Shraddha Kapoor would fit in'
It's amazing to see this new generation of actors. They are so focused in their work. Shraddha has been a huge fan of ROCK ON!! We spent a lot of time together in Shillong while shooting. I got to know her really well and she is a perfect band member. She's unbelievable. She has a great screen presence and is super confident. She is very well mannered and hard-working.
How do you see the band culture in India. Do you think it's fading away?
No, in fact I think it's getting revived. It had faded away. Earlier, there were music videos being made. But later, they were totally taken over by the film industry. You are so used to the song and dance routine in films. But now things have changed. There is a market opening up for Coldplay and a film like ROCK ON!! which triggered back the concept of bands in fashion.
What was your wife's reaction when she watched ROCK ON!!?
She loved it. She loved the whole dynamics which I and Shahana (Goswami) shared. My wife got very emotionally moved when she saw ROCK ON!! She was really happy with my performance.
Do you think you will be able to recreate that magic once again in ROCK ON!! 2?
There was a freshness to the first film. If we are getting the same reaction for this sequel then I think that means we are making the same film again. It's not the same. ROCK ON!! 2 is more about finding the characters 8 years later. When we did ROCK ON!!, there was no Instagram or Twitter. Now you have these social networking sites. So, there is also an influence of the technology on people. The new generation has a very different attitude. I wasn't like Shraddha when I was of her age. We were not those people. The characters in ROCK ON!! 2 are still friends but the story is more about this generation gap and how music bridges this difference.
Your character in ROCK ON!! was one of the strongest ones. Do you think Joe is going to surpass all the characters once again?
No, I don't think so, honestly because this film is not about Joe. The first film was about him. This film is more about the two generations. Of course, you will find him and he needs to be there because he is a very important character. But, there is a much bigger puzzle to the whole thing. When you grow older you don't have conflicts with other people, instead you have it with your own self.