Lead pair of Bajirao Mastani – Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone – in conversation with Team Box Office India.
Box Office India (BOI): Ranveer, why did you take so long to visit our office?
Ranveer Singh (RS): I ask you, Mr Vajir, why? Kyun?
BOI: We have called you before but you were busy.
Deepika Padukone (DP): It had to happen with me because I am the favourite here.
BOI: Can’t deny it, that’s true.
DP: It had to happen!
RS: Yes, it had to, for a special film like Bajirao Mastani. I have always looked forward to visiting your office, sitting here and posing for pictures that will be printed front page par. I was telling this gentleman, that every time I receive an edition of Box Office India, it has a designated place in my living room where I can easily find it. First, it used to be in the TV room, this room or that room but now it is on the red sofa near the table, in that corner, in case you want it. So I open Box Office India and go from back to front, not front to back, acha toh sab samajh mein aa jata hai. Kyunki main inn baton mein kachha hoon na, numbers and all. First, I pretend to understand everything!
DP: Just call me when the interview starts (Laughs).
RS: Then I get to know what’s happening with the others, about dubbing, shooting kya kya chal raha hai. Then I get to the features. As I was saying (Laughs), I have the latest edition at home, not the latest one, the one prior to that, whose cover read ‘Unstoppable Force!’ (Laughs). Bhai toh aate jaate wahi dikhta hai mujhe ki yaad rakh December 18!! There’s Mr. Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) on the cover, gun in hand, and it says, an unstoppable force. That’s just a reminder, aate jaate.
BOI: Is this your biggest film, so far?
RS: Yes sir, it is definitely bigger in scale, mounting, budget… everything, the universality of the film itself, at a commercial level and also at the creative level. It perhaps goes into the level of spirituality, and the scale is visible in the trailer. It is no secret that it’s one of the biggest budgets any Hindi film has had so far. So, yes, it is a big deal for me, to do one of the biggest-ever films, at this stage in my career. And the credit goes to Mr Bhansali for backing me.
At the time of Ram Leela, it was a big film for me to do and Lootera had not even released when he signed me for that film. So for this film to come to me at this stage… you could say it’s before it’s time. Waqt se pehle you know. Only a few guys have worked on a budget like this. But Mr Bhansali believed that I could deliver after seeing my work in Ram Leela. I am grateful to him and, hopefully, this film will be, not a step forward, but a leap forward for me.
BOI: It took him so many years to make this…
RS: …12 to 15 years.
BOI: 12 years.
RS: Yes, this story had a journey. Every time Mr Bhansali wanted to make a film, he actually wanted to make Bajirao Mastani but he ended up making something else. Finally, while making Ram Leela, he decided it was time to make this film, and had mentioned that in passing. Then, after the success of Ram Leela, planning that film the way he did, he was confident that he would make this film. Now, here we are, 10 days away from its release.
BOI: Do you think the script waited for Ranveer and Deepika?
RS: I think it waited for Deepika (Laughs). We all know the value she adds to any project and we knew it during Ram Leela as well. So, thank you, Deepika, also for why Bajirao Mastani was made.