He’s spent only a year in the industry but this designer has already landed some pretty big projects. Among his finest work are Malaika Arora Khan’s look in Anarkali Disco Chali, Sonam Kapoor’s look in Players and his solo project, Jannat 2. He’s all excited about his work in the upcoming Joker starring Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Kumar. In a free-wheeling chat, Rick Roy tells Soumita Sengupta, what it feels like to have his dream come true.
You’re just a year old in this industry but you’ve already styled so many films?
I am very lucky to do the films I’ve done, and work with the directors I have worked with. Honestly, I am still in a dream zone. Till Jannat 2 released, I couldn’t believe it was real. Now, Joker will be releasing and other movies more or less every month till the end of the year. It’s still sinking in that I am finally a film costume designer.
How did Joker happen?
You know how people say a phone call changed their life! That’s what happened to me. I was all set to go backpacking to Spain and Portugal for six months. I had a visa interview the next day and I got a call from Shirish. He asked me if I wanted to do his film and obviously I said ‘yes’. The next thing I know, I was in Chandigarh, working on Joker.
Joker is the first film where you have designed the costumes for the entire cast. Were you nervous?
I was a little scared at first because I had never done a full movie before with such a big cast. I told Shirish I was nervous. But he was amazingly supportive and said, “I know you haven’t done a film before but don’t worry, everyone has a first time and I know you will do a good job. That’s why I am asking you to do it.” It was seriously an amazing experience. Signing my first movie… I owe Shirish a lot for taking that call.
Did you design costumes for the alien too?
No, I didn’t. Only for the human beings.
Ever since Sonakshi made her debut, we have been seeing her in Indian clothes. Despite her Indian look in Joker too, did you think of giving her a different look?
Sonakshi’s looks are very Indian and that’s why I think she gets such roles. But in Joker, her character is very different. Joker is a very happy, fun film and she needed to look interesting, fun and a little crazy at times. I just followed the brief that was given to me by Shirish and made outfits that I thought would suit the character. Sonakshi was very open to trying out different looks. I have experimented with colors on her.
You have also designed for Chitrangada Singh, Esha Gupta and Malaika Arora. How do you differentiate between these actresses? And who is your muse?
Malaika is definitely my muse. But it is unfair to compare anyone with her since she is also my mentor. So I share a very different type of relationship with her. Work-wise, she is all about perfection and intuitively knows fashion and style. Still, she let me do whatever I wanted to do with her look. Everything always looked magically beautiful on her. She personifies my style. But more than anything else, she is one of the nicest and warmest people I know.
Chitrangada is exquisitely gorgeous and can carry off anything she wears. I love the fact that she trusts me completely with whatever I style her in. I think that quality makes her even more beautiful.
Esha was very easy to work with. She’s been a model so she understands clothes. When you explain her look to her, she understands it perfectly. She’s not one bit fussy and it was very easy working with her.
When an actor signs a film, what role do you play after that? Do you seat through meetings with producer to decide the look?
Yes, I sit in on the look of the actors but my meetings are mostly with the director. Once the director explains the script and characters, we decide on the look for each person depending on the character they are playing. Sometimes it’s a mixed decision and sometimes it’s mine but the final call is always taken by the director.
What do you do when an actor doesn’t agree with your ideas? Who ends up listening to whom?
Honestly, that situation hasn’t arisen to date. I always follow the character brief and also keep in mind that the actor needs to be comfortable with the look I am planning. I am open to ideas as long as they don’t deviate from the principal look of the character.
Since Raaz 3 is a horror film, did Vikram ask you to give Esha a different look?
I have designed for both Emraan and Esha in this film. Vikram gave me a character brief for both of them and asked me to decide on their looks. Since Emraan plays a director in the film, I wanted a very clean, suave and stylish look for him but one that was very understated. His look is stylish but doesn’t scream. Emraan has never been seen like this before. As for Esha, I wanted her look to be very glam and stunning since she plays a superstar and how the horror affects her. Styling also changes from scene to scene.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I am doing Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala and Raj Kumar Gupta’s Ghanchakkar.