‘Rock On!! gave me a lot of con­fi­dence’

Ac­tor Ar­jun Ram­pal says the film made him be­lieve in him­self and his abil­i­ties

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - Hindustan Times (Jaipur) - City - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja

With an en­sem­ble cast and a sto­ry­line to in­trigue fans till the very end, the 2008 rock mu­si­cal drama Rock On!! was in­deed one-of-its-kind. As the film completes nine years of its re­lease to­day, ac­tor Ar­jun Ram­pal (right) re­calls how it proved to be a turn­ing point in his act­ing ca­reer. “The film gave me con­fi­dence and in­stilled a lot of faith in me about my abil­i­ties. This con­vic­tion was later re­flected in char­ac­ters that I played in films that fol­lowed such as Om Shanti Om (2007), Ra­jneeti (2010) and D-day (2013). When I look back at th­ese films, I feel sat­is­fied and com­plete,” says Ar­jun, who made memories and great friends while shoot­ing them. The ac­tor, who bagged a Na­tional Award for his por­trayal of the lead gui­tarist (Joe) in the film, says, “I could iden­tify with that char­ac­ter and as an artist, I feel it’s one of the nicest ones that I’ve ever es­sayed.” How­ever, Ar­jun is quick to add that win­ning the Na­tional Award was a “com­plete sur­prise” but a “pleas­ant one.” “It was re­ally strange. I was sit­ting on the ter­race and sip­ping cof­fee, when I got a mes­sage from a friend say­ing, ‘Con­grats, you have won na­tional award.’ I replied, ‘Don’t be funny.’ He wrote back, ‘Id­iot, you’ve won the award; it’s on TV.’ I still felt that he was goof­ing around. I put my TV on, saw my name on the ticker, and was like ‘Oh God’. In the even­ing ev­ery­one from the in­dus­try was in my house to cel­e­brate.” Ask him to share an anec­dote from the shoot­ing and he rec­ol­lects how his di­rec­tor, Ab­hishek Kapoor would al­ways tell him to be­have like a Ban­dra guy — keep mous­tache, wear Ber­muda and T-shirt and have a gui­tar on his back. “So I would do th­ese things and when Ab­hishek would come home, I would try to please him. One day he told me with a se­ri­ous ex­pres­sion, ‘Yaar, you are too good look­ing to play Joe.’ I al­most wrapped that gui­tar around his neck and told him to get lost.”

PHOTO: RAAJESSH KASHYAP/HT

Ar­jun Ram­pal and Farhan Akhtar in a still from Rock On!!

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