Exclusive: No One Had Money To Watch Rock On 2, Says Arjun Rampal

We catch up with Arjun Rampal to discuss the fate of Rock On 2 and the thrill that is Kahaani 2. 

5 min read
Arjun Rampal in a still from <i>D-Day.</i>

We hit it off with Arjun Rampal while discussing Coldplay’s mesmerising act.

I am a very big fan of Coldplay and have all their albums. I got to meet Chris Martin at Farhan (Akhtar)‘s house as well. He is a wonderful human being, extremely down to earth and chilled out. On stage, he was on fire and the kind of love that he gave to this country, he has won a billion hearts.
Arjun Rampal, Actor

With his passion for music, it did break his heart when Rock On 2 crashed at the box office. He feels demonetisation was the reason behind it, but is sure that since it is for a good cause, all sacrifices are worth it.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q: People couldn’t watch Rock On 2, thanks to the sudden demonetisation announcement on the release weekend.

Arjun Rampal: It is a freak thing. It really throws you off because you don't know what to do. Everyone worked really hard on Rock On 2 and we waited really long to make the sequel. You cannot do anything about it. We couldn't even judge our own film because nobody could watch it; people had no money. Even the films that came a week after suffered. It has been tough but when you look at it, it is also for a better future. But at least someone is trying to do something about what we all complain about - corruption. If it hits home, then all sacrifices should be worth it.


Q: Moving on to Kahaani 2, Sujoy says it is not a sequel to Kahaani.

Arjun Rampal: I did not know when Sujoy narrated the film to me that is is Kahaani 2. I wanted to read the script, but Sujoy insisted that he wants to narrate it to me. I didn't know who the actors were. I was completely floored because I really loved what he was trying to say through the film, especially when you don't see things coming. I was glad that he was doing a thriller and just told him that I hope Vidya (Balan) is playing a part and then he told me that this is Kahaani 2. He approached the film like that as well. Sujoy is a tricky guy but what is great about him is how he creates a serious issue with such wacky characters.

Arjun Rampal and Sujoy Ghosh on the sets of<i> Kahaani 2</i>. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="">Twitter/@candogh360</a>)
Arjun Rampal and Sujoy Ghosh on the sets of Kahaani 2. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@candogh360)

Q: How is it shooting a thriller vis-a-vis a musical? Does it keep you on your toes?

Arjun Rampal: You just have to be true to the script. It has a different pace, so the way you move, talk or the way you bring urgency into your body language is important. Without being forced, you need to keep a certain amount of tension. You know, while shooting, I’d think of everything else while saying my lines. So I came with a preoccupied mind which helps in bringing the tension to the scene. That’s the sort of exercise I did..


Q: Interestingly, the location is almost a character in Sujoy’s films. Does that help in giving a realistic performance as an actor?

Arjun Rampal: The setting is the most important part for an actor. If there is an unrealistic setting and the performance is realistic, it will stick out like a sore thumb. If you go into a very realistic situation and you are fake, your performance is going to stick out again. Location is a character in the film itself and it is amazing to see how Sujoy treats it as one. He does not look at it just as a backdrop. It is very challenging but also allows you to bring a certain level of ease to the scenes.

Q: You are working with Vidya Balan for the first time.

Arjun Rampal: When you work with an awesome actor, it just helps you up your game. She discusses a lot. She asks a lot of questions. Before this, I did not know Vidya at all. We just met at award functions or someone’s party. But I have watched many of her films and have seen the choices that she has made and the kind of performances she’s delivered. I always thought that she would be this serious person, a complete method actor... but when you say cut, she is like a baby. She has a twinkle and naughtiness in her eyes and is up to mischief all the time. She has got a terrific sense of humour. I really love that. Another lovely thing about her is how she absorbs the environment and makes people comfortable around her presence. We are very similar in that way, which really connected us.


Q: Acting is an extension of yourself but versatility is equally important for an actor. Do you agree?

Arjun Rampal: Acting is an extension of everything that I do and is comes mainly because I personally get bored very fast of the same thing. You don't want to go through the same journey again and again. That is why I do not want to repeat characters. I have made that clear in my head and that is why I do less work but at least I look for those roles where I’d be satisfied when I’m out of it.

Q: What about creative satisfaction?

Arjun Rampal: Creative satisfaction is at least one thing that is guaranteed to you. It is your choice, you have decided to be with that team and now it is up to you on what a great experience you want to make it. When the film is done, it is not in your hands anyway. Till you have it in control, try your best to give whatever you have got.

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