armaan ralhan. ranveer singh

Armaan Ralhan made his debut in the Hindi film industry in 2016 with Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor-starrer Befikre. But after that, he took a while to return to screen and he did that with Ajeeb Daastaans last year, in the story starring Fatima Sana Shaikh and Jaideep Ahlawat. For his latest project Shoorveer, he donned the uniform of an Air Force pilot and is receiving rave reviews for it. Recently, Armaan Ralhan got into a conversation with Bollywood Bubble where he spoke about his journey, his co-stars and vision for the future. Read excerpts from the interview:

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How was it for you donning the uniform for the show as it brings with itself a certain sense of responsibility and discipline?

“It was two things. One is wearing the uniform itself gives you a sense of responsibility and then of course it’s the prep side that you do before even trying on the uniform. For that, I did a lot of research as I am playing an Air Force pilot. Since the Covid scare was there, we couldn’t go and meet the real Air Force pilots, although we did talk to them. We didn’t get a chance to work on flight stimulators, even though we wanted to. So, Kanishk, my director sent me a lot of reading material and videos to watch and that was like my starting point to get into the mindset of it. Then I did my own research as well that included watching interviews, reading the Air Force pilot manual and then the physical prep was also there. I looked up at the videos of how the Air Force pilots train and I tried to emulate that. So, yes it was a lot of responsibility.”

 

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Shoorveer marks your third project on screen. But there has been some long wait between your projects. Your second one came after 5 years of your first. How was it dealing with that wait for you?

“I am not gonna lie, sometimes it does get frustrating because one part of you want to work a lot and there’s other side that wants to do good stuff. These two things you have to balance. I have tried to do good stuff, things that are different yet what I believe in, that I think will take me forward in the industry. So that has been my goal and now I am hoping the gap will be smaller.” 

 

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You have portrayed some completely different characters, from an urban high society boy in Befikre to a rugged small town man in Ajeeb Daastaans and now an Air Force pilot. Do you feel a sense of pride about the versatility you have shown so early on in your career?

“I don’t know about pride but to be honest, why I became an actor was to do things like that. It is to play different parts, and I won’t say the character in Befikre was familiar to me, but the world was. But sometimes it gets tricky to play because it is a little close to you. Ajeeb Daastaans was extremely different and that is what excited me as you are getting to play someone away from you. As for this one, I can’t imagine flying jets in real life but it was really cool to get that opportunity to do that because of my work. I am proud of the fact that I am trying to do stuff that is different from each other yet giving the audience something entertaining and engaging as well.”

 

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Your first two projects came with big production houses like Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions. How has that experience moulded you?

“Working with people like Aditya Chopra and Shashank Khaitan, you do learn a lot. These are people who know much better than I do and as a new actor, you feel much safer with them on and off the screen. You lean on them a little. Even people like Ranveer, Fatima or Jaideep Ahlawat bring an audience with them. So, there are a lot of benefits of working with big production houses, as it feels good that such people are showing faith in you.”

 

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When you entered the industry, did people know about your relationship with your grandfather, filmmaker OP Ralhan?

“Honestly, I don’t know. I never spoke about it because in my family we skipped a generation in the industry. By the time I was born, my grandfather had stopped making films, he wasn’t too well, so I wasn’t much exposed to it as my mom and dad weren’t from the industry. So, when people find out about it, especially from the older generation, they have memories with my grandfather. But I never spoke about him because I want to make my own identity. I want to take his name forward and make my family proud of me.” 

 

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Since your parents’ generation skipped the film industry, was it difficult for you to convince them when you decided to become an actor?

“It wasn’t really difficult as my parents have always been supportive. I do remember a conversation though with my dad after I finished boarding school when I told him that I wanted to get into films. That time I told him that I wanted to be a director, because I thought let me first say filmmaking, then I will do what I wanted. He told me to complete my business undergrad first and he also said that he don’t have any connections in the business, so I should have a backup. then I can pursue my dreams and in retrospect that was a great decision. As for convincing them, it was never difficult. My mom is very happy that I am an actor, and perhaps she is my biggest fan, along with my sister and father.”

But what was that triggering moment that made you decide that acting was the career for you?

“I wanted to be in films. Sports and movies were my passion growing up, but even at that time I wasn’t fully convinced whether I wanted to act or direct. But I remember during my college time, I went for a filmmaking course in New York. There all students direct and help each other on their films, and one of the guys asked me to act in his short film. While we were shooting for it, I realised that this is it, this is what I wanted to do and it was ironic as that was a very heavy part. He was a guy who was struggling mentally and it was very emotional for that character, which in a weird way felt cathartic, it felt light at the end of shooting.” 

 

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Do you remember your first day on a film set?

“On the first day of Befikre, we did a test shoot. Then on the actual day of shoot, me and Vaani were shooting a small montage sequence from a restaurant where there is no dialogue. There was music in the film but we are just sitting and talking. I remember it being a lot of fun and us talking about fun stuff. Adi sir took me early to assist on the film even before I started shooting, and after the scene he told me that ‘now I know the reason I got you early, it’s sorted and now you don’t need to worry’. So, it felt good that he was happy with what I did.” 

As a newcomer, how was it dealing with the fact that your first film failed at the box office? 

“It hurts of course. You are so hopeful and you wish for the best but I have always been very reasonable with my expectations. I just focus on what I can control, which was my work. I tried to do my best I could in the film. Since it was my first one, I read all the reviews and they were all very kind to me and my performance. Even though the film didn’t do as well as we wanted it to, but I am still proud of that film.” 

 

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You have worked with some amazing people. What have you learned from them?

“A lot. I remember with Ranveer, before I shot, I was spending a lot of time with him. Since I was assisting Adi sir, I was running lines before the scenes with him and Vaani. So, from Ranveer I learnt a lot, his work ethic, his energy on set, and from Vaani as well. There’s a spontaneity that he brings to everything he does. It was a light-hearted movie, so it was a lot of fun. So, I learned to be spontaneous, and not be in your head much from him.”

You had once said that you want to revive your grandfather’s unfinished project Ashoka: The Great, any development on that?

“Not yet. Right now my focus is to set myself up as an actor, but that is definitely there and I need a lot of experience before that. There is a plan down the road but not immediately.”

 

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Also Read: Armaan Ralhan: I’m not a typical star kid