Having played the evil Duryodhan on TV in Mahabharata, actor Arpit Ranka recently made his film debut with Ajay Devgn starrer and directed Bholaa. He played the villain Bhoora, and recently he got in an exclusive conversation with Bollywood Bubble. He spoke about working with Ajay Devgn and Tabu, pulling her by the hair on his first day, his son’s reaction to his debut and more. Excerpts:
How was it making your Bollywood debut with Bholaa, that too on the big screen?
“Every actor dreams of acting in films and I had been seeing this dream for the last 18 years. I became Mr India in 2006, then I had my TV show Mahabharata in 2013. But my Bollywood dream finally got fulfilled in 2023, that too with the top superstar Ajay Devgn.”
You were actually the only person in the film who matched up to Bholaa’s physical prowess…
“The makers wanted one person who is as powerful as Bholaa. And Ajay sir has said this before in interviews too that if the villain is not powerful, the hero wouldn’t seem powerful too.”
How was it getting mentored and guided by someone like Ajay Devgn?
“The first time I went on set with Ajay sir, I was left shocked. If the shift started at 6, he would be there at 6. He wasn’t just an actor but a director too on Bholaa. And he had to focus on others’ scenes too. It was such a difficult job, but he did it so amazingly. Seeing his dedication, it felt like I am not even one percent of that. So, I got to learn a lot from him. He treats everyone like a friend on set, be it the cast or the crew.”
You also worked with Deepak Dobriyal, and he played like a maniac in Bholaa. How was it watching him do that live?
“Deepak bhai is a brilliant person. We met only once during the song shoot, but we became such good friends. No one could imagine him as a villain with the innocent face he has. But the way he did the song, he felt so dangerous and amazing.”
How did your son react to seeing you on the big screen?
“My wife, son and daughter accompanied me to the screening of Bholaa,. My son had only seen me on TV before, so when he saw me on the big screen, he got so excited. He was clapping so loudly on my entry that everyone turned around to see who is this person applauding a villain’s entry. But when Ajay sir killed me in my last scene, he started crying. He checked if I was okay and I had to explain to him that it was just acting.”
Were you a little apprehensive when you had to pull Tabu ma’am by her hair?
“All my scenes were with either Ajay sir or Tabu ma’am. And I don’t know where to begin on that hair pulling scene. It was on the first day of my shoot and it was my birthday as well. The brief that I was given was that I had to pull Tabu ma’am’s hair and kick Ajay sir. I was like how could I do that but both of them made me so comfortable. They made me feel so easy that I could do my act so effortlessly.”
You have played Duryodhan before and this was also a negative role. Do you feel villainous parts highlight your capabilities more?
“See, everyone knows what they will look good in and makers also see you that way. When I auditioned for this part in Bholaa, the makers were looking for a tall, well-built person who could act also well. And luckily, I got that role.”
With Bholaa having worked so well, are you getting better offers?
“Offers are coming but good things take time. I have got an amazing break and I am enjoying its success.”