From countering self-doubt and overcoming failure, the last ten years have been a rollercoaster ride for Ranveer Singh, in the best way possible. As the brand ambassador of Carrera, ELLE caught up with the actor at the brand's latest campaign #DriveYourStory which heralds Ranveer as an unconventional hero. Excerpts from the interview:
ELLE: How do you see yourself as an unconventional hero?
Ranveer Singh: "I wouldn't call myself an "unconventional hero" — but I think it's my journey to becoming a mainstream actor that has been quite unconventional. Everything I've been through so far has been quite unique, and looking back, it's turned out to be an emotional and a memorable experience."
ELLE: Was there a time when you wanted to give up on your dream of being an actor?
RS: "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a mainstream Hindi film actor. "A Hindi film hero," I called it. But when I was in the 10th grade, I got a reality check — I thought the dream was impossible and too far-fetched for me. I thought about trying something else, so I abandoned that dream and tried to get into advertising as a copywriter. I was good at it, and I had a future in it — but as fate would have it, four years later, when I was studying in America, I had an experience wherein I realised that acting was my biggest passion. I decided, at that moment, that I was willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen."
ELLE: And how did that pan out?
RS: "I came back to Mumbai after completing my degree, post which I spent three to four years struggling to become an actor. Somehow, that period holds the fondest memories for me. The experiences I had at that point in time have shaped me into who I am today. The struggle is what moulds you, and if I am a strong and a grounded person who values what he has today, it's because I've seen the bottom of the barrel. It's the struggles and the failures that teach you the most."
ELLE: How would you say failure has shaped you?
RS: "You learn so much more from your failures than from your successes. Today, I don't get bogged down if I don't succeed at something. I'm mature enough to deal with failure more efficiently. I channel it into something positive; it motivates me to try harder and work harder every single time."
ELLE: One time when you pushed yourself beyond your limits and succeeded.
RS: "My life story is a testament to pushing one's limits. I was dealt a certain card in life — I've been blessed with kind parents who left no stone unturned in giving me the best possible. But I've made my own luck because what I wanted was definitely out of my reach. It was out of my depth. At the time when I wanted to break into Hindi films, my chances were very limited. It's not like it is today — we're talking about a time 10 years ago when the opportunities were fewer and the film industry was very complicated to get into.
I'm proud that my introduction into films started a trend in the Indian entertainment industry to give people an opportunity based on their merit, rather than their lineage or legacy. I always felt I was limited by my background. I had to dig to create that opportunity, and put myself in a position where I could get lucky, and I did."
ELLE: Your next film Simmba has you starring opposite Sara Ali Khan. What do you think of her as your co-star?
RS: "I have interacted with Sara a couple of times and what really struck me about her is her personality. She's very intelligent and she loves talking. She's got loads of energy and a great deal of passion. She's very excited about getting into movies and she's seems very committed and dedicated to me. I think we're going to be a great team."