Exclusive! Ronit Roy on his association with Ekta Kapoor, making his Tamil debut and a viral DIY mask video
RONIT ROY HAS been acting for almost three decades. It started with the silver screen. His debut film Jaan Tere Naam (1992), starring him and Farheen was a commercial success. But, it was television, and particularly his association with Ekta Kapoor, which made him a household name.
“When Ekta calls me for a project, there is no if,” says Ronit, who television career started with Kasautii Zindagi Kay and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi in 2002, both of which ran for a good six years. Ever since then, he has often been a part of Ekta’s projects. “She has a habit of adding emotions to the story while giving a narration and it is those adjectives, those lines and the way she cocks her head while describing how my character would say a particular line, which stays with me.”
Years later, it was Ekta’s Kehne Ko Hamsafar Hai, with which the actor made his digital debut. As the first instalment of 10 episodes (which show him as someone who is lost) of the third season of the popular series hit the screen, we ask him about the initial reactions. “It has been satisfactory. People are liking the character and are comparing it with the likes of Arjun Reddy but honestly, this comparison wasn’t something I had even a fleeting thought of while shooting the series,” he admits and immediately adds, “The 10th episode is where you start figuring out Rohit Mehra and who he is really is something that will be revealed in the next batch of episodes. The character is very complex and layered, although both these words are very vague terms to describe someone.”
This alertness and the way he would measure his words were omnipresent throughout the telephonic interaction with the actor, something that can be seen in his notable performance in Vikramaditya’s Udaan, where he performed an abusive and controlling father or in Hostage, where he can be seen being compassionate as well as cold-hearted. But, which role is dearest to him? “I am equally passionate about every character, my process and preparation are the same, whether it is a small role or the lead character,” he says, while admitting being one of those who are very critical of their work. “I never like my work because I always feel that I could have done it better. I actually have a notes diary, where I write down scenes which I feel weren’t done well.”
Coming up next for the actor is an interesting line-up of films, including Shamshera, Fighter and his Tamil debut, Bhoomi, which also stars Jayam Ravi. “People are now questioning the India-China trade deficit and our Prime Minister is also emphasising on being ‘aatmanirbhar’ (self-sufficient) — the film actually addresses these subjects. We shot it last year,” he says, and adds his role is slightly over the top as demanded by the director, Lakshman. “Fighter is a lovely film with an amazing unit. I had Puri Jagannadh as my director and he is a very intelligent man who looks at life in a very different and evolved manner. The film has Vijay Devarakonda, who is such a big star but has absolutely no air around him. The film was an experience in itself,” he adds.
When it comes to Shamshera, which will see Sanjay Dutt, Ranbir Kapoor and Vaani Kapoor, Ronit says that the ball is in Yash Raj’s court. “I would say that my work is about 85 per cent complete,” he adds.
And, what about the second season of Hostage? “The post-production is going on. It will highlight Prithvi Singh’s side. There are more complications in his life than you saw in the first season. If I will say more, I will reveal the story,” he concludes.
The viral mask video
A video of Ronit Roy showing how one can turn a T-shirt into an all-face mask went viral on Twitter. The video that has got over two million views so far particularly caught the attention of people in the US who started following his style to cover themselves while going out to protest. But, what led him to make that video?
No mask? Tension nahin Leneka! Simple hai! pic.twitter.com/NSNPMikDZ3— Ronit Bose Roy (@RonitBoseRoy) April 20, 2020
“I was getting irritated with the videos available on the internet on how to make masks at home. They were time-consuming and needed one to have a sewing machine handy, which is rare these days so I thought let’s do something that we all have been doing it — lifting the front of our T-shirts to cover our face when we pass a smoky area. Also, everybody has a T-shirt in their wardrobe, so just wrap it around your face and it’s done.”