Blackmail was like a rebirth for me: Arunoday Singh
Arunoday Singh makes noise but quietly. His latest film, Blackmail, is testament to this fact. The tall, well-built man, who plays Ranjit “Tommy” Arora, a henpecked husband, who cheats on his wife, has once again proved he means business. “Blackmail was certainly like a rebirth for me in the industry. I had become slotted as an actor who could only play certain roles. It wasn’t unfair. It’s just that I hadn’t done anything that stood out to a point that would shine a light on the talent I have,” says the actor candidly.
Arunoday whose last notable appearance before Blackmail, was in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo-daro, doesn’t hide the fact that he is a director’s actor. Right from his debut in Sikandar, he has worked with some of the best names in the industry, from Sudhir Mishra, Vinay Shukla and Ashutosh Gowariker to Abhinay Deo (director of Blackmail). “I worked with Sudhir Mishra. He pulled the talent out of me. As you keep going forward, sometimes you get stuck in a rut. You need someone to pull you out of that. And for that, I give all credit to Ahinay Deo,” he says.
Not all actors get a chance to work with powerhouse performers such as Irrfan Khan and Divya Dutta. Arunoday agrees he has been fortunate to work with such incredible actors. “The minute I knew Divya would be playing my wife and that Irrfan was in the lead, I was so excited. I thought I am in safe hands. My limitations kind of get hidden by their experience and talent,” he says and adds, “I have done two films with Irrfan. I watch him and I try to study him, I can’t find a single trick. He just walks onto the set very calmly, finishes his scenes and walks off. It doesn’t look like anything but later when you see it on screen, it totally blows you away. Divya is very much the same way.”
Apart from films, what keeps Arunoday busy is certainly his personal life. After having married his Canadian girlfriend Lee Elton in 2016, the actor and his wife have been giving serious couple goals with their posts on social media. So how different is it to be married? “It’s very grounding and it’s an actual shift. You go from being two organisms to a single shell. Parents and siblings are companions but they are not a primary unit like a husband and a wife. It was a little alarming and intense at first but it has been amazing ever since we settled in. I can’t recommend it enough.”
The actor also admits that he takes work-related advice from his wife, Lee, a qualified lawyer. “She is much smarter when it comes to contracts and other legalities. I am emotional and I get swept along, she helps me stay focused,” says Arunoday who is currently working on Raell Padamsee’s upcoming musical stage show, The Sound of Music.