Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

After ‘Laal Rang’ and ‘Direct Ishq’, Rajniesh Duggal’s latest release is a love story with a twist. It sees him opposite Sunny Leone in a slightly grey shade. In a quick chat, the model-turned-actor, opens up to us about ‘Beimaan Love’ and how his thought-process has changed over time.

“There’s an unending well of talent waiting to be tapped”

Tell me about your character in ‘Beimaan Love’.
In ‘Beimaan Love’, I play rich spoilt brat, which I am not. So for the character I had to think like that and play it accordingly. Then from there, it was pretty easy, because obviously everyone has a grey side to them, you just need to tap it. It wa challenging, yes, because the character is a far cry from who I am for real so I wanted to try that. They obviously wanted to present it in a different way. The pre-climax and climax is different. That was pretty challenging. The way this guy’s character turns, and something happens in the end – there was a little extra effort that went into it.

How was it working with Sunny Leone this time around in a new set-up all together?
In ‘Ek Paheli Leela’, we showcased a time which was 300 years ago. Geographically, look wise and in every way it was different. This is a guy from today so mentally and physically, it’ so different. Obviously, the look and costumes make a huge difference. In that film, the two characters were pure lovers and in this there is beimaani.

This year, you’ve had quite a different lot of films coming back-to-back….
Yes, Direct Ishq’ was my first film for the year but ‘Beimaan Love’ was also going to release that time. It got pushed later. Otherwise I thought this would come alongside ‘Direct Ishq’ so that would be a huge contrast character-wise. My next is ‘Saansein’ on November 11. Now that’s a horror genre which even distribution wise, I have a good market. Thriller and horror are genres that I am known for because of ‘1920’ and ‘Dangerous Ishq’. A lot of times distributors personally also call me and tell me about it. Besides this, there is ‘Wajah Tum Ho’ which is a very interesting concept and casting also with Sharman, me, Gurmeet and Sana. In that film, I have a completely grey shade. So, it’s a good mix.

Tell me about ‘Saansein’ and how do you think it’s different from other horror films?
I’d said no to a lot of horror films after ‘1920’, the reason being, none of the scripts were coming close to how ‘1920’ was made and how it culminated. The premise a horror film usually remains the same. If it’s a romantic horror film, there’s usually a ‘knight in shining armour’ – either the girl or guy. But what matters is also how the film is treated and how the script looks in entirety. When they narrated the script of ‘Saansein’ to me the first time, I said no, because I didn’t want to do a horror film at that time. Once they narrated it, it was very interesting. I thought how do I say no to this? And then next time, they made a few more changes to according to my suggestions. So then I was on board. I thought it was a powerful script and the actors in it are also pretty decent so looking at the complete package, I thought I should be on it. A lot of times, in horror, people go into the gory zone, but this is not at all like that. It has its own thrilling moments, edge of the scene action, underwater sequences; it’s got a good mix of all these elements which keeps it slightly away from the other horror films. People compare it to Hollywood films, or even a ‘Raaz’. But if it is a horror film, the premise comes to one of the leads being a knight in shining armour.

“There’s a huge dilemma here. On one side, you can wait for the right role, and then on the other hand, you can keep doing what you get, till you get those big roles. I’ve chosen the second way”

Over time, has your thought process while choosing films, changed?
It has changed a lot. I have not trained for acting, I’ve come straight from modeling. I’ve basically learnt on the job, and I’m still learning but the thought process has changed. Earlier I used to think about the whole set-up of the film, and your managers also tell you to see that, but now I’ve realised that the script is the most important. When I did ‘Laal Rang’ also, it wasn’t like I was ruling the script, I was a very small part of the script, but a very important part, so it’s actually all these important characters that make the whole script or film. If the script works in your mind, then you ask other questions. That’s how I think now. Of course, a lot of other different scripts have been coming, so touchwood, it’s good.

You have certain factors that have been working well for you, but do you believe you still need that extra push. Or rather, there’s a lot which remains untapped?
Yes, I know what you’re saying. Basically, what I need is good banners to take me. There’s an unending well of talent waiting to be tapped. There’s a huge dilemma here. On one side, you can wait for the right role, and then on the other hand, you can keep doing what you get, till you get those big roles. I’ve chosen the second way. At the end of the day, we all have to choose our own path. The more I keep working, the more I’ll keep learning and reaching out. And it also helps in increasing the fan base. That’ the most important part! When you have people appreciating you, things automatically get better.

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