Randeep Hooda (Photo Credit: Instagram)
The idea of romance has changed over the years for Randeep Hooda and though the actor believes self-love is paramount, he says appreciating people as they are is the most evolved definition of the concept. The 43-year-old actor plays the role of a cafe owner in Imtiaz Ali's Love Aaj Kal, a sort of conduit between the two eras represented in the film.
"Love is now letting another person be who they are and appreciating that rather mould people according to their expectations. The concept of love is more applied now because we have varied lives and interests," Randeep told PTI in an interview.
"Self-love is most important. If you can't love yourself, you can't love others. In these times we need kindness, acceptance and still be able to go your own way," he added.
The actor said had it not been for Imtiaz he would have never played the character, whose name has been attached with the romantic heroes, played by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. "'Raj' was a kind of stereotype of a character and this is not saying anything about the actor's performance, but this is a modern day Raj, different, chilled out," he said.
Randeep, who has worked with Imtiaz earlier in road drama Highway, said he finds it easy to understand the director's cinematic language."When I approach a film or a role, I feel like an absolute novice. I don't know how I'm going to do it. And people are going to find out this time that I actually cannot act," the actor said.
"With Imtiaz, it's the conversation, a larger idea that is specifically about the story, then it becomes about the characters and it's essentially a scene. It's like having a long chat with somebody and somebody says, 'Okay, so this is where we are and action'," he added.
After Love Aaj Kal, Randeep will next be seen opposite Salman Khan in Radhe. "The shooting has been wrapped. It is the first time that I am playing a villain. Salman is a dear friend, it's been a joyride. Prabhudheva is a humble, uncomplicated director and man," the actor said.
Asked about returning for a Salman Khan movie for the third time, the actor joked, "In 'Kick', I'm chasing him around and we were chasing the same girl. In 'Sultan', I was coaching him how to fight and now in 'Radhe', I guess I'm testing him if he's learnt anything from 'Sultan' or not."
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Meet Veer & Zoe, captured in their element. It's in these simple, candid moments that love plays peekaboo, right? #LoveAajKal Trailer out tomorrow! @kartikaaryan @saraalikhan95 @imtiazaliofficial #DineshVijan @wearewsf @maddockfilms @officialjiostudios @officialjiocinema @reliance.entertainment @sarkarshibasish @ipritamofficial @sonymusicindia @_arushisharma
Randeep is also playing a key role in Chris Hemsworth-starrer Netflix movie, which was earlier titled Dhaka.
"I have been offered roles from the West earlier as well, but why I particularly liked this film is because it will burst the Indian stereotype where we have been classified into people- who are not physically apt, are smart, clever, and do menial jobs -- taxi drivers, truck driver, or are millionaires.
"I get to do a lot of action in the movie. I might be the first Indian male actor to do such an action-packed role in a Hollywood film. It was a great experience working with Hemsworth, Russo brothers and director Sam Hargrave," he said.