India has voted and chosen the Times 50 Most Desirable Men of 2012. The 7.01 lakh votes received online on www.itimes.com/polls along with our vote decided the winners. The list also featured Pakistani musician and actor Ali Zafar, at number 23. TOI talks to Arjun Rampal who tops the list.
Flattered, ecstatic, kicked —what does it feel to be voted the most desirable man of 2012?
I would be lying if I said I’m not flattered being voted as the Times Most Desirable Man of 2012. Frankly, I have no idea how the desirability quotient is arrived at. If it is just drop dead good looks, then I have to thank God and my parents for it.
In your opinion, besides looks, what else goes into making a man desirable?
I think it is a combination of looks, aura, success, the energies that one gives out, the person you are and the person you feel like that makes you ‘desirable’. When the outside world sees you as a man who is responsible for himself and his family, as a man who is fit and sensitive, it kind of ups your desirability.
Are you narcissistic? How many times a day do you look in the mirror?
I have not taken my good looks seriously from the beginning. When I would be teased by my friends about my looks, I would just make a self-deprecating remark and let it pass. As I said earlier, my looks came from my parents. As for the vanity bit, the reason I’m not vain is because I have never attached too much importance to being handsome. I’m a normal actor who looks in the mirror when he is shaving, having a haircut or perhaps getting ready for a shoot.
You’re 40 and you have still managed to beat the youngsters in the looks department. Is there a secret there?
Yes, the secret is to keep fit, no matter how tough the circumstances are. I hate missing a workout. As you grow old, the challenges to keep yourself fitter are more. I know I have to eat right, sleep right and exercise in moderation. Physical attributes can make you appealing, but to keep the appeal going, one has to draw from within. You have to be a real person. Your fans and the people you associate with have to be able to see beyond your looks. You have to be a good friend, dutiful son and a good family man.
Who according to you is more handsome than you?
For me handsome is what handsome does. And my friend Abhishek Kapoor (Gattu), the maker ofRock On and Kai Po Che, is the most handsome guy in the world. He is a true friend, gives out positive energy and has a fantastic sense of humour. A sense of humour and the ability to laugh at yourself is also what contributes largely to a person’s appeal. I know Gattu will tease me mercilessly about this most desirable tag. And I know I will take it sportingly.
Looks apart, what milestones have you set for yourself?
Professionally, I’m in a happy place. My career has been looking up. Post the National Award forRock On (2008), it has been a win-win on many counts. Films like Chakravyuh, Inkaar, D-Day, Raajneeti and Satyagraha have given me immense potential. I’m indebted to filmmakers like Prakash Jha, Sudhir Mishra, Nikhil Advani and others for writing special roles for me. The way I see things, my career is on the upswing because even the audience has learnt to look beyond my looks and accept me as a performer. The feedback from social networking sites and from my close associates has been heartening.