Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat has finally been released and though it received tepid reactions from fans and critics, one thing that everyone has agreed on is Ranveer Singh’s mind-blowing performance as the Delhi ruler Alauddin Khilji. In recent media interactions, the talented actor revealed how he got into the character of Khijli and how at one point he locked himself up for 21 days.
Speaking with Indian Express, Ranveer said that he went to “a dark place” emotionally to play the character. “I took 21 days and locked myself up in my Gurgaon house. I was completely isolated,” he said.
“I kind of isolated myself, marinated into the character because I can’t relate to Alauddin Khilji, I can’t relate to that level of manipulation, greed and ambition. I had to tap into dark experiences but his world view is not something I can relate to also,” he continued.
However, Ranveer claimed that he “kept working on (his) physique, voice and the gait,” during this period.
Ranveer credits Bhansali’s direction for the final result. “He is as much a creator of this character as I am. All credit to him. He just knew what he wanted to do with Alauddin Khilji and was having so much fun doing it,” Ranveer said.
“I have had some life experiences that were quite dark. I can’t reveal too much because it is too personal but it is the stuff I have brushed under the carpet so to speak. Stuff that I have buried in my conscience, that I had to dig out in order to play this character. And it was not always pretty, which validates my apprehension. I knew how deep I had to go into this rabbit hole. I would have had to go into this dark, black space. This abyss that could be dangerous for me. And it was.”
Singh also elaborated on how a lot of people advised him not to play this character and that a hero shouldn’t play the anti-hero.
However, the performance has been applauded a lot and the critics have lauded that Ranveer has given one of the best villains to Bollywood through his performance. In response to this, Ranveer said in a statement: “It is extremely rare and overwhelming to get this kind of love from the audience. I’m grateful and touched that everyone has been so appreciative of my performance.”
“I will be honest; when I was offered Padmaavat, most people were of the opinion that a hero should not play the anti-hero.”
“But I believed otherwise. I saw Khilji as a challenge for me, as an actor. And I wanted to take the challenge up. I went with the vision of Bhansali and my instinct of what I could achieve with Khilji.”
“I’m happy that the audiences are seeing and loving a character that both Sanjay sir and I have worked on tirelessly for over two years to bring to life.”
He furthered said, “I took a big risk with this character and it’s wonderful to see my gamble pay off. This kind of validation gives one the confidence to take bigger and bigger risks, challenge stereotypes and continue to push the envelope in the realm of mainstream Hindi cinema.
“I feel very happy and very fulfilled today.”
The movie, based on 16th-century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s Padmavat, also stars Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor. It released on January 25 amid much fracas as the Shri Rajput Karni Sena protested over the alleged distortion of facts in the movie.