Ranveer Singh is an artist who defines fashion, stardom and talent in one breath. His choice of movies tell the story of how a clueless young boy has evolved into the powerhouse of talent. His last performance as Khilji in Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s ‘Padmaavat’ is a classic example of how effortlessly he gets under the skin of his characters.
However, things in Ranveer’s life weren’t as effortless as they are now. He had to work really hard to make this place in the industry and his journey is nothing but inspiring for all the young people struggling to be a part of films.
Ranveer had to start his journey just like thousands of other people who come to Mumbai with a hope of being a star. He struggled, faced casting couch and remained focused for years before Aditya Chopra met him for YRF’s ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ in 2010.
Tracing Ranveer’s dream all the way to his childhood, it was his grandmother who believed in him and knew that he was going to be a star someday. He was a ‘filmy’ kid and while other children went out to play, he remained indoors watching movies on the VCR.
He always knew he was meant for bigger things in life and hence never accepted commercials or TV serials that came his way. He worked as a copywriter for an ad agency before joining Shaad Ali as his assistant director. The only reason Ranveer decided to take up an AD’s job was that he wanted to understand the working of cinema before he could go ahead and be a part of it.
After being an Assistant Director for about a year and a half, Ranveer decided it was time to start working on his acting skills. The job was taking a toll on him and sometimes required him to work for 22 hours at a stretch.
Ranveer knew he couldn’t remain an AD forever and this was not his destination but just the first step towards it. He had to work on himself and get a portfolio made that could be his first identity towards the stardom that was awaiting him.
Ranveer’s family had limited resources but his father, Jagjit Singh Bhavnani believed in him and left no stone unturned to give his son the best of what was available. His father not only gave him the best education but also sold their house so that Ranveer’s dreams don’t come to an abrupt end. The family moved to a smaller house and eventually also had to sell their car to arrange the best of things for Ranveer’s career.
Despite the scarcity of resources, Ranveer was provided with the best trainer, the best supplements and the finest photographers for his portfolio. Ranveer wanted his portfolio to leave an impact on whoever held it in their hands and well, he made sure that happened. Not just the pictures, he also made sure the printing was of top-notch quality and sat with the printers from 12:00 am to 8:00 am every night in order to get his work done on discounted rates.
After the portfolio, Ranveer started getting offers for being a VJ on TV and also modelling but he knew this was not what he had been preparing for. His dream was the big screen and we refrained from momentary distractions, keeping his focus intact.
Ranveer knew he had to brush up his acting skills as the last he acted was during his University days in America. He was suggested by Shaad Ali to join the theatre before he started auditioning for the movies and that’s exactly what Ranveer did. He got himself enrolled at the Kishor Namit Kapoor school of theatre and within 4 days of his joining, the faculty knew this boy was going to go wonders. His teacher called him ‘Vivekanand’ and Ranveer worked hard to prove him right. Ranveer also spent a good amount of time at Prithvi Theatre sharpening his acting skills before he started appearing for a long never-ending string of auditions.
What shocked people around Ranveer was that he would get through the auditions and reject the movies despite them being movies under big banners with a decent budget of ₹12-15 crores. He knew he was gambling but he didn’t give up on his instincts.
After 8 months of waiting patiently, Ranveer’s day had finally arrived. He was out on a date when he received a call from casting director Shaanu Sharma who called him 7 times before finally texting him just words, ‘Aditya Chopra’.
Ranveer knew this was his time and he immediately called her back to which she informed him that YRF was looking for a new face and he must audition at their in-house casting division.
A nervous Ranveer kept a brilliant first audition but when he realised he was being cast opposite Anushka Sharma, he couldn’t remain the same confident boy that he was and with every audition, his performance fell down drastically.
After two weeks, Maneesh Sharma, the director of ‘Band Baajaa Baaraat‘ called Ranveer and told him there was someone who wanted to meet him. Ranveer wasn’t expecting that ‘this someone’ was Aditya Chopra himself who lectured him on his performance and stated that he was being given one final chance for the camera test. Ranveer was asked to treat this opportunity as the ‘World Cup Penalty’ and give his best shot which we all know he did.
Ranveer ended up giving a phenomenal camera test that was appreciated by Maneesh and Aditya Chopra resulting in ‘Bittoo’, a character that the nation loved and there was no looking back for Ranveer after this.
An emotional Ranveer walked out of the YRF studio with tears of joy and called his mother and also Shaanu Sharma. The same young boy is now the industry’s heartthrob and one of the finest actors that we have. The story of his life and stardom is certainly as interesting as the characters he plays on the big screen.