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01-18-2013, 04:48 AM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
I gave too much time to my relationship: Randeep
Randeep Hooda, 36, got his love from his nani, freshness from horses and discipline from Naseeruddin Shah. Ahead of his upcoming film 'Murder 3', he talks about the similarities between Naseer and his nani, his love for horses and why the break-up with Sushmita Sen was the best thing that happened to him. Excerpts:
Tell us about your childhood?
I am a Jat born in Jassia village and brought up in Rohtak, where I lived with my nani. My parents lived in different countries where my father worked as a surgeon. I would visit my parents during holidays and would travel alone. From the age of six, my mom would stick this bib on my chest saying 'unaccompanied child' on a flight back to India. I think in a lot of ways I am still an unaccompanied child. As a child, I used to run from my school in Rohtak to my village to just hang out with animals as I found solace in them. I was most attached to my nani, who died two years ago. She was so omnipresent in my life and yet, towards her end when she was sick, I could not be with her as I had no work and did not have the luxury to travel whenever I wanted to.
I always felt that I needed to be in Mumbai to be available for work could come to me. She was not quite affectionate and looked after me with a heavy hand. She was headstrong, angsty and a lot of times, bitter. But she would travel 70 kms on the back of a scooter to come and see me every Teacher's Day. I am also guilty of not expressing to people my emotions which, when I do also I do in a sarcastic, backhanded way. This was an impediment in my career in the beginning as what I said was valid, but could have easily been said in a different way to communicate. That was a big Jat in me.
Did the fact that you stayed away from your parents affect you emotionally?
Yes, it did. There is a certain distance that happens to all boarding school kids between their family and then they start relying more on their friends and activities over family. If I had a fight with a boy, his dad would turn up, which in my case was not possible. I am still uncomfortable going to someone's house with their parents there.
How did you get into films?
At boarding school, they would only show us English films every Saturday. I would watch these movies and imagine myself as those characters till the next weekend. I saw Clint Eastwood's The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and started riding. Also, I did theatre and had ambitions of being an actor, but used to get chucked out of every play as I was a distraction for the girls. I went to DPS RK Puram after class 10th and got used to the culture of smoking, drinking, bunking and started getting opportunities with girls and got influenced by the coolness of the place. I had a big problem in that school as I had a 'Jat boy vernacular complex' that I tried to overcome by being physically more powerful.
On my farewell, they addressed me on stage as 'Randeep Don Hooda'. I think my personality started developing at that time. I used to be made to have my meals alone and was physically violent. My deepest desire was to act in Hollywood and decided to go to Australia for under graduation hoping to find my way to Hollywood from there. But I flunked my first year and did nothing there. I lost myself completely and would not call my parents for six months at a time and became an Aussie who was always living in the F1 moment, sporty, aggressive yet chilled out. My heart was broken yet I did every job under the sun there to somehow try and stay back, be it car washing, becoming a beach life guard, dish washing, door-to- door selling, but finally had to return as my visa ran out.
When I returned to Delhi, I started modelling with Suneet Verma and started doing a play with Suneet Tandon. But I had an altercation, a bad drink and drive case, had almost killed myself and was laid up in bed for five months, so the play never happened. There was a phone that rang during that time from Mira Nair to audition for Monsoon Wedding as she had heard about me from Suneet Tandon. I was selected. It is there that I met Naseeruddin Shah who by far has been the biggest boon in my life as regards my knowledge and sincerity to my work. I have learnt sincerity and hard work from him and he is the youngest old man I know. He told me, 'How many hours do you think an artiste rehearses? Many hours. And what does an actor do? Go to the gym.'
Let's talk about the two people in your life whom you most cared for —your nani and Naseeruddin Shah.
I share a cross section of relationships with Naseer — as a co-star, director-actor, mentor, friend and as a human being. And amongst other things he also enjoys horse riding. Funnily, there is so much similarity between my nani and him. She was the female Naseer as her voice was similar to his. They both shared a sense of bitterness. My nani's bitterness came from the fact that even though her husband was a gold medalist, he was an alcoholic who chose to become a headmaster over having to tow the line of the British. Again, Naseer was bitter as he was too exceptional for a time where it was not recognised in a more wider way. He felt used as he was not paid that much and had a revolutionary mind set. My father said one thing to me 'you need to know your work and not be dependent on anybody'.
After Monsoon Wedding I got film offers and went to Naseer where he was rehearsing and I said, 'I want to be an actor'. He said, 'You are a good-looking guy why don't you become an actor as the next big actor will come from the modelling world.' I told him I want to be a serious actor and want to change commercial cinema. He said, 'I have not been able to change it for 25 years.' For four years after that I did only plays with Motley which has been my acting school.
Lets talk about your horses.
The only thing that has left me fresh and not jaded is that during the toughest time of my life when I was selling things from my house to maintain my five horses at Mahalaxmi Race Course, they kept me fresh and alive, competing with myself. In 2010, I sold my car a Toyota Majester for just a lakh-and-a-half to be able to feed my horses. It continues to be like a hole, where I put all my money.
Your affair with Sushmita Sen was talked about more than your work. Did that affect you?
I was not in a relationship with 'Miss Universe' and did not feel a sense of conquest in any way. The biggest part in my relationship with her over three years was my relationship with her daughter Renee. I missed only one theatre rehearsal in my life as Sushmita wanted me to not go and that is the worst thing I did in terms of my value system. I was exposed to fame although I was on the sidelines as I was not a star. The break-up was the best thing that happened to me and I realised that I gave it too much time in my life. It freed my energy to do things for myself.
01-18-2013, 05:04 AM #2
Thanks for sharingDo you know Richard Cheese?