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    “SRK Has Contagious Energy,” says Arjun Rampal

    [Interview by Faridoon Shahryar]
    Monday, October 16, 2006
    Arjun Rampal is an extremely good looking model who is a fine actor to boot. Having tried his luck with several promising films like ‘Ankhen’, ‘Yakeen’ and ‘Pyaar Ishq Mohabbat’ Arjun is yet to find success in Bollywood. He was noticed in a bit role in Karan Johar’s ‘Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’ and now he is all excited about his biggie ‘Don’ with Shahrukh Khan where he is essaying the role of Jasjit immortalized by Pran sahab in Chandra barot’s original. Over to an exclusive interview with Arjun Rampal on his expectations from what he admits is his biggest release so far….

    What’s your take on ‘Don’ the movie?

    Don is a cult film. It’s been a film we’ve all grown up watching. And we’ve loved watching that film. This ‘Don’ is a tribute to the old ‘Don’ and it’s been a refreshing experience. And it’s an experience I will always cherish.

    What do you think of Farhan Akhtar as a director?

    I think Farhan is an outstanding director. He is definitely a talent who is just not confined to boundaries within India. He can also be a strong name even on an international circuit.

    Shankar Ahsan Loy have done a fine job of giving good music…

    I think the Don album is fantastic. I love it. I listen to it all the time in my car. When Farhan called us for the film he never said that I am making ‘Don’. He said that I am making a tribute to ‘Don’. And I mean a song like ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ or ‘Khaike’ which are timeless songs can’t be replaced. Those two songs haven’t been touched upon in terms of technology. They’ve just been tweaked upon here and there. The other songs are fantastic. I love the title song, I love ‘Aaj Ki Raat’, Ganpati song…They’ve done a great album.

    Something about your co-stars in the film…

    I met a really wonderful person in Boman Irani. I think he is a fantastic actor and a great human being. I loved doing scenes with him. I think we had a great chemistry. I’ve worked with Shahrukh on shows before and this is the first time I worked with him on a film. Shahrukh is the kind of person who gives a lot to a movie. He has a very contagious energy about him. Priyanka has worked very hard and performed really well. Kareena has done a very fine job in ‘Yeh Mera Dil’…I think it was very gutsy of her to have done it.

    You are far younger and fitter as compared with Pran sahab’s character in the original…

    Lookwise even Amitabh and Shahrukh’s characters are totally different. It is a new face that has been given to all the characters. It’s a more younger, trendier, energetic film in terms of casting. I was shocked when I was told that I am supposed to play Pran sahab’s character.

    Pran sahab had a wry sense of humour in the film…

    We have kept a lot of his punchlines. What’s the good part about all the characters is that they’ve all come with their own style and identities and originalities that they’ve brought to being themselves.

    Do you carry that bullet that DCP De Silva shoots at Jasjit, the way Pran sahab did in the original?

    I can’t tell you everything about the film. But I mean…I don’t know Pran sahab got that bullet….Do you think when he was shot and when he went to the hospital he asked the doctor to give that bullet to him…(laughs). I think what’s really nice is that everyone has brought their own styles to the film.

    This is the biggest release of your career….

    Well, I think I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of this film. I loved ‘Don’ when I watched it as a kid. I really wanted to work with Farhan. I was supposed to do ‘Laqshya’ but I couldn’t. I got another opportunity but yes, it’s a big film for me. It’s an anxious moment though I am personally very very happy with the film. I am looking forward to people reaction.

    What is the strength of your character?

    I think the emotional graph of my character is what I really like. I really liked the way it was etched out in writing from the time it was conceived and where it reaches. I think all the characters come for the right amount of time and then go away. We are all part of one big film. We have tried to bring out the hint of nostalgia.

    Don is an action film….According to you who is the biggest action star ever?

    The biggest action star according to me will be Sylvestor Stallone, Arnold Schwazenegar and now…I would say it’s me.

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