You started with a role in Mira Nair's 'Monsoon Wedding' back in 2001 but your first Bollywood film 'D' only released in 2005? What were you up to in between?
When I saw 'Monsoon Wedding', I realised I had long way to go to bridge the gap between my potential as an actor and the actual deliverance of the goods on screen. In other words, I thought to myself 'God!!! I stink as an actor'.. So I went about learning more about the craft doing theatre under the able guidance of Naseeruddin Shah who was my co-star in Mira's film. That took a while ;-)
Ram Gopal Varma's 'D' branded you as an intense actor. Have you ever felt the need to break that image?
Hey, it was just a role. It just got followed up with 'Risk' in terms of release and that gave me that image. I have done a variety of roles since and they all break that image automatically, so never a problem. I have always felt boundless.
So far, how accomplished do you feel as an actor?
The more I learn, I learn that there is more to learn. It's an ever growing process. So accomplishment is meant to chased, not reached, just like a beautiful woman ;-)
In terms of box office your films haven't quite worked as well as one would hope, yet you've consistently been appreciated. How important is "box office" to you?
Hey man, box office is very important for an artist as that is somewhere a measure of the amount of people who view your work and trust me I want even other planets to see my work.
As an actor you're subject to intense hounding by the media when it comes to your personal life. How do you cope with this?
I have developed a very thick skin and don't give a rats ass about it.
Would you ever indulge in the stereotypical 'naach-gaana' of Bollywood?
You never know ;-)
What were your favourite films of last year?
300 and Apocalypto.
You have quite a few films ready for release. Tell us a bit about them.
There is 'Love Khichdi', a story of a young man on what he thinks love is to what it actually is. In the process, he encounters seven different women. It's a hilarious film that sometimes makes you cringe at its honesty. It's my most mass entertaining film to date. Then 'Rang Rasiya' in Hindi and the same film in English called 'Colours of Passion'.. It's a biopic on the life of legendary painter Raja Ravi Varma, who even today, is the most expensive Indian painter after a century since his death. Then, there is 'Mere Khawbon Mein Jo Aaye' where I play a kind of man every woman would want, and every man would want to be. In 'Karma, Confessions and Holi' I essay the character or an idealistic magazine publisher, honourable yet fun-loving. Apart from these, I've recently taken on a new film called 'Khusarprasad Ka Bhoot' where I play a childish overgrown bully.
Any regrets so far, in terms of your journey in the industry?
Having regrets and mulling over them is one of the best ways of *bleep*ing yourself over and over with no positive result. One has to learn and move on and try and make new mistakes.
The next 12 months, we'll be seeing a lot of Randeep Hooda. Are you excited, nervous or simply indifferent?
I'm excited about my work getting out there after a long wait, nervous about the choices I made as an actor for communicating the scenes, and indifferent about the outcome as I did the best I could on that particular day, every day :-)
How have you developed a passion for horses?
It's not a recent passion. I learnt the basics of horse-riding in school. Of late, I thought why not pursue it. I am riding with different types of riders but most of it with professional riders from the Indian Army.
We have heard, you own 6 horses. It's an expensive passion.
It is expensive even to maintain them. But I don't live for money; I just want to enjoy life.