Everyone wants to be the next SRK or Salman Khan and not themselves, says Randeep Hooda

Notable Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda believes in true self and not being complacent. He competes with himself and likes doing his own thing.

Randeep Hooda is known for his intense and versatile roles in Bollywood, and beyond. He has always managed to make us fall in love with his characters – be it a kidnapper in 2014 film Highway or a fashion and wildlife photographer in Murder 3.

He might not be your regular Bollywood hero who stars in a movie often, but he never fails to impress us with his nuanced performances whenever he does.

Image credit: Instagram

“The reason why you like me is because I put in a lot of work in every film and that takes time,” he says, on being complimented for his performances.

“I don’t like to repeat myself and every character is a new world for myself and for the audience I try and create. And that is my joy,” he added in a conversation with YourStory Media Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma.

People often try to idolise the notables from the field to become versions of them. Randeep however always strives to be his true self.

Randeep who had taught in Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), often asks his students about the kind of actor they want to be.

“People used to come up with everything – from Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson to Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan. Some of the students follow me and ask what actor I want to be. I tell them that I’ve always only wanted to be Randeep Hooda,” says the actor, adding that this has given him an identity too.

Watch the full interview below:

Being choosy about roles

Coming from a non-filmy background, Randeep has managed to create a niche for himself in the industry.

He had started his film career in 2001 with Mira Nair's film Monsoon Wedding where he played a non-resident Indian from Australia. His breakthrough, however, came with the period action drama film Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai where his acting won critical acclaim

He continued to impress us in the later years with his performances in Rang Rasiya, Highway and Sarbjit. Randeep’s latest appearance was in American action-thriller film Extraction which was released on Netflix in April this year.

The actor, however, says that he has been choosy when it comes to movies.

“I have been a bit choosy about things because unless it touches my heart, it is never gonna touch anybody else’s,” he says.

He further adds that he wants to do movies with international themes that are not just subjective to India but can be appreciated by global audiences.

“Those kind of projects, however, are not easy to come by for someone like me who is not really a mingler, especially within the film fraternity. I just want to be better at what I do and that only comes from the choices made from the heart. And those choices are not very many.”

Disconnecting himself

Besides being a talented actor and an ace equestrian, Randeep is known to speak up on matters of sustainability, wildlife and conservation. If not doing movies, he is often seen spending time with his dogs and horses or working closely with the environment.

For his dedication to environmental causes, the United Nations Environmental Programme appointed him as the ambassador for Conservation of Migratory Species in February.

“I do my own thing and I feel very privileged that my work is appreciated. There is so much love and respect I get for it. I try and give the best to my work. That reduces my volume of work and also keeps me hungry for the next rent check so that I don’t get complacent,” says the actor.

“The worst things in life teach you the best things. I think I am a better person now. I imbibe a lot of Sikhism and there’s a sense of seva, and gratitude in me,” he adds, signing off.

(Edited by Ryan Frantz)


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