‘When Ram and Leela met Bhansali’ – Deepika and Ranveer talk about working with the genius filmmaker

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13nov_Ramleela-Erosintrvw01Cast a successful actress like Deepika, who Ranveer refers to as “our industry’s number one actress at the moment”. Add a rising star like Ranveer, who in Deepika’s own words is “one of our generation’s finest”. Put them both in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, who as both actors say will only “make a few films in his life, all of which are masterpieces” and what you have is potentially one of this years biggest, brightest and boldest films.

What is absolutely clear with any actor who works with Bhansali, is just how much in awe they are of his film craft, how they surrender themselves completely to his vision and just how much of an experience and masterclass working in his films are. With that in mind we asked both actors to share their insider experience of working in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film.

Deepika: Given that you have already worked with so many big directors before, what specifically did you learn and take away from working with Bhansali the director?

“Well, on the first few days of shooting I used to prepare for a scene and we would go to the set and everything would change, from the blocking, to the lights, to his (Bhansali) interpretation of the scene. This happened a second time and then a third time…and I thought that maybe I needed to unlearn everything that I had learnt before and undo things the way I had done in my earlier films and just go in there like a blank slate and allow him to take me through the scenes. So I tried that for one day and then it worked.”

Ranveer:  You have worked with younger, newer and smaller directors to date, what was it like and what were differences of stepping up to work in a Bhansali film?

“It’s definitely a big deal for me working with him in the stage of career that I am right now. When I got selected it did come as a huge responsibility to work with an accomplished filmmaker who extracts some of the finest performances from the greatest talents of the country, so there was clearly a legacy that I have to continue.”

Ranveer continued that “Mr Bhansali is one guy who makes films in a very idealistic way, when you go on his film set, it’s a creative world, a real unique way of working. Nobody is like him, no one has the courage to make a film like that. You don’t go prepared with your dialogues, or your scene onto the set. He wants to create it on the spot and he’s not bound by any logistical concerns.”

13nov_Ramleela-Erosintrvw02We know he does love, emotion and drama like no one else, but this time round Sanjay Leela Bhansali has said that this is his most ‘violent’ film ever. So how is violence represented and expressed in Bhansali film?

Deepika shared “He represents it (violence) beautifully and I think it’s the same as any other scene. There’s beauty in romance, there’s beauty in drama, there’s beauty in sadness, there’s beauty in darkness and there’s also beauty in the violence too. When I say that I don’t only mean aesthetically of course. We know that will be done really well, but there’s a poetry in everything that he does and I think that’s what sets him apart from some of the other filmmakers.”

Listening to the two stars talk about their experiences of working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali was truly inspiring and raises our expectations for the release of the film further. With those inspiring words in mind we end with Ranveer’s take on the Bhansali film making process:

“Mr Bhanasli will chase that one inexplicable thing called movie magic, he wants that magic to come out, that magic of timing, that magic of emotion. So very painstakingly with lots of detail, he’ll set up each frame put the actors on the spot and everybody has to give their all to the creative process. It’s such a unique way of filmmaking that I think very few people in the world make films like that now…the man is a genius!”


Ram Leela releases worldwide by Eros on Friday 15th November, so go experience some of the magic the stars were talking about on the big screen.

This interview took place at Eros International’s London offices via live video link with the actors in Mumbai.

Be sure to watch out for our in-depth interview with Ranveer it is not to be missed!

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