Padmaavat, despite all odds, has opened to appreciation and positive response from the audience. The director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been applauded for bringing out stellar performances from his artistes, and this time, with his lead trio Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, it seems no different. The deadly and devious Alauddin Khilji is portrayed by Ranveer, the brave and noble Maharawal Ratan Singh is essayed by Shahid Kapoor. For the latter, it was no mean feat pulling off a role of such nobility and goodness when the antagonist, in contrast, was so powerful and brutal. Given Shahid’s competence and confidence in his craft, he empowers the character with enough to withstand the mighty Khilji. “After doing films like Haider and Udta Punjab where I played edgy characters, I wasn’t afraid to take on a character that is so righteous and correct. As an actor, it was important to live up to the character of Ratan Singh, otherwise it would take away from the goodness of the film,” explains Shahid.
Shahid is overwhelmed by the love and appreciation he has been receiving from all quarters, apart from revelling in the success of this being his biggest opening so far.
Despite his role being the least author-backed, as compared to the other two lead parts, Shahid is undisturbed and feels that is what made the role challenging. He says, “It was tougher than all the other roles I have played. I wanted to work with Mr Bhansali, and he told me that if I didn’t do this role, he wouldn’t be able to make the film. He also explained that he needed somebody of that calibre to step into the film because he had a very strong villain. So, the hero had to stand up to him, even with a role that was understated. When the promos released, the audience was not sure about my part. But today, after they have seen it and given me so much love for it, I feel that I can take ownership of the film. Even though my character had less screen time, I know that Ratan Singh made a huge impact.”
Shahid is known for pushing boundaries and taking risks, if he really believes in a film. He explains, “After all the work that I’ve done, I need roles like this to push me. I feel secure as an actor and I want people to see my work in totality. For that, it is essential to do different films. Ratan Singh was a hero, I will always be proud of portraying him. The film is my dedication to every Rajput out there and with a wife who is a Rajput; I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders. Padmaavat will be right up there on my shelf, as one of my most favourite films.” With such accolades and success coming his way, the King can now take a bow.