Pakistani and Indian artists should be able to work together: Arjun Rampal

DUBAI: Arjun Rampal is an actor, producer and entrepreneur, most often referred to as ‘the Hunk’ in celebrity media. He was recently seen attending and performing at the Masala Awards in the UAE – the second successive year that Rampal has attended the ceremony. Needless to say, his good looks and charismatic demeanour rightly made him the talk of the town, not just in India or Dubai but globally.


Rampal made his acting debut in the film Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat back in 2001 and has continued to charm the audiences since then. One of his breakthrough roles came in 2007, when he appeared as the villainous Mukesh Mehra opposite Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om. The actor also received critical acclaim for his performances in Rock on! and Don.

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But despite the passing years, Rampal continues to be handsome as ever, and it was thus befitting that I asked him how important it is to be good looking in Bollywood. “I don’t think looks had anything to do with it really,” Rampal told The Express Tribune. “It has always been more about personality and your talent, of course. You can see a beautiful face or whatever and get fed up of it. What’s important is what kind of work you do and what you represent.”

We spoke about what was previously called as parallel cinema, culminating into mainstream cinema. There are tonnes of options for people now to access movies, music and entertainment in general – cinemas, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix etc. How does Rampal see that, as a producer and an entrepreneur? “It’s a great time for all kinds of people and with all kinds of talent,” replies Rampal.


“As you said, with Amazon and Netflix – there are all kinds of platforms where an artist can work and create something. Whatever he creates will not be left in cans in a corner collecting cobwebs, breaking the artist’s heart. He would be able to release it on a certain platform. It’s a great time for people who are into production and for artists and others who want to create content,” he added.

Cinema is changing in one more way: there is a surge of pro-feminist, women-centric films. There are also a credible number of women empowerment movements coming up across the world. Does Rampal see similar trends picking up pace in the subcontinent? To that, Rampal stated that he’s certain ‘the movement’ has already ensued in India.


“I was shooting in Jharkand which is in the interiors of India, close to Bihar. I was just there for a day and I was in Laddakh before that shooting for Paltan. I was seeing women on bikes, getting things done. I have two daughters and it’s a great feeling,” responded the superstar. “Over the last five years, I’ve seen a huge change in India and it’s commendable how men have accepted women, moving beyond the archaic mindsets. Even in small towns, the way women are doing things, being independent, you know we are going in the right direction. There is definitely women empowerment taking place.”

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The Masala Awards happen to be one of the events that bring Pakistani and Indian A-listers on the same platform. Due to a lot of politicking on both sides of the border, this doesn’t happen much. Pakistani and Indian actors, despite sharing the same language and culture, fail to collaborate as much as they should. What are Rampal’s thoughts on this unfortunate fact?


“It’s unfortunate what’s happening,” he says, thoughtfully. “I just feel that it’s sad. Artists are messengers of peace and love. Telling stories and entertaining is what they’re meant to do. When you curb that, and stop that kind of interaction, it is very heartbreaking. It should not happen. I just hope politics stay away… Pakistani and Indian artists should be able to work together.”

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