Whose idea was it to shoot the much talked about photographs? Ranveer Singh’s or yours?
It is a collaboration between Ranveer and I. The paper had been talking to him for a long time. It didn’t happen for a while, but it did eventually. It was a demanding shoot as she needed to be in a certain physicality and I wanted her to be shown in certain poses.
How long did it take to complete the shooting?
approx 3 hours.
Where was it shot?
Mehboob Studio in Bandra, Mumbai.
How did Ranveer come to have the physique he needed?
I don’t think it needs any major physical changes on his part as he is almost always in (pause) shape.
Paper magazine did the picture of the famous Kim Kardashian, if you remember. He took me on board. I have worked with him before. But this was my first meeting with him for Ranveer.
Being comfortable in the first meeting may not have been easy. Was Ranveer shy or conscious?
We were very comfortable from the time we met. No, Ranveer was not shy or conscious. He performed very well. There was great and healthy mutual respect for each other. I think he knew my body of work as well. To be honest, I don’t like to shoot a celebrity unless we both are sure of each other.
Did you have to take permission from the talent wing of Yash Raj before you started shooting?
I was not involved in that process. Dynamics, I mean, like what Ranveer wanted on the sets etc. It was all between Yash Raj and Paper. I was given a brief that the picture should be an ode to Burt Reynolds.
There is a lot of ruckus about the pictures…
We can make a point out of everything. Ranveer was quite comfortable about his body. It was great that a versatile actor like Ranveer was allowing me to shoot according to my vision. When it comes to celebrity it is often all about the celebrity. When you are around them there is a sure way that you should be. But it was not so when I was with Ranveer. We actually had a great conversation about the films that he has done and the directors he has worked with. The noise is rather inappropriate.
Did Ranveer want to see the pictures before finishing the shoot?
No, I shoot on a film camera. So, he didn’t even see the pictures then and there.
Back to the running noise…
It’s all done in good taste. But there will always be a section of people who will not like it. Isn’t that how Twitter and Instagram survive? We are all born this way, aren’t we?
It is said that there is a very thin line between aestheticism and voyeurism…
Absolutely. And, I just went with the flow and process of the moment. I photographed what felt honest to me in that moment, which felt right to us and the team involved.
Ram Gopal Varma has said that if women can shoot like this then why can’t men?
Hence, he is supporting the picture (laughs).
Yes, indeed many celebrities have come out in support – Alia Bhatt, Swara Bhaskar, Arjun Kapoor, to name a few…
Yes, I am also getting very positive response. Photography and painting savvy people will love the picture. I’m not sure any other actor would have been able to pull this off. It suits Ranveer perfectly in this way. He has a definite personality. He brings it on board. If I had done this to any other actor, it would have sounded gimmicky; He has to do something with the man himself.
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