Arjun Rampal On OTT Thriller London Files And His Fatherhood Journey

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Arjun Rampal On OTT Thriller London Files And His Fatherhood Journey


If your idea of a perfect weekend is binge-watching a thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat, Arjun Rampal’s next might just be the one for you. The 49-year-old will soon be seen in London Files, an upcoming OTT web-series by Voot. 

Arjun Rampal in ‘London Files’

The six-episode thriller will see Rampal play the role of Om Singh, a troubled cop who is called upon to investigate a crime. Just don’t forget to switch off your phone and watch it in a dark room, as the actor suggests when we speak with him.

In an exclusive interview with iDiva, Arjun Rampal shares what it was like to portray a flawed character on screen, his take on the current paparazzi culture, and how he deals with fame as both a celebrity and a father. Excerpts from our interview:

Credit: Instagram/rampal72

iDiva: Tell us a bit about the show and the character you are playing in ‘London Files’.

Arjun Rampal (AR): “He is someone who is quite strong and is not, you know, the ‘perfect’ detective we are so used to watching in our shows or films. I think it’s a unique character, very real. The show is set in London, so there are a lot of scenes that include English because it’s very odd when you’re playing a cop from London and then you go to your department and everybody out there is speaking in Hindi, which doesn’t happen! 

So we’ve kept it true to the backdrop. 

I am very excited to see how people will react to it. It talks about interesting topics which are very relevant in today’s time—depression, addiction, and getting influenced by social media. It talks about being an immigrant in a foreign country, and how even though you have migrated there, you still consider yourself an Indian.”

Credit: Instagram/vootselect

iDiva: It seems like a grey character. What inspired you to take on this role and how did you prepare for it? 

AR: “All I can very honestly tell you is that this would definitely be one of the difficult characters I’ve played in my career. This was a difficult character to explore because it was extremely challenging and the demand of the story was such. 

The director (Sachin Pathak) wanted to create a character that no one has ever seen before. And I don’t think anyone has even written a script that is about a flawed detective like him. The flaws don’t make him great; they kind of make him more human. I feel that if an actor has to play a James Bond or Jason Bourne or any of those characters, they are unbelievable in many ways. Here, we wanted to keep the realism very much intact.”

Credit: Instagram/rampal72

iDiva: The teaser hints at the theme of fatherhood as well…

AR: “It draws a lot from the current situation and puts it [the elements] into Om Singh. For me to go through the gamut of emotions was not easy but I am very happy I did because this show talks about so many issues. Issues people have with parenting their children today, letting work take the front seat and keeping one’s personal life on the side. I think he’s a very relatable character, also humorous in many ways. London Files has a very global appeal, an international approach to it. 

It’s been made keeping in mind that we are setting the whole show in London. I don’t think we have seen many shows like that, which cover all these dimensions. It will resonate with my generation, and also with the Gen Z or millennials. I am excited to see how it will be accepted.”

Credit: Instagram/rampal72

iDiva: In the current paparazzi culture, how do you, as a father, deal with the scrutiny that you encounter in terms of being a public figure considering there is a lot of media glare on a celeb’s kids. 

AR: “I don’t really deal with that. As a father, I deal with my children and my relationship with them. The thing is, I know them and they know me. So why would I let it influence them? If [something] is negative or being scrutinised in a particular manner—which is not something I have kind of experienced but yes, there can be things—it doesn’t matter. Why would I care about those people.”

Credit: Instagram/rampal72

iDiva: As a celeb, you are also often supposed to have an opinion on numerous things. What do you make of it and how do you get out of a situation that’s not comfortable for you?

AR: “People ask me about my opinion about many things which I am not an expert on. I keep my mouth shut. I feel that’s the best way because your opinion could be misconstrued. It might not be correct or it might create chaos. It could be something that could hurt somebody. As a celebrity, one needs to realise that unless you have 100 per cent information and your belief system is strong enough to voice something, you should learn to refrain from sharing your opinion.” 

Credit: Instagram/rampal72

iDiva: There is a positive impact that social media has had in making people and young professionals heard. Do you feel it would have made a difference if you were a model or starting out as an actor in the current scenario? 

AR: “I never thought it would. I am not very social media savvy, so I don’t think it would have made a difference to me.”

iDiva: You have also worked on other OTT shows earlier. How has your experience of working on OTT been in comparison to that of working on films?

AR: “The work and the craft are the same, there is no difference in that. With OTT platforms, there’s definitely the creation of more content. Another interesting thing about OTT, I think, is the subject matter. It’s bolder, more real, more honest and there’s a lot more time to explore and set the pace for your character because there is so much more to do. 

Somewhere, it makes it more fulfilling in a way because as an actor, you get so much more time with that character, so you can milk it for what it is worth. Whereas with films, you have a specific time frame to do it all. But, of course, I love doing films. I think that watching a movie in a theatre is really romantic, it’s fascinating. You sit in a dark room without any distractions and indulge yourself in front of that screen.”  

London Files also stars Purab Kohli, Eva Jane Willis and Gopal Dutt, amongst others. The web-series will be up for viewing on Voot Select starting April 21.

Lead and social image credits: Voot/London Files


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