Actor-singer Ranjit Bawa can sure hold his audience, be it on stage or screen. An interview with him, on a rainy Wednesday morning, also reveals that he can hold his listeners in a spell, churning humour out of the ordinary, making light of situations, howsoever, grave they may be!
The heavy cordon of security around him doesn’t dampen his spirits. Bawa is jovial as he sits down to chat about his upcoming film LehmberGinni. He plays the character of Lehmber, who is a compulsive liar. Bawa not just fell in love with the character and the story, but also the fact that LehmberGinni is going to be a film in which he plays the solo lead character, after starring in many multi-starrers.
“In a multi-starrer, viewers’ attention gets divided, one’s work gets praised vis-à-vis others, but in this one, everyone is going to sit and judge me,” he laughs.
Also that for once he gets to wear nice clothes. “I usually get pendu (rural) characters, always dressed in chadra or kurta pajama. This time around I get to wear fancy attires.”
Finding a co-star in Mahira Sharma, Bawa goes, “Mahira has done good work. I want the film to work for her sake. Our Punjabi film industry is dominated by just four or five actresses. It would be good to have new faces.”
The duo came together in the song, Koka. Ask him about his equation with his co-stars, Bawa says, “With male co-stars you still bond but with heroines, there is a shot and right after, four-five people gather around her to fix her makeup and dress, there is hardly any interaction.”
Parahuna 2 is another film, which will release next. After that Bawa is planning to take a break to focus on his singing career. “My close ones have pointed out that my choice of films hasn’t been on par lately. Also, I have been rather careless about my singing career. I want to now work on it diligently as this has gotten me recognition in the first place!”
While he has an elaborate plan for his music, including shows in the UK, films have to take a backseat. “Post the income tax raids, I can only watch a film in theatre, not make one,” he laughs.
He’s open and honest about his tryst in Bollywood lanes. “A film came my way but I wasn’t sure about it, so I let it go. I auditioned and got through another prestigious project but it clashed with my tour schedule.”
As for playback singing, “I gave vocals for a few songs, including one for Pritam, but I don’t know when it would be out. You know one has to be respectful and can’t demand details first time,” he chuckles.
LehmberGinni is the story of Lehmber and Ginni, and it has nothing to do with the brand, Lamborghini. But knowing Punjabis’ penchant for big brands, we ask Bawa on his favourites. “I am totally a non-brand person. Once I was in Rome airport and went window shopping at Gucci showroom. I had a feeling that someone in the staff had identified me and I thought they would think this big a singer whiling away time, so I bought a pair of shoes I didn’t even like. As I paid they asked to be clicked. The whole fiasco cost me Rs 35,000!” LehmberGinni hits the screens on June 2.
The truth behind lies
For director Ishan Chopra, LehmberGinni was a long project. The story idea from the friend came just before Covid, he worked on the story throughout the pandemic and shot in March 2021. It sees the release in mid of 2023.
“We play on the biggest contradiction of life. They say ‘don’t lie’ but there is no person in world, who doesn’t. When a wife asks a husband ‘how do I look’, would he rather say the truth or die? Our film finds this contradiction and weaves a beautiful romcom around it,” says the director, who has Doorbeen (2019) to his credit.
The director aspires to bring a mega-budget fantasy film in Pollywood next!
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