Veteran actor Ranjeet has said that though he was branded the ‘rape specialist’ in his movies, he made sure all his female co-stars were comfortable around him. In a new interview, Ranjeet spoke about how he gained the ‘rapist’ image in Bollywood in the 70s and what he believes were the reasons behind his career taking a nosedive.
Speaking to a leading daily, Ranjeet said that he would sign movies without much insight into the script or story. “Back in those days, no one listened to the story before signing a film; even the main heroes were told only a line. Actors like me assumed that if a filmmaker was coming to them, it must be for a role that he is fit for. I have never interfered with anyone’s scripts and I didn’t feel the need to. I didn’t have any problem with playing a villain. Of course, there were social repercussions, initially. My family was livid but eventually, they realised it was my job. I never planned my career; just moulded myself into whatever came my way,” he said.
Ranjeet added that though he played a rapist in so many movies, his co-stars were comfortable enough to ask their directors to bring him in for molestation scenes. “I went out of my way to make my heroines comfortable, so much so, that after a while even when I was not a part of the film, but there was a rape scene, they would tell the filmmaker to call me. They started calling me the rape specialist. Back in the day–it wasn’t vulgar; we had a set format–hero, heroine, comedian, villain, sister, mother. It was not like now; there were no lovemaking scenes. Why don’t they make a blue film only then? I always joke that change in fashion killed my career; women started wearing such short clothes, there was nothing left to pull,” he added.
Also read: I have lived very gracefully, says Ranjeet
During a recent appearance on The Kapil Sharma Show, Ranjeet revealed how his family threw him out after watching a molestation scene that featured him. Ranjeet said that his family was unhappy with his role in Sharmeelee because his character forced himself on Rakhee Gulzar’s.
“Jab Sharmeelee picture aayi toh mujhe ghar se nikaal diya (I was thrown out of my house when Sharmeelee released),” he said. On being asked why, he said, “Rakhee ke jo baal-vaal kheeche, uske kapde-vapde phaadne ki koshish ki (Because I pulled Rakhee’s hair and tried to tear her clothes).”
Ranjeet was told, “Yeh koi kaam hai? Koi major, officer, air force officer ya doctor ka role karo. Baap ka naak katwa diya hai. Apna kaunsa mooh leke jayega Amritsar mein (What kind of work is this? You should take up roles like army major, officer, air force officer or doctor. You have humiliated your father. How will he face everyone back home in Amritsar)?”