Anybody would be intimidated in the presence of the MTV Roadies’ founder Raghu Ram and his twin brother Rajiv. Anybody, except Rannvijay Singh. “I was never intimidated by them. Not even in the first season, when I was just a Roadie,” he says. He is a commerce graduate from Hansraj College, University of Delhi, and a pakka Punjabi. Confident, adventurous, good sense of humor and good looks, what more can a girl ask for. Illuminous Scorp caught up with him on his latest visit to Hyderabad and got him to answer a few questions, to which, all of us are eager to know the answers.
Coming from an army background, how did you decide to go for something like Roadies?
Since I was young, I wanted to go to the army. The plan was to complete my graduation from Hansraj and then, join the army. I had two months of free time during which the first Roadies was happening. So, I thought that once I go to the army, I’ll have a bike as I had already assumed that I’m going to win. I wouldn’t have to spend money on buying a bike and I could be a cool bachelor. That is why I went for Roadies and I saw life outside the army for the first time. It was a pretty good experience because I got a chance to do what I wanted to do in my life, like all the outdoor activities and the adventurous stuff. I decided to give it a shot. When I went back home after Roadies 1, I had 7 days to join the army. Discussions went on for the entire week with my parents and I decided not to join the Academy. I was going to give myself a year and if nothing happened, I would join the Academy.
From all the seasons of Roadies, who is your favorite?
I don’t have a favorite Roadie, especially in the current season. I am not biased or partial towards anybody. I don’t really care who wins but I just hope that the most deserving person wins. According to me, Suchit, Mohit and Anamika from the present season have the right attitude towards doing the tasks. In Season 3, there was a guy called Vinod Rawat. He is my favorite Roadie ever. Ayushmaan, Bani and Rishabh have done a good job too.
You have transitioned from being a Roadie to VJing to acting. Which of these is the toughest and which one do you see yourself doing for the longest in your life?
On MTV, when I host the show, I am pretty much myself but that is just one side of me. Behind the scenes, I am different. I am funny and a very normal person. In front of the camera, I have to be more authoritative and to the point, but that is still me. I don’t play the role of VJ Rannvijay, whereas in movies, I act. VJing could be termed as a short-term career. Acting is something that I can do forever. Even if I would be in the army, I would still watch a lot of movies. I am a movie buff. I am lucky to have gotten the opportunity to work in movies. The transition from VJing to acting was the best thing to do then.
We know that you do not smoke. You are very keen about that. What if your role in a movie requires you to smoke?
Then I will. I am very true to what I do. In my movie ‘Ekant’, the team had a very difficult time because my character in the movie has to smoke. When you see the movie, you’ll say “Bechaara!! He doesn’t know how to smoke.”
Suppose you get an opportunity to work in a Steven Spielberg movie and the shooting schedule clashes with that of Roadies. Which one will you choose?
Roadies will move for me. They cannot make Roadies without me. If MTV knows that I am in a Steven Spielberg movie, they will move Roadies by 3, 4, 5 months.
Why have you only done negative roles in movies up until now?
I was getting a lot of biker, stud-type, adventure-lover type of roles. I took up the negative role in ‘London Dreams’ because I had a plan. I know I am not such a good actor so I thought why not concentrate on the other aspect involved in working in a movie. I had planned to be on time every day of the shoot and be an easy and comfortable person to work with. I had planned to impress the director and the production house through my behavior. And, my plan worked. Vipul asked me to be a part of ‘Action Replayy’.
What do you have in store for us in the near future?
There’s another 3-4 months of Roadies 8. I am hosting StuntMania and I will also be doing stunts in each episode. I have a movie with Tandav Films and then there is also ‘Ekant’ with Mahesh Manjrekar. I have also done a Punjabi movie called ‘Dharti’, which is going to release on the 22nd April.
Moving on from the Roadie Rannvijay and VJ Rannvijay to just Rannvijay. Were you scared of your dad as a kid?
Yes, obviously. He is in the army yaar.
What about now?
Naah..!! I am not scared of him now. I am not scared of anything actually.
Your passion for bikes is immense. How did it start?
I don’t remember how it started. I just remember that when I was really young, I wanted to join the army as the guy who takes the files from one place to another on a bike. We call him the ‘DR Bhaiya’. I told my dad, “that is what I want to do.” So, that was my love for bikes and because of that I became a Roadie.
Have you ever been in love?
Yes, and out of it too.
Who would your dream date be with?
Because she is beautiful. Though she is married, but that is not going to stop me. She seems to have got the perfect balance of somebody with whom you can have a great time on a date and somebody you can take home.
A few quickies to end this wonderful interview….
Favorite holiday destination – In India, it’ll be Leh.
Favorite food – It depends on where I am. If I am in south India, then its South Indian food. In Italy, its pizzas and pastas. If given a choice, I would like to be at home and eat whatever my mom cooks like Rajma, Chawal and Dahi.
Pierced tongue or chin – Pierced tongue.
Stubble or Clean shaven – 100% stubble for me. Clean shaven, nobody takes you seriously.
Brazilian wax or Butt-smacking – Brazilian anything.
Raghu or Rajiv – Wow! Is there a difference? How would you know? (laughs) Raghu.
An achiever by all means, Rannvijay Singh is a youth icon. Aarti Attal, a final year B.Sc Biotechnology student at St. Francis College for Women, says, “He is an inspiration to the youth because of his chilled out attitude towards life.” Her classmate Sneha Deshpande has a different opinion. “Rannvijay’s first job was as a construction worker in the States. The hard work which he put in to get till here makes him a youth icon.”
Aamer Siddiqui, a young entrepreneur and the founder of RedMalin, an event organizing company, has had the opportunity of meeting RV. “From what I have observed after meeting him, he knows what he is worth and youngsters admire him. Success didn’t come easily to him. He has put in a lot of effort to get to where he is now. He is an extremely down-to-earth person and people love him more because of that,” he says. Ravleen Khera, a C.A. student has gauged RV’s personality and come to a similar conclusion. She says, “He is super talented, well-aware, smart and most importantly humble. I think his charm sets him apart from the rest. He began his journey as a contestant on a reality show and now is an integral part of the channel itself. This speaks volumes about his caliber. Plus, I don’t think he has ever been in the news for any wrong reason. He, definitely, comes across as someone who is as real as anybody can possibly get and his realness makes him a youth icon.”
There are youngsters who don’t consider him a youth icon too, but nevertheless appreciate some of his qualities. “I do not consider him a youth icon, but i really admire his spontaneity,” says Saher Taj, a final year MBBS student at Deccan College of Medical Sciences. Snigdha Bawa, final year B.Tech student at JNTU doesn’t consider Rannvijay a youth icon too. She says, “I find him really, really good looking, but that’s about it.”
Aashish Jain, a second year B.com student at Sri Chaitanya Degree College considers RV a youth icon because of, “ the success he has earned, and for guys like me, his passion for bikes makes him an inspiration.” Apart from his bike-passion, guys also find him to be really good-natured. “The way he interacts with the crowd and his down-to-earth nature makes him a youth icon. I also like his attitude towards life and his sense of humor,” says Mohd.Sohail Ghori, a production engineering student at Muffakam Jah College of Engineering and Technology. His best friend Muhammed Adil, a B.Tech student from Nizam Institute of Engineering and Technology, agrees with Sohail, “I love his sense of humour too. He comes from an army background and isn’t scared of anybody. I admire that about him.” Their friend Syed Anwar, an MBA student at Amjad Ali Khan College thinks otherwise. “He is not my icon. I just like his style of dressing,” he says.
All in all, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but nobody dislikes our favourite VJ. There is atleast one quality in him that people appreciate or admire.