Dev-Rukmini get chatty with t2
- Published 11.11.16
They met for the first time around eight years ago. She had dropped in at Princeton Club to watch her cousin perform, where he was hanging with friends. They were introduced to each other and soon became friends. Then, they lost touch. Four years later, serendipitiously, they bumped into each other again. From then on, Tolly heart-throb-turned-MP Dev and model Rukmini Maitra have been the best of friends. A trip with your buddy is the best way to cement the bond. And Dev-Rukmini are all set to go on a cinematic journey together — as the lead pair in Raj Chakraborty’s Chaamp. They share the deets on their friendship and the film through a photoshoot…
ALERT: LATEST LEAD PAIR
Snapchat with DEV
Rukmini is my BFF because...
She is very straight-forward. Whenever there is a problem, I share it with her. She is always there to listen to my story. She is a good listener. She is a very good friend.
Rukmini is perfect as Jaya in Chaamp because...
She has all the qualities of Jaya. Only she can do justice to the character. I only had to convince Rukmini to do the film. That was the fight (smiles)! Initially when I told her that she was perfect for the role, she thought I was pulling her leg. She was never interested in acting. She had got offers before, but she said no to all! She was aware of the extent I was involved in the film.
My new role as the creator...
I wrote the story keeping Rukmini in mind (script by Padmanabha Dasgupta). It was always Rukmini from the beginning.
Chaamp is about...
The life of a boxer. The film follows boxer Shibaji’s struggle to overcome all odds. First, it is to reach the professional ranks in boxing and how he deals with his family life. Then the film goes on to depict his larai. When you are at the top everyone is there with you, but when you go down you realise there is no one beside you. Very few manage to survive and fight back. Chaamp is an inspirational story.
The backstory of Chaamp...
Srijit Mukherji and I had been planning a boxing film for some time now. We wanted to do a film based on a Moti Nandi story but didn’t get the rights to it, and then Srijit got busy with another film. I kept on working on the story. I really wanted to do a boxing film, and then Padmanabha, Raj and Rukmini came on board. People are ready to see different kinds of sports films now. And I love watching sports films.
What happens when the two are not posing? This. A moment of easy chemistry. “Whenever we are together, we have so much fun. It’s so natural,” said Rukmini, who plays Shibaji’s love interest, Jaya, in Chaamp. “Jaya is a lot like me. She is very independent, modern, well-read and comes from an affluent family, and she’s also a lot like me in the sense that she thinks things through and yet is impulsive. She can emotionally support you and she can be your strength as well as your weakness.”
“Words fall short and the best way we can express is through the eyes,” is Rukmini’s take on this moment. A “cosmic connection” set the filmi ball rolling for Rukmini. “I happened to meet Rajda on a flight. They were already talking about Chaamp. He was really persuasive. And I was literally cornered! But it is very sweet that he thought I was worthy. Dev, of course, wanted me to do the film. Later Dev said, ‘I need you to do this.’ And the script is so good. Everyone has been telling me for a while now that Rukmini you must do a film together. It was all those things put together,” she said.
“Actually, pretty much all of Nolan!”
Rukmini: We do watch movies together. It could be anything... Bollywood to Hollywood, horror, romance, sci-fi. We exchange a lot of DVDs... world cinema mostly.
- Tum hi ho from Ashiqui 2
- Muskurane ki wajah from Citylights
Who makes the first move?! Pehle aap. Nahin, pehle aap. Clearly, a game is on between Shibaji (Dev) and Jaya (Rukmini) and this picture “symbolises power”. Dev, looking all suave and shy, will surely give in to the (chess) charms of Rukmini and make the first move (of the game, silly!). “We are against each other but we are on the same page! The fact that we are laughing and playing… we were playing a healthy game. It’s like how two friends would play a game. The look is a lot about power, being rich, expensive, flamboyant,” said Rukmini. “Each image in this shoot is related to the story of the film,” said Dev.
Text: Arindam Chatterjee
What is your message to Dev and Rukmini? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org
Dev’s outfits: Nine and F-Street; Rukmini’s outfits: Vizyon and Elysian by Gitanjali;
location: The Park and Park Street Privilege Club;
styling: Neha Gandhi; hair and make-up: Prasenjit Biswas; pictures: Pixel Amalgam; Rukmini’s jewellery: Sakshi Jhunjhunwala