New Delhi: Dressed in a tan jacket and a light blue T-shirt, actor Randeep Hooda seemed at his wry, sarcastic best when interacting with the media, promoting his upcoming film 'Ungli' in Delhi.
Along with actors Emraan Hashmi, Angad Bedi and Neil Bhoopalam, the cast of Rensil D'Silva's upcoming film answered the usual barrage of questions that came their way. Talking about how and why he chooses the films he stars in, Hashmi said, "I usually go by what inspires me, challenges me. If the role is something I haven't done before, I jump to it. But unfortunately, Bollywood has fallen into the trap of sticking to the predictable, safe stories. I guess that's how the industry works."
Hooda, on the other hand, was charmingly flippant, cracking sharp jokes and snapping at anyone who tried to goad him into saying anything controversial.
But it wasn't as a response to any question that Hooda showed me the finger.
Having worked with the Entertainment beat for a few years, I, along with most of my fellow journalists have realised that Bollywood press conferences never start on time. "If the invite says 3:00 pm, reach the venue by 4:00 pm, so that you're prepared for the stars who will eventually walk in at 4:30 pm," is the mantra we all live by.
But how was I to know that the cast of 'Ungli' would reach venue on time?
As a result, I walked in late to the event, whispering apologies to other journalists. An awkward discussion about Hooda not being a part of Pooja Bhatt's next film was going on.
After the slight debacle, a momentary silence ensued.
Grabbing my opportunity, I asked the cast in general, "I apologise for being late, but I only have one question for you all. When have you, in real life, metaphorically or otherwise, given the finger to anyone?"
Before Hooda could reply, Hashmi said, "Ten minutes ago, at the photo shoot."
Hooda, who (I'm assuming) was still feeling a little ruffled over the previous discussion, snapped, "But why are you late? Here's an ungli for you for being late," he said, flashing his middle finger.
After an awkward pause (where I blushed furiously), Hashmi burst into a laugh, Hooda, Bedi and Bhoopalam joined in.
I left the hall conflicted between being offended, treating the whole thing as a joke or the "spirit" of the film the cast were promoting.