People Called Me Crazy When I Ran Away at 16 to be an Actor, Says Harshvardhan Rane
Despite being a part of the entertainment industry for over a decade and having done Telugu, Tamil and Hindi films, Harshvardhan Rane calls himself a “lesser-known actor”. Rane, who is basking in the success of the recently released Taish, is of the opinion that it needs “jigra” (heart) to cast an actor like him in an anticipated project.
“I think a lot of producers would have come to (Bijoy) Nambiar sir and suggested him to get a more familiar face and not take a risk. Given the support you need from studios, it is very easy to replace a lesser-known actor with a niche one. But because he doesn’t follow the set norms for cinema and goes by his rules, he’s not dependent on familiar faces,” said Rane.
“If you see the cast of Taish, there’s Pulkit Samrat who has done 13-14 movies, Kriti Kharbanda has multiple hundred crore films and Jim (Sarbh) has been a part of multi-hundred crore projects like Sanju and Padmavaat and if we combine the business of my Hindi films it’s nothing like them. But because he is confident about his craft, he took the risk," he added with a humble laugh.
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Rane ran away from home at the age of 16 to pursue his acting dream. While some were supportive, many called him 'crazy' because neither he had a 'Godfather' nor connections. But instead of being played by these extreme responses, Rane "smiled, kept them to himself and worked to become a familiar face".
He began his film career in 2010 with Telugu films and made his Bollywood debut in 2016 with Sanam Teri Kasam, followed by multi-starrer Paltan in 2018.
“South has been very kind to me. Generally, when guys go to south they are offered negative roles, but I never took up those. Until different roles came to me I did carpentry and other jobs to make ends meet and slowly I had roles no outsider would have got. I waited for the same with Bollywood.”
The actor did get big Bollywood offers but they were mostly negative, so he declined them.
“I never wanted to do a negative role and that is why Ramleela couldn’t happen. There was no calculation that it is a Bhansali film and so I should do it. It was just an honest decision. I have always been inspired by the magnanimity of characters like Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan in Shakti or Avengers films. However, if I get to be in a frame directed by Bhansali Sir I’ll jump to it.”
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Rane has no qualms with the choices he made in his professional career or the industry in general.
“I cannot complain. If I had to, I wouldn’t have run away. In fact, over the past months with whatever has happened in the industry, many asked me why am I not complaining about the system and why I haven’t spoken up? I didn’t because I don’t see the industry as biased. In my opinion, it is a case of familiarity and nothing else. Even in general we prefer for a well-known product over an unknown brand. Although it is changing with the advent of OTT,” he said.