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published time By Shweta Kulkarni published time 02 Mar, 2016 Share image 0 Shares

Randeep Hooda

If there is one word that can best describe the Hooda hunk it is — Passionate. Because had it not been for his fervor this handsome Jat boy would perhaps be working as a marketing professional in some corporate firm and Bollywood would have missed out on one fantastic actor, needless to say, the women clan on their eye candy ;)

Randeep Hooda belongs to the tribe of those few self-made people who aren’t afraid to chase their dreams and turn them into a reality despite all the hiccups and stumbling blocks in their path.

Coming from a family of surgeons, his parents obviously wanted him to be a doctor and sent him to Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram to pursue his studies after class 10th. But instead, the actor who has now made a mark for himself with his signature style and impressive performances in films like Highway, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster etc, got more determined to pursue his true calling—acting.

The Sarbjiit actor’s desire was to act in a Hollywood film, so after few years at DPS, he decided to go to Australia for a degree in business management and hoping to find his way to Hollywood from there. He contemplated switching to performing arts but his family ruled that out for him.  Finally, he did his graduation in marketing and masters in business management along with juggling a few odd jobs to support himself like being a waiter, car washer, lifeguard to a taxi driver, before he returned to India to fulfill his childhood dream of acting.

 “I think the best vocation is something that you enjoy doing and getting paid for it,” the Main Aur Charles actor shared one of the best life’s lessons while addressing a bunch of college students. He added, “I used to drive cabs in Melbourne. I had all kinds of people in my cab - junkies, CEOs, artists, cricketers. I once had Vivian Richards in my car. I used to work night shifts. I used to talk to them and I realized that none of them were really happy, except for the ones who were really doing what they loved to do. I took a long time to figure out what I wanted to do. Acting was right up there and then horses. I had tried not to come back to India from Australia, but I was forced to.”

When you discover your calling, it is important to go after it irrespective of all the hurdles that come in your way. Randeep said, “I knew all about the struggles and the ways of the industry and how difficult it was to find a break-through. I was willing to take all the chances. I wanted to be an actor and I would be one. It was difficult but it was also important for me to find my way. I did not want to become a star or a superstar or a name and a face that appeared in newspaper and magazines every day. I had a very simple and single goal. I just wanted to be an actor and I was confident I would be one.”

Upon coming back to India, he started work in the marketing department of an airline to keep his parents happy. However, he was not going to give up on acting.  So he started doing amateur theatre in Delhi. He also did some ramp modeling and some print and television ads. While rehearsing for his first play— ‘To Teach His Own’, he got a call from Mira Nair, who said she would like to audition him for a role. He didn't know who she was until after his screen test. The next day she called and offered him a role in Monsoon Wedding.

However, one film did not do any wonders to Hooda’s acting career. Work was scarce, Hooda joined Naseeruddin Shah’s theatre group to sharpen his acting skills and simultaneously also kept looking for roles in films. "The hardest job of an actor is not laughing, crying, emoting, or as you say, maaro-ing dialogues. What do you think is the hardest job for an actor? The hardest job as an actor is to get a job,” says the actor who will soon be seen in Do Lafzon Ki Kahani.

After a four-year-long wait, in 2005, Randeep was cast as the male lead in Ram Gopal Varma's gritty gangster film D. After D, he appeared in a series of critically and commercially unsuccessful films such as Darna Zaroori Hai, Risk, Ru Ba Ru, Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye, Karma Aur Holi and Love Khichdi.

Success was still a faraway cry, he was running short on cash, and to add to it, he had an expensive hobby – Horse Riding. “I had run out of money. I wasn’t taking any from my parents. It was frustrating. The option was to sell either my horses or my car. I had a beautiful sedan at that point. I had nothing else to sell. I was offered huge amounts for my horses but I got rid of my car instead,” reveals the actor whose passion for horses is at par with his acting obsession.

The lack of work and money did not make him cynical or bitter rather he chased his passion with more fury and determination and the results were for all to see. With powerful performances in films like Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Jism 2, Murder 3, Highway, Kick this outsider has now carved a niche for himself in the heart of Bollywood. 

Clearly, passion never fails :)

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#SignatureStartup : Practical, is too small a word. Go on, make your mark, and who knows, your passion could bring you your next paycheck.