Actor Shahid Kapoor, one of the three lead actors of controversial film "Padmavati", hopes the audience understands his part as Rawal Ratan Singh. He feels it's a character that would make people want to be "better" in today's time.
The actor stressed on the need for inspiring characters while discussing his role as Rani Padmavati's husband and a warrior king Rawal Ratan Singh in "Padmavati" with GQ India for December 2017 issue, a statement said.
"I remember when 'Gladiator' came out and Russell Crowe played Maximus, the character felt too good to be true. But it inspired me so much. That was a strong reference for me because I wondered how you play a character who is so noble and good, and make him connect with people today," Shahid said.
"Sometimes cinema has the power to make us aspire to be something better. Of course, there's a lot of value in playing something that's real; I'm coming from 'Udta Punjab', where I played a coked-out, crazy pop star - not at all the kind of guy you would want to be, not even the kind of guy you would want to be in a room with.
"With him, I wondered how to get people to understand someone so off-the-hook, this free radical jumping all over the place. But people got him. I hope they get Rawal Ratan Singh as well. He's extremely powerful, but always steady in all kinds of high-pressure situations.
"I've always admired people who can do that. We're living in a time where we need to be inspired by characters who make us want to be better, because there's a lot happening in the world."
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's attempt to bring alive the story of Rani Padmavati on the silver screen with his movie "Padmavati" hasn't gone down well with Hindu groups backed by the BJP. It also features Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in pivotal roles.
"Padmavati" is being slammed for alleged distortion of historical facts about the Rajput queen. The film was scheduled to release on December 1, but it was deferred.
Shahid also spoke about how Ratan Singh protects his wife from invader Alauddin Khilji, essayed by Ranveer.
He said: "The most difficult part was that he is the least known among the three characters. There are several gaps in our knowledge, and it was up to me to fill them appropriately. It was important to understand what type of king I was playing - we've had great kings, we've had terrible kings, we've had blunderers, kings who've become saints.
"Ratan Singh was a warrior king who falls in love with this exceptionally beautiful woman. They get married and are very happy together when another man (Alauddin Khilji) enters the picture. It's a story about a husband and wife, but also a king and a queen."