Rick Roy, probably one of the trendiest stylists in Bollywood may not have even become associated with the glamour world, had it not been for Shirish Kunder. He was almost on his way out of the country when the call from Shirish Kunder came, and Rick Roy landed his first Bollywood project, Joker.
Later going on to do huge movies like Housefull 2, Jannat 2, Raaz 3, Gabbar, Dolly Ki Doli, to now the latest one Begum Jaan, Rick is quite famous as the designer who has never been refused for a costume by any star. His latest project Begum Jaan is up for release and Rick cannot be more excited to be associated with it. He says, “Begum Jaan has been the toughest movie for me till date, both physically as well as mentally. Firstly because I walked into the film very late. That gave me very little time to do the research. But I loved the script and also it is the first time that I am doing a period film. The weather and locations were very harsh and remote. But after watching the film I can honestly tell you, I will go through all that and much more for a film that looks as good as it does.”
Rick first began to get noticed when he styled Malaika Arora’s outfit for the song ‘Anarkali Disco Chali’ and later when he styled Chitrangada Singh for the movie Inkaar. The self confessed “control freak” gave us an insight into how is it being a fashion designer in Bollywood. He says, “Bollywood doesn’t define fashion, it definitely influences it to some extent but doesn’t define it. People have too much access to the world of fashion now, and a lot of availability of those clothes as well”.
A complete outsider to the glamour world, this Kolkata boy’s journey to mumbai and into fashion is quite interesting.
“A producer from MTV, Pritam spotted me wearing a pair of crazy torn hand painted jeans that I made myself and asked me if I would want to come work for her. I of course jumped at the opportunity. I met Malaika and initially was very intimidated by her. But she is the one who taught me the ropes of fashion and this glamour world. She held my hand and took me under her wing. Her entire family, Arbaaz, Amrita, her mom and dad, they have taken so much care of me. I owe a lot to her and her family.
I first did the movie Fashion, but the experience was not very good. Then I got into advertising and was very happy with it. When Shirish approached me for Joker, I was a little apprehensive. But he gave me some amazing advice, and that has what has shaped my career. He said ‘Look Rick, give it a try, what’s the worst that can happen? You will screw up and I will throw you out. You can go back to advertising and everything will be the same again. So just give it a shot. You never know, it might be fun.’”
We asked him how his “non-shoot” days look like.
Rick says, “I wake up and walk down to Starbucks down the road for my morning coffee. I try and write every day for my column. I am dyslexic so it takes me a long time to finish my column each week. After my workout I meet my assistants and discuss work at the factory. I do most of my work meetings at noon. Lunch is generally with friends. I think it is very important for me to be in touch with my people so I always make an effort when I am not shooting. Then it is work, work, work till late. When any film project is on, it’s nothing else but work and little sleep.”
We also asked Rick if he feels that sometimes the celebrities over do it with their style and PR teams, hence losing their own sense of personal style on the way.
Rick says, “I don’t really understand celebrities. But I do understand actors. I am costume designer for films and in films I believe there are characters and not stars so it doesn’t matter what their personal style may be.
But on a red carpet or appearance I feel it’s a different case. An actor’s personal style quotient sort of matters because they are being judged for who they are, and I feel that depending on your style team is a good thing. But having said that I do feel people should have a certain style of their own. I rarely see that in a lot of celebrities. They all look like each other. The trend seems to be to just “dump a bunch of international brands” top to bottom and you are considered stylish. I think Neha Dhupia, Alia and Sonam are 3 people who have a certain individual style of their own.”
Roy is known to be an accommodating professional who knows how to strike a balance between comprehending what the director wants and when he should take the liberty to add the much needed spice to the celeb’s looks. He also writes a column in DNA newspaper, Rick’s Ramblings – a column about modern day relationships, emotions and love trends.
Lastly we asked him to share his experiences as an “outsider” in the glamour industry.
He laughs it off saying, “Ok let me tell you this whole new thing about ‘being an outsider’ is total bullshit. There are challenges at work for everyone in every industry, no matter who you are. The challenges may be different, but they are there nevertheless. Yes it helps to know somebody from within, but even if you don’t, it’s no big deal. If you are good at what you do, you will excel. Bollywood cares about what you are bringing to the table, not about where you come from. I myself come from Kolkata and I did not know a single soul in Mumbai. I have been doing designing for films for 5 years now and have done over 15 movies. Bollywood gave me a chance, just as it gives to everybody with talent.”
Rick has his hands full with another project starring Vidya Balan, and a couple of more big movies. Here is wishing him loads of success in all his future endeavors and for Begum Jaan.