Sunday November 17, 2019

Actor Rajkummar Rao Doesn’t Give Importance to Stardom

Rajkummar, who is dating actress Patralekhaa, said: "Yeah. I wish I could give more time to my personal life but I have got some really understanding people and they know we all came to the city to do this. You have to have an understanding with your friends and loved ones."

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Rajkummar rao
Rajkummar Rao.

BY DURGA CHAKRAVARTY

He has mastered the art of striking a balance between critically acclaimed films such as “Shahid” and “Aligarh” on one hand, and quality mainstream entertainers as “Stree” and “Bareilly Ki Barfi” on the other. Rajkummar Rao, one of the best actors in Bollywood, calls himself a “normal guy leading a very normal life” and he doesnt waste time dealing with stardom.

Rajkummar made his Bollywood debut with a prop role in the 2010 film “Love Sex Aur Dhokha”, Dibakar Banerjee’s quirky experiment that courted critical acclaim. Over the next few years, his rise has been steady, thanks to impeccable performances in films such as “Shaitan”, “Aligarh”, “Kai Po Che!”, “Shahid” and “Stree” among others.

In his nine year run in Bollywood, how does Rajkummar deal with the stardom? “I don’t really deal with it,” Rajkummar told IANS.

Does he give stardom importance? Pat came the reply: “I don’t give it (importance). I am very happy because I get a lot of love whenever I go anywhere now. That love is irreplaceable. A lot of gratitude for that. Apart from that when I am on sets or at home, I don’t think of anything else. I just be myself. I am a very normal guy and leading a very normal life. I am just doing my job and nothing else.”

Before venturing into the glitzy world of Bollywood, Rajkummar, a product of Delhi University, was doing theatre. In 2008, the “Omerta” star graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and shifted to Mumbai for a film career.

Of course, it wasn’t always a smooth ride. He has had his quota of struggle, too.

“My struggle started in Delhi. I hail from Gurgaon and I used to travel in really crowded buses or sometimes cycle from Gurgaon to Mandi House to do theatre . My struggle started from there. When I landed in Bombay for two years, there was a lot of struggle. I would meet a lot of people and face a lot of rejection. It wasn’t really an easy route.” he said.

'Shahid' clocks 5 years, Rajkummar nostalgic
Actor Rajkummar Rao poses at an award function. Wikimedia Commons

Today, Rajkummar has carved a niche for himself in just nine years, and is labelled a Rs 100-crore actor-star.

“These are tags created by people. I just want to do good work nothing else. I am not chasing anything else,” said the actor, who has managed to maintain a balance between commercial space and indie cinema.

Is Rajkummar consciously maintaining two pockets in his career? “No. The only conscious choice is to be a part of exciting stories. When ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, which in a way was a gamechanger, released and people saw me in a different avatar for the first time it just happened. I did not really decide to do that film because I wanted to break some image and do a big commercial film,” he said.

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With a bag full of different work kinds of films coming his way, Rajkummar has never felt saturated.

“I am very happy. There are so many people out there who want to do what I am doing. So, when I am getting a chance to live my dream everyday there is no saturation point. I love it,” he said.

But with a packed work schedule, does he feel that his personal life has taken a backseat?

Rajkummar, who is dating actress Patralekhaa, said: “Yeah. I wish I could give more time to my personal life but I have got some really understanding people and they know we all came to the city to do this. You have to have an understanding with your friends and loved ones.” (IANS)

Next Story

Anil Kapoor: I Need To Learn How To Go Easy On Myself

Actor Anil Kapoor says that he needs to learn to go easy on himself

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Actor Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor says that he has always been his worst critic. Wikimedia Commons.

After four decades in Bollywood, Anil Kapoor feels he needs to learn how to go easy on himself, and that is his biggest challenge. The actor says he has always been his worst critic.

Anil entered the industry with a small role in 1979 with Umesh Mehra’s “Hamare Tumhare”, and then went on to carve his niche by balancing his stature as a respectable actor and his popularity as a saleable star, with performances including “Woh 7 Din”, “1942: A Love Story”, “Mr. India”, “Tezaab”, “Ram Lakhan”, “Lamhe”, “Beta”, “Taal”, “Nayak: The Real Hero” and “Pukar”.

At 62, he has managed to keep himself relevant in the forever fickle world of Bollywood showbiz, and his fit and sprightly persona defies his age. Anil insists his constant struggle is to go easy on himself.

“I’ve always been hard on myself and I’m always my own worst critic. So my biggest challenge continues to learn to go easy on myself and to let go when I need to,” Anil told IANS.

He says his career goals continue to be the same as they were all those years ago, when he was starting out.

“Strangely enough, my goals haven’t changed much! I’m a simple man with a simple plan — to be better than I was yesterday. So that’s what I continue to strive towards,” said the actor.

Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor feels that Cinema is the most engaging way in which stories are told. Wikimedia Commons

If anything, he has managed to stay relevant by experimenting with his craft and subjects, as trends changed in Bollywood over the past 40 years.

There have been the international forays, too. He featured in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-wiing global blockbuster “Slumdog Millionaire”, and also worked in “24”, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Family Guy”.

His versatility is proved by the fact that he was equally at home in these international projects as he was in out-and-out Bollywood outings as “No Entry”, “Welcome”, “Race”, “Dil Dhadakne Do”, “Mubarakan”, “Fanney Khan”, “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga” and “Total Dhamaal”.

“I’ve always believed that change is the only constant. So, I have let life and opportunities change me along the way, in the most organic ways possible. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the passion I feel for my work,” said the actor, who recently became part of a panel discussion by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films in Kolkata to decode “what makes films powerful”, as part of a six-city tour.

Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films brings stars together to talk about the power of cinema and the short film genre. The panel discussion in Kolkata was moderated by Anupama Chopra, and also included Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Vinay Pathak, Sheetal Menon, Bejoy Nambiar and Niranjan Iyengar.

“Cinema is perhaps the most engaging way in which stories are told and shared”, he said, adding: “And stories have always had the power to shape minds and lives.”

The actor points out that power comes with a sense of responsibility.

Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor along with ‘Shootout at Wadala’ cast at a promotional event. Wikimedia Commons

“Anyone in a position to influence minds and hearts has a responsibility towards the people they are reaching. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the right platform and a mouthpiece to communicate with the world, so when you do, it comes with the duty to be mindful of the message you’re sharing and affirming,” said the father of three.

Anil will be back on the big screen in Anees Bazmee’s “Pagalpanti”, with whom he has in the past worked in “No Entry”, “Welcome”, “No Problem”, “Welcome Back” and “Mubarakan”.

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“Pagalpanti” also stars John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat, Ileana D’Cruz, Kriti Kharbanda, Urvashi Rautela and Saurabh Shukla, and is slated to release on November 22.

The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar’s T-Series and Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak’s Panorama Studios and co-produced by Vinod Bhanushali, Shiv Chanana, Aditya Chowksey and Sanjeev Joshi. (Bollywood Country)