Rajkummar Rao opens up to Nikita Wadhawan about real and reel life love story, marriage and upcoming movies
As I walk in the suburban office, I see Rajkummar Rao sitting on a sofa with his leg in a cast. The actor recently met with a serious accident while shooting for a reality show but his injury has not deterred him from his commitment. This has been a very eventful year with three back-to-back hit films, Rajkummar wants to end the year on a high with his next Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’. Although he may be getting married on screen, the ‘Newton’ actor said that marriage is not on the cards for now. Excerpts from the interview:
What genre are you more comfortable with, light fun stories or hard hitting dark stories?
I like both. I don’t have any favourite, honestly it is the character that attracts me. Although ’Shaadi…’ is light hearted film, it doesn’t mean there are no challenges involved.
What was the challenge with such characters?
In this film, my character has two personalities. The first half is a different guy and the second half there is a complete transformation. There was a bureaucracy involved for which I had to do research. I met a lot of people, and understand their duties.
Did you take inspiration from anyone?
I saw a lot of YouTube video of young IAS officers, and met some friends who were IAS officers. People assume that, if you are an IAS officer mean it their body becomes very tight to show authority. That is wrong, they are very normal people. The chair gives them the power, you don’t need to show your power.
How was it working with Kriti?
It was amazing and she is a very hardworking girl. What I like the most about her is that, she is very passionate about what she does, that is what I seek in my co-actors. She was also very supportive and gave me space to improvise if I wanted to.
Are you a romantic at heart?
Yes, I am a die-hard romantic. I am a giver in relationships. I love watching love stories, and I am quite a romantic guy, so I don’t mind portraying love on screen. I think it is one of the most beautiful emotions.
Which is your favourite romantic film?
I like ‘Notebook’ and ‘Blue Valentine’. In Bollywood I like ‘Dil Se’, it is a very unique love story.
Talking about love, how did you fall in love with Patralekhaa?
It is a very special relation for me. We met almost five years ago, as students at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), and we didn’t start dating right away. We got to know each other for a year and then I realised that she is the one.
What are your views on marriage?
Marriage is one of the biggest festivals in our country and is celebrated with a lot of gung-ho. It is once in a life time thing or twice in a life time thing. My siblings got married and it was a huge event in our life.
Is marriage on the cards for you soon?
(Laughs) Right now I am getting married in films only. So let’s see, the moment I stop breaking my leg and getting married on screen, I will think about it.
‘Omerta’ premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival and got a standing ovation, how do you feel about that?
It is very special film. I always said that Hansal Mehta is one of the most daring directors of this country. We were sceptical about the feedback, as it is an antagonist story. The film will make you think and make you numb. It is important for us to show why young boys like Omar Sheik get influenced into terrorist activities.
While it is important to showcase stories of different people, isn’t wrong to glorify terrorists?
We are not showing him as a hero of a story. Both Shahid (Azmi) and Omar are victims of injustice and they were moved by the things that they saw. Everyone has a path to choose, and Omar’s path was similar to that of Shahid. While Shahid decided to help people Omar took the road to violence. Omar is a guy from a well-to-do family and very educated. It was important to show why such bright young boys like Omar are choosing these paths.
Now when you go back home to Gurgaon, are you treated as a celebrity?
No, we don’t tell many people that I am coming home. I don’t like too many guests. I want to spend time with my family, sometimes I just get one day or some hours with them. And when I am with them they don’t want to talk about work. They have a lot of questions about Bollywood but they don’t ask as they want to talk to their boy.
Is your family a big Bollywood buff?
Yes, they are. We all grew up in a big joint family, we had a VCR player and on weekends we used to just watch these films. These are some amazing memories.
Recently there were rumours that you were pestering Aishwarya Rai Bachchan before you started shooting with her…
No (laughs) they are all baseless rumours. I am professional actor and I love what I do. I love my work. We have had our reading before shoot that is it. Of course I am really looking forward to our on screen schedule.