The shy introvert Sushant Singh Rajput talks about his troubles with stardom in a chat with Shubarna Mukherji Shu. Excerpts from their conversation.
For someone so shy, screaming fans might not be the easiest sight… or has all that changed?
No, I am not comfortable. I even have a problem when someone asks for a picture or praises me. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not because of some insecurity but just knowing the truth. I do it anyway because when I was younger I also wanted to meet and have autographs of my fave stars. I have a problem in my real life; I don’t want to talk a lot because I don’t have many strong points of view and so I get boring. But, as different characters, I express so much and it’s a great feeling. Sometimes you are so much into expressing something that you completely forget who you are and I crave those moments – that’s why I work. But if people want your autograph just because they have a certain image, because of all the fictional characters you have played, you cannot be taking it seriously, can you?
Out here to be big, it is all about changing people’s perception of you. How did you manage that?
I can’t do it and so I don’t even try. I think it’s a simple logic. You will get films only when a producer feels that he can make some profit at the box office. And when you get the film, you had better be really excited and prepared in order to really live the part. If everything else goes well, the audience will get convinced and hopefully entertained and they will keep updating their perceptions but again to think about that is not my job as an actor.
You are competing with them (them being your peers, your contemporaries and others) but you are not befriending them! Why is that?
First of all, I am an introvert. Secondly, I don’t get much free time; and when I do, I prefer to go some place alone and just hang around. So I come across as someone serious, boring and maybe arrogant. But whenever we do meet we have a good time.
Networking has been your nemesis, are you changing that or not?
Yes, I have started using my phone so that’s a great start. I also believe that I should not get films on the basis of my networking skills – the director/ producer must seriously have faith. Having said that, I am more cautious now not to offend people unnecessarily!
DHONI has been a lot of everything, if reports have to be believed. Let’s talk about the personal journey – how frustrating was it?
Why does it have to be frustrating? My agenda is not to do five films every year. I don’t want too much money – if I get it, I will keep it but that’s not the drive. Also I don’t want to prove a point to anyone. They are busy in their lives, why bother them? My drive is the process. You spend days to understand, contemplate the character, the script, you cultivate skills, you get a few things and hence excitement, you don’t understand a few things and that’s precisely why you do the film – in order to understand it. To play the most successful, loved Indian cricket captain when he is still playing, is enormously challenging and deeply exciting. I feel fortunate that I got the part.
Your choices have not been the most conventional. When you are not from the industry I would have thought it was harder to make unconventional choices… what tugs you?
Well, that’s the reason why I have chosen this profession. If I already know what to do before we start shooting, then why am I doing it? There is no point. I do it for a different experience every time – to explore, to understand. It’s a journey where every second of it is new, it’s like magic. Till the time I survive in this industry I will keep on trying very different stuff.
Also Read: Sushant & Abhishek Kapoor are upto something
How comfortable are you with being the Sushant Singh Rajput – it’s not the real you, is it? How are you keeping the real you ticking?
I think I am still the same curious vulnerable kid inside who is trying to make sense of everything around and who is expected to behave in a certain way, do certain things and he is aware of it. I have realised that there are few things in life that are very important and non negotiable and the rest of it is just a charade, a game…Which will get over one day, so I better enjoy it and not fret about the inevitable.