‘I am absolutely hungry for good work,’ says Rajkummar Rao

The recently released horror-comedy, Roohi, has been going slow and steady at the box office. The movie, which stars Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, and Varun Sharma in lead roles, released on March 11 and has so far minted over 12 cr. While the movie might have received mixed reviews from the audience and critics, Rajkummar Rao’s performance was applauded by all.

From commercial entertainers to offbeat, clutter-breaking films, Rajkummar’s filmography is a mixed bag. The actor, a rank outsider, who made his debut in 2010 with the critically-acclaimed film Love Sex Aur Dhokha, has made a place for himself in Bollywood. Be it his debut movie, or Ragini MMS, Kai Po Che, Shahid, Aligarh, Trapped, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Omerta, and many others, Rajkummar has wowed the audience and critics with his acting and his ability to get into the skin of any character with ease. And, the actor says he is still hungry for good work. “Existing in Bollywood is not easy. We need to be hungry for good roles /work. I am absolutely hungry for good work. There is so much scope for improvement. I always push and challenge myself as an actor with every film,” the actor says.

Despite being in Bollywood for a decade, Rajkummar has managed to stay away from the ‘camps’ that exist in Bollywood. The actor, who has worked with some renowned filmmakers in Bollywood like Hansal Mehta, Dinesh Vijan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Dibakar Banerjee, to name a few, is yet to be associated with production houses like YRF and Dharma. Ask him about it, the actor says, “I don’t belong to any particular camp. I am in touch with them [YRF and Dharma] and we spoke about a couple of films. Both these production houses have been kind to me. I know all the directors working with them. I share a good rapport with them. About working with YRF and Dharma, I can only say, I don’t know when that might happen.”

On the work front, Rajkummar will next be seen in Badhaai Do opposite Bhumi Pednekar. The movie is a sequel to the 2018 movie, Badhaai Ho, which featured Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Surekha Sikri. It was directed by Amit Sharma. The actor recently took to social media to give fans a glimpse into his physical transformation for the movie. Sporting a moustache, the actor posted a shirtless image of himself showing off toned abs. Speaking about the movie, which Rajkummar says is ‘close to his heart’, he adds, “I have a lot of expectations from the movie. I play a cop, Shardul Thakur, in the movie. It is a unique and well-made movie.”

The movie is based in UP, and Rajkummar says he tried to pick up the accent to bring in some authenticity in his character. “If a character belongs to a certain region I would want that character to speak in that tonality. So, yes, I have tried to mouth a bit of colloquial language. It wasn't exactly difficult and nor too easy to pick up the language. It was like picking up accents for my characters,” he adds.

In the recent past, many Bollywood actors have either turned producers or turned their attention to direction. Ask Rajkummar if he has any such plans, pat comes the reply, “Oh no! I am not keen on turning a director or producer at the moment. Actor hi ban jaye bahut hai.”

Rajkummar also has Hum Do Humare Do alongside Kriti Sanon in his kitty. The movie also features Paresh Rawal and Ratna Pathak Shah. Shooting is almost complete for the movie.

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