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It feels great if people think of me as a next perfectionist after Aamir Khan: Rajkummar Rao

Ami Sheth | Updated on: 22 September 2017, 20:54 IST
Rajkumar Rao (file pic)

Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao has been hitting the headlines for all the right reasons. His newly released film Newton has been announced as the official entry from Indian cinema to Oscars. The actor talks about the film, his next with Aishwarya Rai, Bose and more...

Here is an exclusive interview of Rajkummar Rao:

Tell us something about Newton
It is a black comedy and a story about a boy Newton Kumar who is assigned for the duty to conduct the elections in a jungle in Chattisgarh which is affected by Naxal. He tries his best to conduct free and fair voting despite the odds stacked against him.

How do you see the elections in India? You feel it's fair?
I think it's a great body especially after doing Newton I realize the importance of voting and how still people in our country are not really casting their votes, which is not right. We should definitely exercise this power it is the most important power that we have in a democracy to vote and it's done on such a huge scale in every 4-5 years. The way these people organise it is commendable and I feel it goes fair.

You have had back to back films and it continues to be until the end of 2017. Is 2017 lucky for u?
I think even 2010 was lucky for me when I started my career with LSD (Love Sex Aur Dhoka). I don't know if the year has been lucky for me but, a very important one as this year I have had not just multiple releases but, different kind of films too.

How do you choose the script as your each film is different?
I read many scripts but, the script that attracts and challenges me the most I try to do that. The story attracts me the most, how different it is, what is it that story doing to me as a reader? and what am I contributing to it as an actor?

You will be seen in Hollywood flick 5 weddings. How different is the environment in Hollywood?
Yeah, it's definitely a different environment altogether. Their work culture is different from how we work here. It's little more disciplined there. They shoot for probably 10 hours a day and you have to take a lunch break but, when we shoot here sometimes it's running lunch break and we do it over time.

Talking about your next, how excited or nervous are you to work with Aishwarya Rai in Fanney Khan?
I am not nervous but, very excited to work with her. I am a great fan of both Aishwarya and Anil Sir and now getting a chance to work with them is a great opportunity for me.

What was going on in your mind when there was a discussion on casting either you or Madhavan opposite Aishwarya?
I had no idea about it since I was in Poland shooting for my last schedule of Bose when the producers got in touch with me. I read the script then and there. I said I liked it and I would love to do it and that's how it happened.

Can u share the experience of working in Bose?
It's one of my most ambitious work, I would say. It was not an easy to play Netaji (Freedom fighter, Subhas Chandra Bose) on screen because a lot of preparation needed to be done to look like him or get his mental and emotional journey. But, it was really fascinating just to live that era all over again and to share that selfless love for his motherland is just an overwhelming experience.

You had to take up smoking for the role...
Just that you know Netaji was a smoker and there were a couple of scenes where I was supposed to smoke whereas, in real life, I do not smoke so, it got really uncomfortable for me. so, I thought I'll have to probably invite this habit in my personal life so that I can be comfortable while filming it. But, after that, I have totally quit smoking. That was my promise to myself the moment I am done with the shoot I going to quit it and I would say it's a really bad habit please don't do it.

Were there any apprehensions when you got to know that you will have to smoke for this film?
No, I was not apprehensive but a lot of people told me that it's very tough to quit and you won't be able to quit but I was sure that I will and I did it.

Were there any other things you had to prepare for Bose?
I had to gain a lot of weight, shave my head half, learn a new language, a lot of reading was involved about him and I watched many documentaries on him.

Till what extent you can change yourself for the character?
I can go to any limit. I haven't set any parameters. If my character wants me to do something which is out of my limit I will do it as long as I am not dead.

You're now known as another perfectionist in the industry after Aamir Khan.
Thank You! It really feels great. I try and do things perfectly in whatever I do. As far as, my knowledge is concerned I just want to be perfectly known in whatever things I take up. When people give you such tags it feels great, if they think of me as a next perfectionist after Mr Aamir Khan.

First published: 22 September 2017, 20:54 IST