The emotional father-son story directed by Kumar Gaurav's cousin Vikram Tuli, featuring Rajeev with the 5-year old Shrey Bawa was supposed to be shot from the end of January to the middle of February in New Zealand. But the film's main drama has now been shot in Ooty.
Rajeev feels the shift of location makes no difference to the essential emotions of the film. He has never felt more challenged as an actor.
Quips Rajeev, "That's because I've never had a more challenging co-star. Shrey Bawa who plays my son is just 5. But he's a veteran compared with me. He has done innumerable ads. And he played Priyanka Chopra and Bobby Deol's son in Dostana. He gives me the shivers. I just can't keep up with him."
Apparently, the Bawa boy is so brilliant that he makes Rajeev fumble with his lines. In the dramatic scenes, Rajeev often has to ask for retakes. Bawa gets it right the first time.
Says Rajeev, "This is a very emotional father-son story. Many times I get too choked to say my dialogues. But Shrey never slips up. He's the best actor I've worked with."
Where does that leave Prachi Desai who plays Rajeev's love interest in Joker?
Rajeev is mighty excited by the new jodi. "Prachi and I go back a long way. We were both part of Ekta Kapoor's Balaji soaps. Now when I see us together in this film I wonder why no one thought of casting us together before."
Rajeev has also signed a film to be produced by Nariman Irani's production house who had done the original Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Don. Entitled Taiynaat the Khandelwal starrer will be directed by debutant Ehsan Hyder.
This would be the fourth film of Rajeev's career and all four with debutant directors. "And there's a fifth debutant director Vibhu Puri coming up in Chenab Gandhi," Rajeev says happily.