There is something about Rajkummar Rao that leaves you awestruck each time he weaves magic on the silver screen. His remarkable rise in the Hindi film industry over the years as a National Award winning actor has been truly inspiring for many out there.
But Rao says, 'This is just the beginning. I think there is so much more that I want to and I want to discover myself as an actor'.
His new film Trapped hits the theatrical marques today. We recently caught up with this immensely talented actor for a quick chat.
Excerpts from the interview-
On 2017 Being His Year
Ah no, 2017 is Indian cinema's year. *laughs* I have about five films coming up next. It's just mere co-incidence that they are happening simultaneously.
Script Or Director, What Matters More To Him
First is the story. It should excite me and make me want to be a part of it. And then comes to who is directing it and what's my character going to be in the film followed by the other aspects.
On How He Got Trapped Into Vikramaditya Motwane's Latest Outing
I loved the story. I was at a screening when Vikramaditya Motwane briefed me about the concept and asked if I was interested to do it. When I was told about the idea I immediately gave in. Vikram called me a couple of months later and we took things forward from there.
On The Challenges He Faced While Shooting The Film
Trapped was quite a difficult journey for me as an actor. My character Shaurya is going through so much in the film. As an actor I had to go through similar experiences to bring in that honesty in my act.
On Nepotism In Bollywood
See, I don't mind supporting an industry kid but the only thing he should be talented. For example, whenever I have a child, if he or she wants to be an actor I would make them take proper training so that I could be proud of them, their performances or whatever they want to do. I don't mind it. My only problem is if somebody is not talented but still as an audience I am bombarded with their films. But luckily that's changing. Our audience is accepting talent now. I am a big fan of Ranbir Kapoor. I think he is one of the finest actors that we have. Eventually it's your work that takes you to places. Alia Bhatt is immensely talented. So, it's your work which speaks for you and nothing else.
His Take On Box Office Numbers
It is important to an extent. Everybody wants their films to do well because good collection means that many people have seen the film. I want my producers to make money so that we can have ten more Trapped.
On Challenging Himself As An Actor
I love challenges. As an actor I love pushing my boundaries. Otherwise it becomes very monotonous if you keep doing the same thing. There is no fun if I don't do anything different. That's the reason why I keep doing different films. That's my high as an actor.
The Fear Of Beng Stereotyped
In my case, no, not at all. I am doing such different films and playing such different characters. I think I am the least stereotyped actor in Bollywood, touchwood.
On Dealing With Pressure
I don't want to think about that. When I am doing a film I am living that part. I don't think about the pressure and that's how I deal with it. First I am doing it for myself , else that won't be honest to my work. The rest follows and things fall in the place.
His Take On Dealing With Criticism
I am my biggest critic. I love criticism as it helps me grow and develop as an actor. I love it when people tell me this could have been better and the scenes where I haven't performed my cent percent. It helps me push myself more and come out as a better performer.