Rajeev Khandelwal has a lot of preparation to do for his next two films, Sourabh Narang"s Return Gift and Sanjay Leela Bhansali"s Chenab Gandhi. While for Bhansali"s film he needs to get fluent in Urdu and familiar with the pre-Partition era, the preparation for Narang"s film is even more complex and elaborate.
Rajeev can"t wait for his reality show Sach Ka Saamna to end so he could embark on his big-screen preparations. Interestingly in spite of the show"s popularity there"s no mention of a second season for Rajeev. “For now, this is it," he says tersely.
For Return Gift, in which Rajeev plays an Indian bureaucrat on a mission to Pakistan, Rajeev will have to meet bureaucrats from both sides of the border to understand the intricacies of across-the-border diplomacy.
“I can"t just go into the part unprepared. It"s a character that has far-reaching relevance. I"ll be meeting eminent bureaucrats to understand the workings of the Indian bureaucracy and the complex issue of Indo-Pak relations."
For all of this, Rajeev needs time off. Sach Ka Samna hardly gives him that space. In fact it now threatens to crowd him even more. Rajeev Khandelwal has a problem. And it"s got to do with his hair. Before he goes into Sanjay Leela Bhansali"s production of Chenab Gandhi, Rajeev has allotted dates to Sourabh Narang"s Return Gift, which requires him to play an Indian civil servant on a diplomatic mission.
And everyone knows IAS officers are supposed to sport close-cropped hair. But Sanjay"s film requires Rajeev to have very long hair.
Says Rajeev, “In fact one of the reasons why Mr. Bhansali selected me was because of my hair. I had grown it really long and curly for my role as a Goan beach bum in Peter Gaya Kaam Se. Mr. Bhansali saw that look and thought it was what he wanted for his assistant Vibhu Puri"s film. That"s how I was considered."
Having bagged the coveted role Rajeev was clearly told the hair remains.
Says Rajeev, “I was in a dilemma since Sourabh"s film needed me to keep my hair short. And there was no time to cut my hair and grow it back. So I was left with no choice but to ask Sourabh to work his way around my hair."
Apparently Rajeev will now wear a cropped wig to look the Bureacrat"s part.
Says Rajeev, “All I"ll say is, I won"t look wrong for the part."
Laughs Rajeev, “For the privilege of working with Mr Bhansali, I"d happily go bald. He"s one of the best filmmakers of our country. Although he isn"t directing Chenab Gandhi his involvement with the project is full-on. I"ll wrap my work in Return Gift and move on to Chenab Gandhi. The thought of sharing screen space with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan so early in my career gives me goosebumps."