Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput quit Ekta Kapoor's TV soap Pavitra Rishta when the show was at its peak and his character Manav became a houshold name, to pursue his Bollywood dreams. In 2013, he finally bagged his dream debut, Abhishek Kapoor's Kai Po Che! The film based on Chetan Bhagat's best-selling novel 'The 3 Mistakes Of My Life,' also starred Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh as the other two leads.
Kai Po Che! received positive reviews from the critics who remarked that Sushant had made an impressive debut in Bollywood. As the film clocked 8 years today (February 22, 2021), director Abhishek Kapoor recalled his fond memories of working with late Sushant Singh Rajput in an interaction with a leading daily.
Speaking about casting Sushant in the film, the filmmaker told ETimes, "I'd never seen any of Sushant's previous works before casting him. Back then, the industry wasn't very accepting of television actors. But post Rock On!!, people had faith in me and I just went for it."
He was all praise for the late actor and continued, "As for the efforts, there wasn't any out-of-the-ordinary effort involved when it came to moulding Sushant. He was just fabulous right from the start and from the first day itself I knew we're going to fly together. It was a scene where he teaches the students about knocking the bat and I could gauge from his body language that he had just sunk his teeth into this character."
After Kai Po Che!, Abhishek reunited with Sushant again for the 2018 film Kedarnath. Talking about his association with the late actor, the filmmaker shared, "He was definitely a different person. You get moulded as you trudge along the business. But, he brought so much to both the parts that in hindsight, I cannot even begin to imagine anyone else essaying the roles. He was an intense actor and used to research his roles well enough to know the characters like the back of his hand. I really miss him and every time I realise I can't reach him anymore, it leaves me disturbed."
Kai Po Che! was a commercial success at the box office. It was the first ever Indian film to feature in the World Panorama section at Berlin International Film Festival.