EXCLUSIVE: Rajkummar Rao opens up on successful 2018 and his upcoming films in 2019
Rajkummar Rao had an amazing 2017 with films like Trapped, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Newton becoming hit. These films received audiences love as well as were critically acclaimed. Just like last year, his 2018 also proved a successful one. Raj was seen in two completely different films this year - Omerta and Stree. In Hansal Mehta's Omerta, Rao played the role of a ruthless British-Pakistani terrorist named Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. To get into the skin of the character of a real person who has done so many wrong things, it was definitely a challenging journey for the actor.
His another release this year was Amar Kaushik's horror-comedy Stree. The film also stars Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee. In Stree, Rajkummar Rao played the role of a tailor from Chanderi who falls in love with this pretty looking lady who visits the town during the time of puja. Stree became Raj's first film to enter the 100 crore club. It is also one of the most successful films of 2018. In an EXCLUSIVE interview with Pinkvilla, we asked Rajkummar about his thoughts on having his films perform so well in two consecutive years and how is he looking forward to 2019.
Read the interview below:
After 2017, 2018 also proved successful for you. What are your thoughts on it?
It's been great. Both 2017 and 2018 were very fruitful. My films did really well and my work got appreciated a lot. It's overwhelming and I feel very happy and the way it's going, I have a lot of gratitude.
What have you learned or taken along with you with the success of every film or yours?
I have never really calculated my career. I just listen to my heart and it's a very impulsive process for me. The things that I always liked and I always wanted to do them and I ended up doing them. Most of them worked in my favour. Learning has always been 'Listen to your heart. Do what you feel like'.
This year saw many content-driven winning it at the box office and also garnered audience appreciation. You played two different roles this year in Omerta and Stree. How does it feel when content is loved?
That was the fun part. As an actor, I am playing this deadly playing and also a lover boy from Chanderi. I think that's the fun of being an actor. That's what I would want my career to be - to play some extremely contrasting characters. When people appreciate my efforts in those characters, there's nothing more I could ask for. It just makes my belief stronger. As I said earlier, just believe in what you believe and everything will fall in place.
Tell us about your projects in 2019
2019 is exciting and I have some really exciting films releasing, starting with Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. We showed the trailer to a couple of people and there were great reactions. Then there's Mental Hai Kya with Kangana Ranaut, there's Made in China about which I am really excited which is releasing in August. And then I have Turram Khan with Hansal Mehta and Luv Ranjan.
What is your character like in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga?
My character's name is Sahil Mirza. He is somebody who wants to do things on his own terms. He is a theatre writer and director. He does theatre and plays for a living. He is a great friend, loving, caring and somebody who understands things; the whole relationship between Sonam and me and Juhi ma'am. A lot of relationships this film deals with - Sonam and Anil sir, Anil sir and me.
From the past 2 years, you have been doing back-to-back films. Do you ever feel tired or have you thought of taking a small break?
No, I love it immensely to feel tired. You can't feel tired of breathing because that's something you have to do. Same goes for me in terms of acting. The day I will feel that I am getting repetitive or I am just playing the same parts in all my films, that will be the day I will take a break. But as long as I am offered different characters and get really exciting stories from the filmmakers, there is no reason for me to say no.
You once said in an interview earlier that you are at that stage of your career where you can make 4 mistakes in your choices. Do you believe that?
Knowingly, of course, nobody wants to make mistakes. Sometimes, of course, you think that everything is going great. But our audience, they don't connect to the story or the character. In my case, touch wood, people connect to the character. But sometimes people don't relate to a film but that's something we will never know. We will have to keep exploring, keep trying. Some things will work, some won't. You just can't sit at home thinking that why didn't it work. You have to move on, you have to keep working and give it another shot.
Are Patralekhaa and you planning to get married anytime soon?
We will definitely let people know when we decide to get married or whenever we plan something. Right now, there's nothing in our minds.