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I want to grow as an actor: Rajkummar Rao

I want to grow as an actor: Rajkummar Rao

By Sanya Pandey

New Delhi, Nov 15 (UNI) National Award winning actor Rajkummar Rao, who is making his digital debut with the much-awaited ALTBalaji’s web-series 'Bose: Dead/Alive' says he does films that he believes in and he just wants to grow as an actor.

Talking to UNI, Rajkummar who was in the national capital to promote his debut web series 'Bose: Dead/Alive' said," I don't really think that I have changed the trend of being a typical conventional hero. I am just working constantly. I do films that I believe in and that excites me as an actor. I just want to grow as an actor.'

'I believe that it's your character that people remember and like and I feel very glad that I got some very wonderful characters, especially this year like--"Trapped', 'Newton', 'Bareilly ki Barfi', 'Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana' and 'Omerta' which would be coming now and of course the iconic 'Bose',' Rajkumar said.

Asked how he felt on getting this opportunity to play the iconic character of Subhash Chandra Bose, the 'Citylights' fame actor said,"It's a very big opportunity . I feel very positive that I got this opportunity as an actor to play this character on screen.'

On the preparation he went through to exactly look like Bose, Rajkumar said,"Playing Netaji on screen is one of the most fascinating experiences for me. It's not an easy task to portray him on screen. There was a lot of preparation involved starting from reading a lot about him through his autobiography and some other available books, watching lot of documentaries, videos that were available on the Youtube, and visiting his house in Kolkata, learning a new language.'

It's not an easy part and I am not a conventional cast to play Netaji. I gained 13 kgs of weight, going half bald to try and look as close to him as possible. However, more than the look I tried to catch his passion and his unconditional love for his motherland and his drive and vision. For me it’s the emotional journey which is more important than the physical appearance,' he said.

When asked that what is it that Hansal Mehta, who is a creative director for the film, is able to capture within him that works so well on screen,, Rajkummar said," I think he throws lot of challenges to me as an actor because he has seen me since the beginning of my career. He always pushes me as an actor, which I like a lot, because as an actor I really love challenges. I like playing different characters, I like doing things that I might think I won't be able to do for example 'Bose'.

I couldn't have imagined myself playing 'Bose', and now 'Omerta'--I have no idea about that world and that territory, but when Hansal imagined me in those characters, I thought why should I not give a try.'

On the process he follows while playing characters, the 'Newton' fame actor said,"I can't really put my process in words. It's a process that I learnt in my film school, my theatre training helped me a lot. So it's a learning process, and the process also differs with every film."

On his favourite genre, the actor said he is still figuring it out that which genre is he more comfortable with whether-- light fun stories or hard hitting dark stories.

"I don't want to be in any kind of comfort zone," he said.

Talking about working with ALT Balaji after having worked with them in his debut film "Love Sex aur Dhoka", Rajkummar said,"It's the same. Ekta is a dear friend and we share an amazing bond. I really respect her. Her contribution, the kind of films she has made, she has contributed a lot to the Indian cinema and the television. So it's always fun to work with her because more than professional it's personal."

On his thoughts on the emerging digital media, Rajkummar said,"I think this is going to be a parallel industry running with the mainstream cinema. In the West it's already happening, there are so many big people from the films that are working in the web series and digital shows. And it has started growing in India now, and of course it still has time to cover up but I think it has begun on a good note. And I am very happy as it generates lot of employment and it allows you to play with your content and choose your content fearlessly."

On how he felt on 'Newton' getting selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars, the actor said,"I was elated, and superexcited and proud of the film that we have made. Of course it is India's Oscar entry but our team has been in the US since a long time campaigning for the movie. There is a lot of competition because more than 90 countries are there, so we will try our level best and hope for the best," he said.

When asked how much national awards matter to him as an actor, Rajkummar said,"It matters a lot. It is the most prestigious award we have in our country. I felt extremely happy when I the got national award for 'Shahid' and I love getting awards. It feels like I have done something."

Whether his life has changed after the national award, Rajkummar said,"probably not from my side.But I think people's perception has changed. I am still the same person. Nobody makes a film thinking that I am making this film because I want an award. People just make it and of course it touches somebody's chord and we get an award."

Talking about Pulkit who has directed the webseries and how was it working with him, Rajkummar said,"It was great. He is a young talented boy, and I think he has a great future ahead. I had a wonderful time working with him and found a friend in him. His process was quite similar to Hansal sir process, so for me it was like to be on the same set."

Talking about Patralekha as an actress, Rajkummar said,"I worked with her in 'Citylights' which was her debut film and I think she was phenomenal in that movie. I have immense respect for her, and her work. She is beautiful and an amazing girl. She is always there to support me and inspires me just with her energy."

Whether marriage is on the cards, Rajkummar said,"No. Right now, we both are working and focusing on our respective careers. It will happen eventually."

On the film front, Rajkummar said 'Omerta' and 'Fanney Khan' will be coming soon.

The web-series captures the British era, paying attention to the tiniest detailing in terms of art direction, costumes and even casting. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Mahatma Gandhi and even Hitler, all the actors playing these historic figures look every bit their part.

Bose: Dead/Alive is the story of mystery surrounding the death of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

UNI PY/AR SV 1113

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