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Rajkummar Rao On Playing Terrorist Omar Saeed Sheikh In Omerta

Subhash K . Jha

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Rajkummar Rao  Speaks To Subhash K Jha On  Playing Terror Kingpin Ahmed  Omar Saeed Sheikh In  Hansal Mehta’s Omerta

Omertà gives you a chance to explore the psyche of a terrorist.what did you get to know about terror and terrorists ?

I got to learn a lot about this whole dark chapter ,dark truth that we are going through in our society.Terrorism of course is very scary, very dark .The entire time when  I was in process of shooting this film I was really disturbed because I was trying to be in that frame of mind .I used to think like Omar and I used to be in his mind , like how he will react to things .

What did you conclude on the global eruption  of  terrorism?

I will say this.There is so much of hated that these terrorists carry among themselves these days which is so strong and these terrorists are nothing but strong brainwashed boys who I suspect felt like victims at one point of time… not all of them but some of them felt like victims when they are young and they wanted to do something about it.Then these militant leaders just came and brainwashed them and they just took advantage of them and then took them to this path of destruction, which is very sad and I hope that we do something about it because this is happening all around us .

How much research went into understand the mind of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh?

There was lot of research I did for this role. I started reading books  about different terrorist organizations. I wanted to know the history of  how it all started , when and why it all started and then about Omar….Actually Hansal Mehta did lot of research about him as he was writing this script since 2005.So he gave me lot of material about him , about his childhood, about his family background , about his education and what all he has done .

Did  you make an attempt to look  like the actual  terrorist?

For me,  more than getting into physical transformation it was more of a mental transformation because  I needed to play him  convincingly . For that I needed to understand  his mind.

Why do you think it is important to make films on such violent characters ?

They are part of our system and we can’t ignore them.There are people like Omar also.Of  course  there are people like Shahid(lawyer-activist ShahidAzmi played by Rajkummar in Hansal Mehta’s film)  also in our society.But Omar, as I said , is the dark truth of our society and it is very important to be aware about such people and to know about what is happening in our society  and in every part  of  the world .

Farhan Akhtar says given the crime rate in our society he would be loath to play negative characters . What is your take on this ?

I try to do all kinds of films .I try to play all kinds of characters. I can’t just play  good boys all the time.As an actor it is very challenging when you have to do a character like Omar Sheikh who is completely black as I could not see any other shade in him , like off- white or grey , he is just black . Period.

What were the most difficult scenes to shoot and why?

There were actually lot of scenes which were very difficult to shoot especially for me .It was very tough character as I have no idea about such a dark violent character . I could not relate to him and I did not know anybody like him .So to understand his psyche and play him was very tough .But once I understood him, once I figured him out I was at ease as I said  I was trying to understand his psyche . I was trying to live him throughout, and then there were some really hard hitting scenes which were sometimes very violent .Sometimes there were lot of internal violence But as an actor I tried to do them with as much conviction as I could.

Was  it hard for you  to  understand Omar’s  belief in  violence as  jihad?

As me,  Raj I don’t believe in his ideology. I condemn any form of violence .But as an actor it is my duty that if I am playing a character I have to surrender myself  and my ideology.  I have to give  a voice to the character’s soul, no matter how tainted.In this case of course it  is a villain’s story .But I had to make this villain convincing. I had to  make him truthful and that is what I was doing . I can’t pinpoint  just one scene.There were really really hard-hitting scenes which were disturbing for all of us even while shootings them .

As a responsible citizen and a powerful artiste how important is it for you to make your voice heard against social injustice?

It is very important.It doesn’t matter if you are an artist or not. It is very important just as being citizen , as a human being it is very important to voice your opinion and to say what you feel about issues that  influence society and you can’t be politically correct all the time . So if something is wrong, it is wrong …it’s  as simple as that.At least what you can do is to  express  your feelings , tell people what is wrong and then condemn it in whatever way . You can’t be quiet and say that until it is not happening to me it is fine .No , it is not fine.You need to go out there and voice out your opinion .

Tell me about your forthcoming projects?

Of course there is Omertà which is coming now and then there is  a  freak horror comedy with Shraddha Kapoor which I am excited about.Then there is Fannie Khan with Anil Sir and Aishwarya and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha with Sonam and Anil sir ,Mental Hai Kya which I just started shooting for,So this is an exciting year, exciting times ahead.I am hoping for the best and I hope that  this year will be as  rewarding  for me as last year.

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Vipul Shah To Direct Singh Is King Sequel With Arjun Kapoor?   

Subhash K . Jha

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 11 years after Singh Is Kinng made Akshay Kumar the turbaned superstar of Bollywood the beleaguered franchise is all set for a sequel provided the legal logistics are sorted out.   

This time the leading man would be played by Arjun Kapoor who stars in Vipul Shah’s ready for release Namaste England. The Singh Is Kinng franchise has been embroiled in a dispute of ownership between producer Vipul Shah and director Anees Bazmi.  Three years back Akshay even collaborated with Prabhudheva in a camouflaged sequel of Singh Is Kinng entitled Singh Is Bling ,as the original title was not available to the producers . But now it looks like Singh Is Kinng will finally have a sequel with Arjun Kapoor stepping into Akshay’s shoes. A formidable task indeed. Would Arjun make as convincing and engaging a turbanator as Akshay?

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Will Mahesh Bhatt Resurrect Aditya Roy Kapoor’s Career?

Subhash K . Jha

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Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak 2 will be a litmus test for several careers.Not only is Mahesh Bhatt making a comeback to direction after  19 years his daughter Pooja Bhatt returns to acting after a huge hiatus .

Would Sadak 2 resurrect these careers?
As for Sanjay Dutt,he has not had a success since his return from incarceration
But the career that needs the optimum push right now is that of Aditya Roy Kapoor .After a spectacular impact in Aashiqui 2 Aditya’s career has gone downhill at a rapid pace
Apparently there was a debate among the Bhatt’s whether to cast Ranbir Kapoor alongside Alia Bhatt as the second pair in Sadak 2.
Says a source in the know ,”It was Alia’s idea to persuade her father to return to direction with Sadak 2 .While Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt  the original lead pair from Sadak, were a given it was the other pair that  the Bhatt’s mulled over .While Ranbir was the obvious first choice opposite Alia,the languishing Aditya Roy Kapoor finally bagged the part.Mahesh believes his career can be revived .”

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Anup Jalota’s Relationship With Jasleen Matharu Nothing But A Publicity Stunt

Subhash K . Jha

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The scorching chemistry between veteran ghazal-bhajan singer Anup Jalota and Model Jasleen Matharu in Bigg Boss  has stirred up quite a controversy and raised many conservative eyebrows. 
The raised  eyebrows  can rest easy .The entire linkup is nothing but a gimmick to add spice to an otherwise-bland season of Bigg Boss.
A source very close to Jalota who wishes to remain unnamed spills the beans. “Anup can never ever fall in love again.He was completely in love with his wife Medha and when she died of a chronic heart ailment a few years back something within him died with her. To insinuate a relationship with a girl who is 40 years his junior is just a means of generating cheap scandal.”
The source also reveals that the Jalota Jasleen liaison had been “fixed” before the show began.
“It was decided beforehand.We are only surprised that Anupji agreed to something so cheesy, ” says the source,assuring Jalota’s fans it will all over the Singer is out of the Bigg Boss house.
Surely there are more decent ways to create interest for a show that has exhausted all its potential to attract attention?

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