Rajkummar Rao Speaks To Subhash K Jha On Life After His Leg Injury

What losses have your broken ankle caused?

I’ve lost three days when I was in the hospital otherwise everything is on track. I have been dubbing and also promoting SHAADI MEIN ZAROOR AANA. The only unfortunate part is that we had to push Fanney Khan’s shoot and I feel bad for my team and producers Kriarj, ROMP & T Series but they have been so supportive and wonderful to me. I’ll be back in action 4-5 weeks max.

You seem to be going through an exceptionally prolific year?

It’s certainly one of the best years of my career but I never planned it like this. I was just shooting for all these films last year and this year and they all released this year. It was just a coincidence .But no complains. I feel very blessed that I’m part of all these wonderful films. I know not every year is going to be the same but I’ll try and keep doing different films and push myself with every film.

Now you have another release coming up?

Yes, SHAADI MEIN ZAROOR AANA(SMZA) is a very sweet romantic drama. It’s a first for me in this genre but I had a really good time shooting for it. We had a great team and a really wonderful script. It gave me a lot of scope to perform as an actor because there are two different personality trait of my character in it.

It looks like another smalltown romcom like Bareilly Ki Barfi. Isn’t that becoming a bit of a problem?

“SMZA” is set in small town but it’s not our usual small town romcoms. As an actor I try to keep it as versatile as possible.If I and doing Bareilly Ki Barfi, Behen Hogi Teri or Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana though they are set in small towns but they all should be different from each other. 70-80% our country lives in small towns and they definitely feel a connect to these stores and these characters. I feel the small town romcom has a charm and you can find so many characters in them that it’s fun to explore. Even if it’s a formula also it’s a sweet formula to experiment with.

What was it like working with the SMZA team?

I had a really good time shooting with our team. Ratna ma’am(director Ratna Sinha) is such a wonderful person and she has done a marvellous job as a debut director.My co-star Kriti Kharbanda is very passionate and a very sincere actor. She was always there whenever I needed her as a co-actor and she is amazing in the film. It’s her best work till date. Vinod (Bachchan) sir is a very passionate producer. He has given all the freedom to Ratna ma’am to follow her vision and never interfered. We lived like a one big family in Lucknow for 40-45 days.

In the meanwhile your other film Hansal Mehta’s Omerta has been received warmly at MAMI, Busan and Toronto Film Festival?

Omerta is a very powerful film I feel. As an actor it took a tool on my mental health. It wasn’t an easy character to portray but Hansal sir pushed me to my limits. We made this film with lot of honesty and passion and it’s an antagonist story so that way it was a first for us. It feels great when audiences like our effort and can see the honesty in our films. Toronto, MAMI and Busan are all major festivals and am really happy that we had such an overwhelming response.

How do you manage to be so effective in spite of doing so much work?

I wish I knew if am effective or not. I always feel very nervous before starting any new film and probably it’s this fear only that pushes me to work harder every time. I try and live all my characters sincerely and try and make them believable.

What are you hopes from SMZA?

It’s a romantic drama with some wonderful characters in it and as I said earlier, I try to do different stories or to play my characters differently. Am hoping that audience will see Sattu and Aarti in the film and not Raj and Kriti.


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