Sushant Singh Rajput: “Boxoffice Success Means Little To Me”

As   the  very committed Sushant Singh  Rajput’s new starrer Sonechiriya opens to overwhelming reviews and underwhelming boxoffice performance, the actor simply smiles at  the irony of it.

“I’d like  Sonechirya to be  appreciated  for all  the hard  work that our director Abhishek Choubey has  put in…In fact all of us actors and technicians  slogged  in the Chambal heat.It feels  nice when the  reviews appreciate  one’s efforts. I’ve never sought fame or fortune.Never been enamoured  of  the  100-crore club,” says  Sushant without the arrogant  vanity of the so-called avant garde actors  who revel  in their  failure to connect with audiences.

  Not that Sushant is  a stranger to  success. His  large-screen debut  Kai Po Che  was  a  hit  and  the Dhoni  bio-pic was a blockbuster.

 Reasons the  selfconfessed  famished actor, “I’d say the  success of  those  films was a happy accident. It’s not as  if I set  out to  make these films a success. Humein isse blockbuster banana hai…nothing  of that sort! I work entirely for my job satisfaction.  Otherwise  I could have made money in any other  profession. I am here to make  a difference, firstly to myself. When I  look back on  my body of work I  want to feel a  sense  of pride.Whether  it isKai Po Che, Byomkesh Bakshi, Dhoni,  Kedarnath or  Sonechiriya, I am happy and proud  to be associated with these  films.”

Sushant admits he likes  to surrender  completely  to his  characters. “I wouldn’t be able to  sleep peacefully  if I didn’t  give all  of myself  to every character  I accept. Agar main apne kirdaar  ko theek  se pehchan na  paaonusski antar-aatma  ko choo na loon toh yeh toh beimaani  hogi(if I  don’t  get to know my  character well and  touch its  essence it would be  a betrayal). Either I  don’t accept a  film.Or  if I do,  I surrender  to it completely.”

Shooting for  his outlaw’s role in Sonechiriya Sushant spend  days and weeks  preparing himself, staying unwashed , unfed, unattended. “My character  wants to surrender to the  law. I surrendered to the  law  of  selfdiscipline that I’ve  made for my job.  What I found  in  common between  my characters  in  Kedarnath and Sonechiriya was  that core  of humanity. Mujhe woh pakadna ttha(I had  to catch that).Baqi success  or failure is not something  I understand.”

Is the perennial  determination to do   out-of-box characters constantly  a big cross to carry?

Sushant avers, “Not at all! It isn’t as  if I have set  out to do  out-of-box characters from the beginning  of my film career. These are  the roles that have  appealed  to me. I am open to doing  the  massy type of films, provided the script  appeals  to me. I would love to do  a full-on masala  film.And I am  not the  only contemporary actor doing  out-of-box  films.Rajkummar Rao, Vicky Kaushal,Ayushmann Khurrana are also doing films that are removed from conventional entertainment, and  doing very well for themselves.”

Does  the  lack of boxoffice success not bother Sushant at all? “Like I said, I feel there is  appreciation  for all the hard work  being put  in my films. Maybe in my case it doesn’t show in boxoffice  figures. But as  long as I’ve the freedom and  power to do the  kind  of films I want  to I am in a  comfortable place.”

Currently Sushant  is shooting for  Nitesh Tiwari’s Chichore, and not  for a second does Sushant  feel he is shooting with  the  director  of  the  mega-hit Dangal.

“I am having so much  fun shooting for  Chichore  . The atmosphere is relaxed  and positive.We’re having a  blast.  As  far as  I  am concerned I  am working in a film that has already given me what I  want.”

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