Bollywood actor Rajkumar Rao has done a variety of films in his/her film career spanning over a decade. After making her debut with ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’, she won the hearts of the audience with many movies like ‘Trapped’, ‘Stree’, ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’. Rajkumar, who was recently seen opposite Bhumi Pednekar in Anubhav Sinha’s film ‘Bheed’, is soon going to debut on OTT as well. Rajkumar, who came to Delhi, had a special conversation with us:
Nowadays very few people are going to the cinema to watch movies. how do you feel about this?
We all want people to watch movies. We make films only to show them to people. But still I don’t get too impressed before the release of the film. Actually, my focus is more on the feedback of the people than on the box office. I want that if even four out of ten people go to the cinema and see my film and they say what a film has been made, then it will be good for me. Instead of eight out of ten people watching my film and saying that they have seen it, but it is a lot of nonsense. My attention is on those four people only. However, like everyone else, I also want ten out of ten people to watch my film and appreciate it.
Has the choice of the audience really changed after Covid, due to which fewer people are going to the cinema?
There is no doubt that during Kovid due to OTT people have seen so much international cinema that they have understood quality versus quantity. Of course this is a lesson for us actors as well. Now we cannot take the audience for granted. If we do not give them some good content or good experience on the big screen, they will not come to the theaters to watch movies and would prefer to watch movies sitting at their homes. This has come as a challenge, which seems that now we have to give something new to the audience.
How do you manage to do so many different genres of films?
I believe that as an actor, you really enjoy when you play different genres without getting stuck in any one image. Then we become actors also so that we can do different types of characters. I consider myself lucky that people have given me so much love that filmmakers give me opportunities to do so many different roles.
What factors do you keep in mind while selecting movies?
While selecting films, the first thing I look at is its economics. Of course, we cannot tell the fate of a film before its release. Many times it happens that even big films get bombed at the box office. While small budget films like Stree do well. Apart from this, before signing the film, I see the team of the film that its producers are good, directors are good and their team is also good. Apart from this, if my role in the film is also good, then I immediately sign the film in the hope that it will be a lot of fun doing it. I know that the economics of that film are correct, so even if the film doesn’t work, the producer will not suffer much loss. It is my endeavor that the budget of my film is not so much that the producer is in loss. Touchwood has not made a loss to the producer in all my films so far. Even if all my films have not earned 100 crores at the box office.
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You appeared in the film ‘Bheed’ based on the lockdown. Any experience during the lockdown that you would like to share with our readers?
See the first lockdown was the same for all of us, in which everyone was at home. During that time it also felt that after working continuously for so many years, I have got a few months leave. We come from a privileged background, so we can sit at home without working for two-three months. But the second wave made my heart tremble. Although during that time I myself had also got Kovid. Still I jumped in to help people. I helped people as much as I could. I worked a lot during that time. But still I used to feel very sad to see so many people losing their lives everyday and I used to think when will we come out of this difficult time. Of course, during that time we have gone through a great tragedy.
After your almost a decade long acting career, which genre of films do you most enjoy doing?
I am thankful to the almighty that I am not tied to any particular genre yet and I don’t even want to be. Actually, if you start liking doing films of a particular genre and find comfort in it, then it is very painful. That’s why I am always on the lookout for new types of movies. I want to do thriller, romance, comedy and drama. You will see that in the last few days my films Badhaai Do, Oh My Darling and Rush have come. Apart from this, my upcoming films are based on different types of stories and made with different people. Right now my focus is only on good stories. Kovid has taught me that there is no trust in life. You don’t know when what will happen. That’s why at least we should do such work, which gives happiness. As long as you are not happy yourself by doing your work, then the person in front cannot be happy with it.
How much has your life changed after your marriage with Patralekha?
These days I am more happy. After marriage, I feel a completeness in myself. Patralekha is also very active on the acting front after marriage. he/she has many good films to come. I am especially excited about his/her projects.
Nowadays in the film industry, heroines are getting a lot of work even after marriage. How do you see it?
I consider this a very good change. Nothing happens that after marriage you change something in terms of work, whether you are a boy or a girl. It is simply an institution that you have chosen for yourself and someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. I don’t think this should bring any change in your professional life.
You are making your OTT debut soon. What would you say about your web series experience?
In today’s era, OTT has become a huge platform. Soon I will be seen in my first web series Guns N Roses with Raj & DK. Raj and DK are the kings of the OTT world. That’s why I am very excited about this web series. It is a crime comedy set in the nineties. I have really enjoyed working in it. If I talk about OTT, then its power is tremendous. Today, if we sit in India and know about Squid Game and Money Heist, then all this is the wonder of OTT.