‘Proud of In­dian ac­tors mak­ing it in the West’

HT Cafe - - Front Page - Sneha Ma­hade­van sneha.ma­hade­van@htlive.com

To say that Rajkummar Rao has had a fan­tas­tic year would be an un­der­state­ment. His last re­lease New­ton was cho­sen as In­dia’s of­fi­cial en­try to the Os­cars, and be­fore that his film Bareilly Ki Barfi was also well-re­ceived. Amidst all this, he is now gear­ing up for his next film — Shaadi Mein Za­roor Aana, a love story set in a small town. He has got a much-needed breather as the ac­tor frac­tured his foot re­cently. “I think it was God’s way of mak­ing me slow down (laughs). But I am still work­ing. I will be pro­mot­ing my films and my web se­ries. I have to fin­ish some dub­bing work as well,” he says.

Shaadi Mein Za­roor Aana sees him pair up with Kriti Khar­banda. After play­ing two di­a­met­ri­cally dif­fer­ent roles in Bareilly Ki Barfi, the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing sim­i­lar is what ex­cited him about this project. “Shaadi Mein Za­roor Aana is a love story about two peo­ple from Kan­pur and Al­la­habad, Ut­tar Pradesh. It deals with the life of an av­er­age In­dian, who gets ed­u­cated, then starts work­ing and then their par­ents ask them to meet a boy or a girl to ar­range their mar­riage. Th­ese two char­ac­ters meet and fall in love. But some­thing hap­pens on the day of the wed­ding and ev­ery­thing goes for a toss and their wed­ding is called off. Th­ese two char­ac­ters meet again after five years and are com­pletely changed as peo­ple. I could con­nect to the story and the ro­mance is very beau­ti­ful and real. That is how small town ro­mances are. Also, my char­ac­ter com­pletely changes in the sec­ond half and I thought that would be in­ter­est­ing to ex­plore,” he says.

While he is ex­cited about his next slate of projects — Omerta and a web se­ries on Sub­hash Chan­dra Bose, he is also look­ing for­ward to lob­by­ing for New­ton in USA. “My team has a plan and they’re about to leave for the US. We will try and ar­range as many screen­ings pos­si­ble there. We have hired a great pub­li­cist there and we are not go­ing to leave any stone un­turned. It’s a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity and honour for the team,” he says.

While we are talk­ing about Hol­ly­wood, we also ask him about his Hol­ly­wood plans. “I would love to but I am not do­ing any­thing as of now in that di­rec­tion. I don’t see any harm in it,” he says adding that he is proud of the work In­dian ac­tors are do­ing in the West. “I love watch­ing Priyanka Cho­pra, Deepika Padukone and Ir­rfan in their Hol­ly­wood films. I feel very proud when an In­dian ac­tor makes it to the West. Hol­ly­wood has a much big­ger au­di­ence be­cause of the lan­guage,” he says.

I would love to [work in Hol­ly­wood projects] but I am not do­ing any­thing as of now in that di­rec­tion. I don’t see any harm in it. RAJKUMMAR RAO, AC­TOR

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