‘Proud of Indian actors making it in the West’
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