“I didn’t think

Mandate - - Actor -

it would take me eight years, but you see, I’m crazy,” said Rahul Bhat, smear­ing his in­dex fin­ger with ketchup off his plate, and lick­ing it off. It was well past eight in the evening, and we had just wrapped up a rather crazy photo shoot with Rahul, the man ev­ery­one is rav­ing about post Ugly. I say crazy be­cause I couldn’t have ex­plained it in bet­ter terms. What do you call a shoot where you turn up at some­one’s house with a cam­era crew, barge straight into the bed­room, ran­sack the wardrobe for out­fits and then barge out with equal fer­vour, with Rahul him­self yelling, “Ready, let’s shoot boys!”

For the few hours that fol­lowed, Rahul Bhat’s not- so-hum­ble abode—a du­plex apart­ment in one of Juhu’s tallest sky-rises—had turned into a film set, with all its idio­syn­cra­sies and chaos. But he didn’t seem to mind. It gave the im­pres­sion that he en­joyed the chaos, al­most adding to it at times. His hawk- eyed manager had in­structed us to wrap up by 6 pm, but here we were, sit­ting cross-legged in a foot­ball hur­dle, gorg­ing on home­made sand­wiches, and Rahul was still in no mood to let go of this mo­ment of chaos.

“Ar­rey chai lao jaldi. Masala chai, adrak wali,” he in­structed his cook, who com­plied with Ninja-like speed. And thus the mood was set. “There was a point when I was de­pressed, an­gry. I was cry­ing. I was like, ‘What the hell, I’m an ac­tor and I know I can pull off se­ri­ous roles. But I used to look around and see medi­ocre ac­tors get­ting ahead,’” he started, with­out me hav­ing to egg him on. “So, now that I’ve got what I’ve got, I’m not go­ing to crib about it com­ing late in life.” A lit­tle walk down mem­ory lane, and it wouldn’t be dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber the Rahul Bhat who de­buted with Heena, a woman- cen­tric tele­vi­sion drama in the ’90s, op­po­site Si­mone Singh. By that time, Rahul was al­ready an es­tab­lished model, and Heena had come at the right time for him, help­ing him re­alise his dreams of be­com­ing an ac­tor. A dream that led this Kash­miri Pan­dit boy to pack his bags and turn up in Mumbai.

Rahul’s act­ing ca­reer was a serendip­i­tous jour­ney, for lit­tle did he know that an ac­quain­tance formed 12 years ago would to­day turn into his most fruit­ful li­ai­son. “Anurag (Kashyap) and I weren’t thick friends ever but we knew each other. Twelve years ago, when we both had just come to Bom­bay dur­ing our strug­gling days, so to speak, we were in the same lo­cal­ity in PMGP Colony, And­heri East, in a small one­room unit each. But some­how, I had left an im­pres­sion on him,” he said, re­veal­ing how he landed in Ugly. Kashyap had said in sev­eral in­ter­views that one rea­son he cast Rahul as Rahul Kapoor in the film was be­cause he thought that his por­trayal of a strug­gler would be true to life. Hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced the harder side of life, he’d be able to jus­tify the emo­tional highs and lows of a strug­gler. But Rahul doesn’t quite agree with this. “My strug­gle has been very dif­fer­ent,” said Rahul, shak­ing his head in de­nial. “I got my mod­el­ling break pretty early, and then I was off the dingy lanes of PMGP and was stay­ing in a posh lo­cal­ity. I was mak­ing a lot of money through mod­el­ling and then, Heena hap­pened. My strug­gle ac­tu­ally started post Nayi Pa­dosan, and it was a dif­fer­ent kind of strug­gle al­to­gether. It wasn’t just about find­ing work, but

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.