‘My wife has given me 15 days to en­joy all the lime­light’

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - Live - - Entertainment - Shreya Mukher­jee shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com

Ac­tor Ga­jraj Rao feels he’s liv­ing a dream. Ever since di­rec­tor Amit Ravin­der­nath Sharma’s Bad­haai Ho hit the screens a cou­ple of weeks ago, the ac­tor has been in­un­dated with praise. In the film, he por­trays the mid­dle-class gov­ern­ment em­ployee Jee­tender Kaushik, who finds him­self about to be­come a new dad — a bit of a shock, since he al­ready has adult chil­dren. Neena Gupta plays his wife, preg­nant at a late age.

The comedic fam­ily drama has be­come a huge box-of­fice hit — rak­ing in more than four times its mod­est bud­get — and Ga­jraj is now a face that just about ev­ery­one recog­nises when­ever he’s out in pub­lic. Peo­ple come up to him to say how much they like his work.

“The story of the film and what we fi­nally made out of it was ob­vi­ously good,” says the ac­tor. “But I never ex­pected this kind of a re­sponse. Peo­ple are walk­ing up to me, tak­ing my name, and shar­ing the par­tic­u­lar scenes of mine that they liked in the film. The one per­son who’s keep­ing me grounded [amid all this], is my wife (Sanjana Rao). She has given me 15 days to en­joy all the lime­light and then asked me to move on soon af­ter.”

Asked what the best com­pli­ment has been so far, Rao says that it came from a friend’s friend, who lives in Chicago, US: “He sent me a screen­shot of a mes­sage, from his US-based (fe­male) friend. She wrote that the way Jee­tender sup­ports (his wife) Priyam­vada and looks at her, she’d want her hus­band to look at her the same way.”

The ac­tor, who has been in Black Fri­day (2007), Aamir (2008), and Tal­var (2015), also shares that he’s now get­ting a lot of film of­fers, “but maza nahi aa raha hai”, and so he’s “ready to wait for the right kind of films” to come his way.

PHOTO: RAAJESSH KASHYAP/HT

Ac­tor Ga­jraj Rao; and (in­set) a still from Bad­haai Ho, with Neena Gupta

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