Looking at his decade long career, Shahid and Stree star Rajkumar Rao says his journey in Bollywood is challenging and rewarding, but not without his share of challenges. The actor said that his late mother’s faith kept him up even on days when he had nothing when he moved from Gurgaon to Mumbai to chase his childhood dream.
Rao started his career 10 years ago with Dibakar Banerjee’s Love Sex and Deception and soon Kai Po Che! Earned acclaim for his performances in films such as Aligarh and Newton.
In an interview with PTI, the National Award winning actor spoke of completing a successful decade in the film industry. “The first two years when I was looking for work, it was very difficult. There were days when there was no money to buy food. But my mother gave me that confidence and she had this unwavering trust in me. I would call back home and they would send me money so that I could keep food at my table.
The 36-year-old Rao, a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), said that things started moving for him only after Banerjee’s found footage drama in 2010. But even when he was struggling, the idea of keeping his acting ambitions did not come to Rao’s mind.
“I never gave up, thought of going back and doing something else. I never brought Plan-B. This is what I have wanted to do since I was a child. Things started posting ‘LSD’ and the journey has been good ever since. When I look back, it feels real. I did not expect this to happen, to do all these amazing films and roles. I did not come to this city chasing fame or money. I really love it because I’m in the movies.
Not that when his success streak began, there was no setback. After being a frequent hit from the 2017 comedy Bareilly Ki Barfi, National Award-winning black comedy-drama Newton to the 2018 horror comedy Stree, Rao saw a failure with his 2019 Diwali release Made in China.
Rao said that despite the film’s failure, he is proud of the project as he sees the failures as only temporary. “I am proud of the film. There are also movies that I think I could have avoided, but that’s okay. I realized that you could not be less. The key is to get up and move on to the next one.
Further, Rao will be seen starring alongside Bhumi Pednekar in director Harshvardhan Kulkarni’s film Badayun Do. Supported by Junglee Pictures, the film is a sequel to the 2018 national award-winning hit Baddai Ho. The actor who played the policeman in the film said that the film was “not a proper sequel”.
Badhai continues the spirit of the two first films that told the story of a middle-aged couple experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and aiming to deliver timely messages in an engaging manner.
“It is a different world with new characters but our creators are the same. I am very happy with the way it has taken shape. Harshvardhan is a director to watch out for. Bhoomi and I had such a gala time that made the film. The audience will see me in a new light with this one. What we are trying to say with the film is important but we are saying it in an entertaining way. This is the kind of film that you will laugh while watching, but also take something back from home. “