This was the best year of my life: Rajkummar Rao
The actor shrugs off disappointment that his critically acclaimed Newton didn’t make it to the final Oscar list
Rajkummar Rao, who has had six releases this year, says it has been an exceptional year for him “because of the number of releases and also because most of my releases this year were box office successes. Just hard work is not enough. Your films have to succeed too.”
He also starred in a web series on Subhas Chandra Bose, Bose: Dead/Alive. “It was widely viewed, perhaps even more than any of my big screen films. So I am very grateful for that.” The actor adds that he is thankful to all the filmmakers who thought of him for all these parts: “I just hope 2018 remains as exciting.”
Excerpts from an interview:
What do you consider to be the high points of the year for you?
Many highs during the year. I’d say Bareilly Ki Barfi because my character was appreciated by the masses. No one thought I’d be able to do a character like Vidrohi and that too in such a hardcore commercial film. Now that people have seen me playing such a fun part, I hope they will offer me more light-hearted entertainers — not that I don’t enjoy playing roles with political ramifications.
Yes, Newton. I got widespread appreciation in a solo lead after a long time. And the kind of success Newton saw was immense. The kind of numbers it did was totally unexpected. Of course, I knew we were doing a very special film. The fact that it was such a game-changer was a welcome bonus.
Are you disappointed that it didn’t make it into the final Oscar shortlist?
We made a wonderful film. We are super proud of it. We got worldwide appreciation for it. So, no, not disappointed.
What are your comments on Padmavati, which is beset by protests. Do you foresee similar roadblocks for your film, Omerta, in whih you play terror mastermind, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh?
I am just waiting to see Padmavati like everyone else. As for any trouble for Omerta, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Like Newton, Omerta has received widespread appreciation all across the world. We are hoping for a quick release in India and are excited about it.
How is your ankle healing after the fracture recently?
It’s 95 per cent healed. I am walking and I hope to run soon.
What can we expect from Rajkummar Rao in 2018?
I have an exciting lineup in 2018. There is Hansal Mehta’s Omerta to begin with, which we discussed. It’s followed by Fanney Khan with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anil (Kapoor) sir, and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha with Sonam Kapoor, which is produced by Vinod Chopra.
So there will be a lot of shooting and a lot of releases. What more could an actor ask for? 2017 was the best year of my life. I hope 2018 is even better.