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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

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Unfolding the 'Raj' of Aag
Parmita Uniyal, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 29, 2007
First Published: 17:19 IST(29/8/2007)
Last Updated: 15:08 IST(28/6/2008)
Newcomer Prashant Raaj in a still from the film Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.

One just cannot miss that spark in his eyes, as Prashant Raj, who is playing 'Raj' in Ram Gopal Varma's Aag, gets talking about his journey from modelling to Bollywood boulevard.

He is clearly the jack-of-all-trades and master of his instincts. His interests are as diverse as his career moves. He's a golfer, movie buff, fitness freak, avid traveller and what not. He also wanted to do a Big adventure reality show for AXN.

"I am a strong believer in destiny. I was all set to make my career in event management in Los Angeles, before I got the offer from Ram Gopal Varma. It was the company of one of my very close friends. So, you see I had different plans at that time and they changed."

Not that he is complaining. Prashant Raj, the first runner-up of Grasim Manhunt feel blessed having worked with a filmmaker like Ram Gopal Varma.<b1>

"I feel blessed that I got a break in Ram Gopal Varma's film. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and the entire process of learning while shooting for the film is unforgettable for me."

Big B and his humble persona
Contrary to how other newcomers go numb at the sight of legendary Amitabh Bachchan, Prashant was the first one to ask him a question.

"It was amazing talking to him for the first time. Every Indian wants to meet him and I was working with him. It naturally gave me a high. He has the innate quality of making people comfortable. He is truly a superstar. I still remember his encouraging words."

Sushmita, the mesmeriser
Unlike Amitabh, it took a while before Prashant could break the ice with Sushmita Sen.<b2>

"Susmita Sen is my leading lady in the film. I was unnerved when I met her for the first time. Actually I was nervous because my first scene with her got postponed due to some reason. But once we met and talked, we gelled well. She is the powerhouse of positive energy. She looks straight at your eyes and you can feel the warmth of her personality."

"I feel that she has got that ex-factor. She is simply amazing."

Ajay, the prankster
Prashant cannot forget his experience of working with Ajay as they got along like a house on fire.

"My chemistry with Ajay Devgan was rocking both on screen as well as off screen. He is such a prankster and I was one of the victims of his pranks. I was talking to Ajay's friend when Ajay appeared from nowhere and put his hands on me. Before I could get what was happening, something started exploding like - tad tad tad and I realised that while talking Ajay had put a ladi (a cracker) near me. I chilled out a lot with him."

Future frame
So, where does this effervescent dude see himself in future? "I haven't fixed any genres for myself neither do I want to work with a fixed set of people. I would love to work with as many people as possible and do justice to my role."

On being asked if it's the script, co-stars or director that matter to him while signing a film, he says: "I think it should be a combination of all. The opportunity should be good."

In love with a Delhi gal
On inquiring about the dude's love life, he smiles and replies, "Yes, I am dating a Delhi girl. She is the face for Zoom."

Can he drop any other hints about the identity of his ladylove?

"Now that is up to you guys to find out", he signs off.


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