Despite his debut Aamir (2008) opening to positive reviews; Rajeev Khandelwal had to wait for a year and half for the release of his second film. The actor says he is happy that his role in Bejoy Nambair’s Shaitan is being appreciated but doesn’t want to be compared to the original Angry Young Man. He says, “My character in Shaitan is hot-headed and intolerant to injustice, so people have been comparing me to Amitabh Bachchan. But he’s a legend.”
About the long wait for his second release, Rajeev reminisces that he wanted Peter Gaya Kaam Se to be his next, saying, “The film was almost complete. For reasons best known to (producers) UTV, they haven’t decided on a release date.” The actor says he distanced himself from the project when he realised things were not moving. He says, “I went on a long trip to Ladakh, planned a world trip for my parents, celebrated their 40th anniversary. I got engaged in 2010 to my girlfriend Manjiri Kamtikar, who is now my wife. Planning my engagement was as much a task as preparing for a film.”
Rajeev insists he wasn’t worried when Peter… didn’t work out. He says, “People warned me against quitting when I left Kahiin To Hoga (2003-2007), but I went on to do interesting work.”
Rajeev also hosted Sach Ka Saamna, the Indian version of international hit Moment Of Truth. It was considered radical for asking contestants personal questions on national TV. He says, “A lot was on my mind when I was asking those tough questions. I marvelled at the contestants’ courage to own up to their mistakes in public, when most of us live a hypocritical life.” Rajeev returns with the show’s second season in August this year.