National Award winner Rajkummar Rao knows how to strike balance between mainstream and offbeat films. He will soon be seen alongside Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan in director Mohit Suri’s
. In a freewheeling chat, he opens up about his choice of films, relationship with Mahesh Bhatt and upcoming projects.
Mahesh Bhatt is one of your biggest admirers in the film industry. How do you perceive him, as mentor or as a maverick producer?
is like a father figure to me. I admire him a lot. With him I feel like a student of life and the kind of faith he has in me gives me a lot of energy as an actor.
Has receiving the National Award so early in career changed you as a person?
It's overwhelming to get the National Award but as a person I am still the same. I love my work and if I get appreciated for it with awards and rewards then there is nothing better than that.
You’re working with relatively senior actors like Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi in Hamari Adhuri Kahani. What are your preparations to stand out in the film?
I didn’t think of standing out during the shoot. My preparation is for my character and I try and go all out for it. In this case there were Bhatt Saab and
to help me out in carving my character. It was a wonderful experience working on this film. Vidya, Emraan, Mohit, everyone was very supportive and very passionate. I have learnt a lot from each one of them.
Watch Hamari Adhuri Kahani trailer
It seems you’re going to be seen in a negative role this time.
My character’s name is Hari and he represents that part of the society where men treat women as their property. It doesn't mean they’re incapable of loving someone, but their way of showing love is very different. It's a fight among three rights in the film.
Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan in a still from Hamari Adhuri Kahani.
Hamari Adhuri Kahani is said to be a semi-biographical film. Whose character are you playing in it?
My character is loosely based on Bhatt Saab's step mother but only on the emotional side and nothing else.
Commercial or art-house, what’s your preference?
My preference is to be a part of good stories and to try and explore something new every time. I want to grow with each film.
Coming from a small city and then from FTII presents you as someone who believes in hard work, but the Hindi film industry is mostly about the star system? Don’t you feel uncomfortable among people who have got back-up from their childhood?
I have no problem with anything. I think the industry has given me a lot as an actor, especially in today's time. People look for content in films and they are the best judge to decide what and who they want to see.
After Shahid and Citylights, you’re again working with Hansal Mehta in Aligarh.
Yes, I am working with Mr Hansal Mehta in Aligarh. I will also be seen in Ramesh Sippy’s Shimla Mirchi.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/
Read: Mahesh Bhatt approached me like a newcomer for Hamari Adhuri Kahani, says Mohit Suri
Read: Vidya Balan is an abused wife in Hamari Adhuri Kahani trailer
Read: Vidya is the most important character in Hamari Adhuri Kahani, says Mahesh Bhatt