How did Aashqui happen?
Rahul: During the late 1980s, I was in Delhi finishing my college and modelling. After reading an article that my mother wrote for a fashion glossy, Mahesh Bhatt sahab expressed the desire meet her. That’s when he saw my pictures and asked whether I would want to work in Hindi films. So, my mother asked me to meet Bhatt sahab once. He told me to come and see him at his Juhu home. When I met him, he narrated a line about the film (Aashqui)…and I was convinced about do it.
Were you confident of Aashqui being a blockbuster hit since the very beginning?
Rahul: Though the music of the film was phenomenal, we were not sure ki film chalegi ki nahi chalegi. When people claim that they know the formula or the pulse of the public… it’s rubbish, the truth is that no one knows. The only thing you know is, how to make a good film and promote it well. It was true in the 90s and it stands true even today.
When did you realise that you had crossed the threshold of stardom?
Rahul: I remember Mukesh ji took me in his car at 12 to see the first day first show of Aashiqui. A huge crowd had gathered to watch the film. As soon as I stepped out, they were screaming my name. I had to be whisked inside the manager’s cabin, as the crowd went out of control and wanted to shake hands, take autographs. It was a euphoric moment for me.
Were the series of flop films the reason behind the break that you took from Bollywood?
Rahul: It was not physically possible to work 24X7, so I returned the signing amount of 18 producers. I wanted to take a break. Saat saal nikal gaye aise karte karte. During that phase, some of my films did get a beating. So, in order to reinvent myself, I first needed to decide what I wanted out of life. I managed to find this awesome woman — Rajlakshmi, chased her for two years and finally got married. I took care of my dad and dad-in-law’s construction business, got into spirituality and decided that I wanted a more wholesome life.
How did winning Bigg Boss Season 1 help you reinvent your career?
Rahul: I was never desperate to make a comeback. But winning Bigg Boss assured faith in me that I have a good reputation in the market. Put me in the corner of any street anywhere in the world and I will be recognised.
Do you still have friends in Bollywood who could help reboot your career?
Rahul: I do have some…I bump into them on and off. But I don’t want people to misconstrue that I am going out and making friends with an ulterior motive. I am friends with them not because I want to extract a film out of them. As far as my work is concerned, you will hear an announcement soon…I intend to act and direct in a film under my production company — Rahul Roy Productions.
Gulshan Grover, actor
He is one of the finest and nicest people I have ever met in the industry. His unconventional looks made him stand out, but I wonder what went wrong with his career. He was so charming and everything was so right about him… I look forward to his comeback and I am sure he will do a great job.
Shakti Kapoor, actor
Though we did a film a long time back, we have always loved and respected each other as colleagues. He is a private person and does not like to be in the limelight unnecessarily. Maybe that’s why we don’t see him in public often, these days. Also, not many know that he is a terrific dancer off screen too.
Name: Rahul Roy
Movies done: 18, acted till 1999, took a break and came back in 2006 with Naughty Boy
Known for: Aashiqui, Sapne Saajan Ke, Junoon
Current profile: Ventured into film production with Rahul Roy Productions
High points in career: Won Bigg Boss in 2006
Aspires to: Act, direct and produce movies