He might be passionate about acting, but he is equally interested in sports, fitness and different film-making techniques. In fact, it is hard to miss Sushant Singh Rajput’s enthusiasm when he talks about these interests. Here, he speaks to us from Budapest, Hungary, where he is currently shooting for his next, about his upcoming films, his personal life, and more.
What is the best and the worst part of being a celebrity ?
The best part is that you feel important. There is a sense of pride in being accepted because of your talent and the hard work you put in. The bad part is that, as a kid, you think that, one day, you will get famous and rich, and that will be the answer to everything. But when that actually happens, you realise how wrong those perceptions were.
Given a choice, what would you rather be — an actor or a star?
I would like to be an actor because there is no other way I can express myself. Being an actor keeps me excited about life. But I would also like to be a star, as I would then be in a better place to choose the projects I want to do. It will also be good for my producers, as they will make more money on the films we collaborate on.
With time, you tend to get slightly comfortable in Bollywood, and with the people you work with. But I deliberately try and put myself in situations or do films that I’m not completely comfortable with. It is necessary to be on your toes. Only then can you keep thinking, remain excited, and create an environment, where there is hope for creativity.
Doesn’t the constant focus on your personal life get annoying?
I won’t say that I don’t get seduced by fame. The reason I wanted to become an actor was because acting allowed someone as shy as me to vent, and say what I want to express. It is contagious and magical. But when you are discussed, scrutinised and judged in public, not as an actor, but for your personal life, you can’t complain. However, you sometimes feel helpless and terrible, especially if you are an introvert.
What did working on the Dhoni biopic teach you?
There are only pros of playing someone like MS Dhoni (Indian cricketer) in a film. I have admired him for the past 10 years. I was intrigued by his thought process. To get an opportunity to get to know him up, close and personal was like winning a lottery ticket. I learnt a lot, and also cultivated a new skill of playing cricket while working on this film. I am so thankful to Kiran More (former cricketer) sir for helping me in my training.
Is your new movie, which also stars Kriti Sanon, a completely different experience vis-à-vis your other films?
Absolutely. First, the script is challenging and entertaining. The film is in a romantic space that I have never tried before. Dinoo (Dinesh Vijan; director) has tremendous clarity, and doesn’t hesitate to take risks to get what he wants. I am doing a lot of things for the first time [in this film], and I am very excited about that.
As an actor, do you approach commercial films differently?
Of course, different kinds of films require different approaches and preparations, but the process of making the characters look convincing more or less remains the same. So, when I do a film like Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015), there is a set era involved. But when I work on a biopic, there is a fixed perception of the character; so, there are boundaries. It is then that you and your director need to decide how deep you want to get into the script and the character. But it can be a never-ending process.
Watch: Sushant Singh Rajput in MS Dhoni teaser
The teaser of the Dhoni biopic has been received well. Do expectations add to the pressure?
The teaser has got a great response, and the entire team is beaming with joy. I am not worried or under any pressure because I have already done what I had to do. Now, I just hope that more and more people come and witness the beautiful story of this man (MS Dhoni).
You are set to share screen space with Irrfan Khan in Homi Adajania’s next...
In my opinion, Irrfan is the best actor we have today, and I am a big fan. I am excited, as I will get an opportunity to work with him, and I will get to learn so much. At the same time, I am also nervous because I know there will be times when I will be in complete awe of him, and I might just sc**w up the take (laughs).