In 1990 when Aashiqui — a Mahesh Bhatt production — released, it gave birth to a superstar named Rahul Roy, apart from becoming a blockbuster. Suddenly, he was everywhere and in most films being made then. At one time, there were as many as 50 films in his kitty and 25 others on the floors. It’s been 23 years since, and not all of them Rahul spent as an actor.
But, the fame that Bollywood bestowed on him has kept him in the hearts of his fans, the actor says humbly, in the city on Friday to announce his next Hindi film after a sabbatical — To Be or Not To Be.
After a four-day shoot at nearby Morni Hills, Rahul says it was the film’s script that made him sign on the dotted line. “The story revolves around a married couple and I play the husband.
Due to some differences, they plan to get separated, but before that they decide to give their marriage a chance and plan a short trip to their farmhouse. To Be or Not To Be will unravel elements of denial, remorse, fear, suspicion, regret and compassion,” says Rahul, adding that the film’s English version would be released before the Hindi version and sent to various film festivals. “I’m sure that it will have a huge global connect,” he adds.
Between his break from films and the upcoming film venture, Rahul participated in and won Bigg Boss Season 1, that too at a time when the reality show and its dramatics were yet to get viewers’ acceptance. On what made him take up the task, he shares, “When I thought of going to the Bigg Boss house, my wife thought that I had gone insane.
But I thought that even if I got to stay there for two or three weeks, the new generation, which doesn’t know me much, would get to know a bit about me. I didn’t get involved in any rifts with anyone and was always running around doing my own work. I didn’t think that I would stay in the house for as long as I did. When, till the eighth week I didn’t get nominated even once, I realised that things were in my favour.”
When Rahul looks back at his successful stint in Bollywood, he feels contended. “There was a time when I signed 47 films at a time, out of which I returned the money taken for around 20 because I couldn’t provide them with dates. Out of 24 hours in a day, I would work for almost 22-23 hours.
You have to appreciate that I was a complete newcomer with no filmy connection, so no one to guide me.
Top female actors such as Karisma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon and Anu Aggarwal were being cast opposite me. The music of my films was also given by hit directors such as Nadeem-Shravan and Anu Malik. So, there was practically nothing wrong in my career!”
But, something made Rahul quit. He tells us what happened. “It was because of the scripts! I was being cast in repetitive roles and there was a dearth of good ones. Even while doing those films I knew that they won’t work, but I had to complete the shoot.
Those days, there weren’t even corporate houses to back films, which were dependent on single individuals’ production houses,” says the actor. Fortunately, now things have changed, he acknowledges.
“I’m now looking for intense roles in which I’m comfortable with what I do,” he says. Another film that Rahul is working on is his own production called Shoot
Shuttling between his homes in Mumbai and Australia, Rahul says he is happy that people still remember him for his work. “This image of mine will be there till I die. Leaving the world of fame wasn’t difficult for me. I have seen every part of it and things that are beyond today’s stars’ also,” he smiles.