Remember Sujal from
Kahiin to hoga
… or Captain Rajvir from
Left, Right, Left
and other small screen game shows? Priya Rajendran puts actor Rajeev Khandelwal on the hot seat as he talks about Osian's, his maiden film
, his leap to the big silver screen and much more in a candid tête-à-tête...
Have you attended the Osians before? Your experience?
This is my first time. Generally, film festivals are boring, but this has been a wonderful experience for me. I was actually surprised that people still love
– one year after its release...loved the feedback and criticism that audience gave for the film, which is my maiden venture.
You have set a standard with your first film.
I have not set any standards in the movie. All credits to Raj Kumar Gupta, the director of
. It was his vision in the entire movie – right from costumes to locales to actors, direction, art! As an actor, I will never forget this film. Since this was my first movie, I had a lot of expectations myself too and am very happy that people appreciated it and didn’t get bored.
Aamir’ssuccess, will you be under pressure to do meaningful and good films?
Yeah, there is pressure, but I am not giving importance to doing as what some people would term as ‘intelligent’ cinema! For instance, my next few films are not as intense or powerful as Aamir, few films are simple plots, but their themes are unique. I do not plan my career according to what pressures I will have to deal with to have a successful career. I will try to not bow down to the pressure. Moreover, I will never regret any of my projects as they will be my films and love my work.
So are you selecting your films based on director/banner/script?
Honestly, I go by my instincts – it's mostly the plot of the film and in fact my next few films are being made by first-time directors. I am not at all particular about working with big banners. What mostly matters to me is the script. Whenever I read the script, I should be able to relate to it, it should trigger emotions in me.
More about your next film
Peter Gaya Kaam Sey.
Peter gaya kaam sey is a romantic suspense thriller. While signing this movie, the plot was interesting, the director is a British-born guy who wanted to shoot in India who wants to do a Hindi film, music is by Sajid-Wajid, cameramen were the same guys who shot
and finally that it is a UTV banner. My instincts told me that I should take up this project. I am also doing another film called
Is there something that you want to do in Bollywood? Would you like to do the usual masala film with Govinda-type dance and songs?
I would love to a Govinda-type dance too. But when I look at the dance sequences, I remember my own performances and then I think that I shouldn’t be doing it. I must first carve a niche for myself – my brand, then only will I experiment with all this! (laughs)
Don’t you think Aamir’s ending could have been more positive?
No. There could not have been a better ending to the movie. How else could he have got back to his tormentor? The only way of getting back at his tormentor – telling him that – I am not going to be influenced by fanatics – was to kill himself.
Don’t you think that the tormentor would have got another bakra after
It is an entirely psychological film. Aamir was also guilty that he had committed a grave blunder by leaving the suitcase with the bomb in the bus, which would eventually kill thousands! And he was also going to lose his family, so might as well save lives. One Aamir.
Did the scene or anything while shooting this movie - unnerve you?
Yes, on the occasion when I was told that I was to do Aamir’s role because after reading the script, I had realised what kind of intensity and psychological pressure the role would demand out of me! All throughout before the film, I was not sure of delivering the role.
But why would you want to underestimate yourself?
It was not about my acting skills or anything. Initially, I could visualise this film – the character and that made me feel overwhelmed by the fact that it could be extremely tough. But, it was completely the encouragement by Raj Kumar Gupta that I could pull it off and of course, when the shooting began, I was supremely confident that I could do it as I completely understood what my director wanted from me. I was familiar with the language too. We can achieve what we set off to achieve. I got goosebumps while performing the film.
Were they real locales?
The entire thing has been shot in real locations and my scenes were real too – especially the scene where I vomited – that was real. Raj actually made me go there and the stench was so strong that it made the scene real. The entire crew was wearing medical masks. I threw a lot of tantrums. I did complain to Raj about going back to my room or that I could not eat over there, each time, I would tell him that I am worked up, my director would say that I want you to look worked up, look tired. I can’t sleep at night...I had to look real. But it worked for the movie. The climax did move me when I was actually crying. I went through a gamut of feelings and emotions. That was not acting, it was real. There were no two takes too.
A fear psychosis develops in the mind of every person – that of being a Muslim or that of a being framed a terrorist. Have you seen any of your Muslim friends go through this entire trauma?
No, I think it is just rumours that travel from place to place. None of my friends – right from my childhood – had any such experiences.
About working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in his next venture titled
Chenab Gandhi…heard that you may be playing the lead…
It’s a 2010 release. And I was approached by him. He had spotted me in
and decided I should be a part of his venture. I am very excited to work with him as he is a very creative and talented director. Yes, I am playing an important character, but nothing more than that. Nothing more than that about the movie.
Are we going to see
Sach ka Saamna– season 2? If put on the hot seat of
Sach ka Saamna, what question would you dread the most?
I had only signed up for 50 episodes. So we ended it there. Not sure if I would be able to host it as my platter is full this year! And yes, I would hate to be on the hot seat myself!