Khandelwal refuses haircut for Bhansali's sake
His long curly locks helped him bag an important role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's production Chenab Gandhi. And now Rajeev Khandelwal refuses to crop them even though another film is going on the floors first and requires him to sport short hair.india Updated: Sep 18, 2009 17:37 IST
"One of the reasons why Bhansali selected me was my hair," Khandelwal, who hosts the controversial game snow Sacch Ka Saamna, told IANS.
"I had grown it really long and curly for my role as a Goan beach bum in Peter Gaya Kaam Se. Bhansali saw that look and thought it was what he wanted for his assistant Vibhu Puri's film. That's how I was considered," said the actor who earned critical acclaim for his performance in "Aamir".
But there is a catch. Before Khandelwal goes into Chenab Gandhi, he has allotted dates to Sourabh Narang's Return Gift which requires him to play an Indian civil servant on a diplomatic mission. And everyone knows bureaucrats are supposed to sport close-cropped hair.
"I was in a dilemma since Sourabh's film needed me to keep my hair short. And there was no time to cut my hair and grow it back. So I was left with no choice but to ask Sourabh to work his way around my hair," said Rajeev.
The actor is in no mood to compromise for his role in Bhansali's movie.
"For the privilege of working with Bhansali, I'd happily go bald. He's one of the best filmmakers of our country. Although he isn't directing Chenab Gandhi, his involvement with the project is full-on.
"I'll wrap my work in Return Gift and move on to Chenab Gandhi. The thought of sharing screen space with Amitabh Bachchan so early in my career gives me goosebumps."
Apparently Khandelwal will now wear a cropped wig to look the bureaucrat's part.
"All I'll say is I won't look wrong for the part," said Khandelwal, who has a lot of preparation to do for Return Gift. He will have to meet bureaucrats from both sides of the border to understand the intricacies of across-the-border diplomacy.
"I can't just go into the part unprepared. It's a character that has far-reaching relevance. I'll be meeting eminent bureaucrats to understand the working of the Indian bureaucracy and the complex issue of India-Pakistan relations."
For all of this, Khandelwal needs time off and Sacch Ka Saamna hardly gives him that space. He can't wait for his reality show to end so that he can embark on his big-screen preparations. Interestingly, in spite of the show's popularity there's no mention of a second season for Rajeev.
"For now, this is it," he said.