Most celebrities tend to beat around the bush than come to the point, during press interviews. Rajeev Khandelwal however doesn’t mince his words; something we figured out easily during our telephonic conversation with the actor.
Thanks to the gossip mills, one often hears of small-screen actors becoming ‘too big for their shoes,’ post entering Bollywood and expressing hesitation in being referred to as ‘television actors.’ Ask Rajeev as to whether he thinks they tend to forget their roots and he says, “It’s not just the actors who are responsible for the behavior but the media as well.”
Stressing on his point, the actor continues, “Somewhere, the media has also tried to build up the perception that films are bigger than television. An actor is an actor by the end of the day, be it in the medium of television, film or theatre.”
Khandelwal reasons that because of this divide between film and TV actors, the latter are made to believe they are inferior. “When actors are referred to as ‘television’ actors, they may be harboring the fact and asking themselves, ‘Will I look smaller?’ Hence their behavior stems from this divide, created by the media. I’m defending them as I have faced this myself, when I was doing Aamir” he confesses.
Post Samrat & Co., the actor will be seen on the big screen in a thriller, alongside Gauahar Khan and ‘Bond Girl, Caterina Murino . Aside from Aamir, Khandelwal also has Shaitan to his credit. With the growing acceptance of such films today, would doing them now have proven to be more fruitful for him? “Absolutely not,” says the actor, adding, “I’m not a part of a film like Aamir now, because now, it’s easier. People are already exposed to those kind of films and they don’t hesitate to go to the theatres, fearing whether they will understand a particular film. At that time, I was entering an absolutely new territory.”
Unlike many celebrities, Khandelwal doesn’t have a PR agent. Ask him if the same is a setback in a competitive industry like the entertainment one and the actor responds, “I’m not a part of any competition as for me, it’s just about making a place for yourself.” He maintains that he isn’t a part of any “race.” “I wouldn’t like to be governed by my work, hence I’m not even that active on social media,” he says, adding, “I can’t go to places, click selfies and put them on social media platforms, just to reach out to more people. I’m not putting anyone down but it doesn’t suit me.”