Rajkummar Rao: I will slow down after a point, I am conscious that I shouldn’t be over-exposed

Actor Rajkummar Rao talks about taking up multiple projects, his next film Stree, and his plan of action for his career.
Actor Rajkummar Rao will next be seen in the film Stree.
Actor Rajkummar Rao will next be seen in the film Stree.
Updated on Aug 20, 2018 02:31 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Rishabh Suri, New Delhi

Rajkummar Rao has emerged as the dark-horse in Bollywood, not only outdoing his contemporaries in terms of acting chops, but even the number of films. The actor had six films last year, of which two were hits (Newton and Bareilly Ki Barfi); he already has had two releases this year — Omerta and Fanney Khan — and there are three more in the pipeline. Rajkummar talks about why he does so many films at a time, his first ever horror-comedy movie, and why he wants to slow down.

2018 has more than five films starring you, of which two have already released, and Stree is next. How does it feel?
I don’t mind if every year is called ‘my year’ (smiles). It’s exciting that something has happened since last year. 2017 was a great year for me, and this one also looks wonderful, because I am doing what I love.

You attempt the horror-comedy genre for the first time in Stree. How was the experience?
How was it working with Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Fanney Khan? Was it challenging to make your presence felt in front of these veterans?
It was great that I got to work with these two stalwarts. It’s an honest film. My point was not to make my presence felt, but rather to just make my character important. We all love what we do, and it shows on-screen. Also, Anil sir’s energy is infectious, and he keeps you on his toes. At his age, he’s killing it, and pushed us hard. I don’t think he can live without acting.
The film talks about body shaming, and as an actor, you know how prevalent that is. How important is it to talk about this today?
Don’t you feel afraid that you will get overexposed and audiences might get weary?
I will slow down after a point, but as long as I am playing different characters and bringing something new to my characters, and the stories are presented in a different way, I think it’s fine. I am conscious that I shouldn’t be over-exposed, but if I enjoy what I do, my audiences will, too.
You did small roles and fewer films in your early days. Since you are bombarded with offers now, are you making up for lost time?
It’s just the greed of being part of good scripts. After every film, I feel like, ‘After this one, I am not doing anything for the next six months’. But then you get a good film and you can’t say no. It happens with me very often. Every year, me and my team decide, ‘Nothing more than two films’, but then comes along Mental Hai Kya?, Anurag Basu’s next… I can’t say no to them just because I want to rest!

What happened to your rumoured film with Imtiaz Ali?

No, there’s no film with him. There was never something concrete about it, but I would love to work with Imtiaz sir one day.

Interact with the author on Twitter/ @RishabhSuri02

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