Actor Rajeev Khandelwal is seen on the web series Naxal Bari.
Actor Rajeev Khandelwal is seen on the web series Naxal Bari.

Rajeev Khandelwal on why he never capitalised on Aamir's success and bagged big films

  • Actor Rajeev Khandelwal has spoken about why he never signed on to big films post the success of his breakout hit, Aamir, in 2008.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 02:32 PM IST

Actor Rajeev Khandelwal, who after a successful career on television broke into films with the well-received Aamir, has spoken about why he couldn't capitalise on his early success and bag big-banner projects.

Rajeev in an interview said that he has built his career on his own terms, and that because of unforeseen circumstances such as poor release strategies and producers backing out, his subsequent films could never live up to his breakout success.

Asked if he was ever tempted to call a big filmmaker and do a big opposite someone of Katrina Kaif or Priyanka Chopra's stature, he told The Times of India, "I would have thought that way if I was modelling my career on my fellow actors. My career graph is neither based on anyone nor borrowed from anyone. It is not an average of 10 collective minds. I model my career based on my own vision for myself."

Narrating an anecdote, he continued, "In fact, when Anurag Kashyap asked me to do Aamir, I told him that he should take my test. That he didn't do that is a different story. I would never call a filmmaker to cast me. After Aamir it was easy for me to get into big set-ups. However, I saw that they were proposals and not films, there were senior directors who wanted me to do big films. I asked them if they were sure that they wanted me and hence they should test me before signing me. But I told them that after they're sure they want me, I would need the script and have the liberty of not doing it if I didn't like it. One such director liked my perspective and his script was amazing, but that film never happened. Another director didn't like my perspective and he even taunted me at its screening because I hadn't done it - but that film didn't do well."

He revealed that the first film was called Chenab Gandhi, produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but he declined to disclose details of the film that got made.

Also read: Rajeev Khandelwal on turning down offers: When someone takes offence, that’s not my problem, I’m not saying ‘no’ to them but the project

In an earlier interview to Hindustan Times, he'd touched upon this topic and said that if he'd wanted the career of a superstar, he would've 'hired a big PR machinery' to push himself, adding that in the past, his refusal to take on certain projects hasn't gone down too well with 'senior makers'.


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