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Rajkummar Rao on being thrown out of films because a star wanted to do it: ‘You just move on’

Ahead of the release of Roohi, Rajkummar Rao talked about how the film is different from Stree, his co-star Janhvi Kapoor and how he dealt with rejection.
Rajkummar Rao plays Bhawra in Roohi.
Published on Mar 10, 2021 02:10 PM IST
BySamrudhi Ghosh

Three years after the release of the very successful Stree, Rajkummar Rao is returning to the horror-comedy space with Roohi, and he has high expectations from it. However, he maintained that apart from the genre, there are no similarities between the two films.

“It is a very different world and character. My only thing was, people have loved Stree so much and they know Vicky so well, so I wanted to make Bhawra very different from Vicky. I gave him a different look and speech pattern. But the fun is pretty similar, so I really hope that people would come and enjoy this as much as they enjoyed Stree,” he told Hindustan Times.

Roohi casts Rajkummar opposite Janhvi Kapoor, who once admitted to being ‘stalker-ish obsessive’ about him and sending him messages on social media. Asked if they had a good laugh about it on set, he said, “No, we didn’t really speak about it, honestly.”

“But Janhvi is a very passionate actor and she has done a wonderful job in Roohi. The great thing about her is, we have seen her growth with every film, from Dhadak to Gunjan and then to Roohi. It is always fun when you have a good co-actor with you because that makes a film even better,” he added.


Though Roohi is the first big film to release after theatres have been allowed to operate at full capacity, Rajkummar is not too worried about the audience’s response to it. “I know the kind of precautions theatres are taking to make people feel very safe when they go to watch films. People are also really waiting for something to come on the big screen now. Watching a film on the big screen in a dark theatre is something else. And a film like Roohi is meant to be watched with the audience because you want to laugh and feel scared with everyone around. I think it will be a very unique and fun experience for people to watch it in theatres,” he said.

From a struggler who barely had 18 left in his bank account after paying rent and other expenses to a bona fide Bollywood star, Rajkummar has come a long way. He described his journey as ‘pretty overwhelming’. “I think it is all happening because of my mother’s blessings. She was the one who had a lot of faith in me. Whenever I would call her, she would always tell me, ‘Don’t worry, just keep working hard. Eventually, it will all work out.’ Now I see what she was seeing at that point of time. I am very thankful and feel a lot of gratitude,” he said.

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Rajkummar, in the past, has also talked about being ‘thrown out’ of films because someone more influential than him was eyeing the role. But he has no hard feelings about it. “You just move on. You just feel that, ‘Maybe, it is not in my destiny.’ I am a very chilled out person that way, I don’t really keep anything in my heart. I just move on. I really believe that there is enough work for everyone and what is meant for me will always be there for me,” he said.

Post Roohi, Rajkummar will star in Badhaai Do, opposite Bhumi Pednekar. Without divulging too many details about the film, he said, “The only thing I can tell you is that it is based on lavender marriage of these two people, Sumi and Shardul, played by Bhumi and me. It is very entertaining and talking about something which is so socially relevant in today’s times. Our director, Harshvardhan Kulkarni, is a force to reckon with. He is phenomenal.”

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