Rajneish Duggal in Lucknow.(Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo)
Rajneish Duggal in Lucknow.(Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo)

‘Portraying God is a huge responsibility’

A staunch believer in karma, Rajniesh has already worked in several films in the supernatural genre.
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By Deep Saxena
PUBLISHED ON JUN 04, 2019 04:09 PM IST

An astrologer had once told actor Rajniesh Duggall that three aspects would play an important part in his life -- karma, supernatural element and spirituality. A staunch believer in karma, Rajniesh has already worked in several films in the supernatural genre -- ‘1920’, ‘Dangerous Ishq’, ‘Ek Paheli Leela’, ‘Creature 3D’ and ‘Saansein’. His upcoming films too fall under the same genre -- horror comedy ‘Khali Bali’ and another supernatural movie ‘Mushkil’.

“These three things always come to me. Karma is for everyone. As far as supernatural projects are concerned, I have acted in them before and will do so in future too. Talking about spirituality, my family members are Krishna bhakts (devotees of Lord Krishna), however till recently, I had never done a mythological project. My TV show ‘Aarambh’ was historical fiction. But now, this too has happened with my new show ‘Shrimad Bhagwad Mahapuran’,” said Rajniesh during his visit to HT House in Lucknow recently.

Khali Bali’ shoot in Lucknow

A portion of the horror comedy ‘Khali Bali’, which apart from Rajniesh Duggall also stars Dharmendra, Madhoo, Rajpal Yadav and Vijay Raaz, will be shot in Lucknow . “The film is being directed by filmmaker Anil Sharma’s assistant Manoj Sharma and the producer is from Lucknow. We will be starting the shoot in Lucknow from the third week of June. Portions of the film have already been shot,” said Rajniesh, adding that he had already shot for ‘Mushkil’ with Kunal Roy Kapur.

He plays the part of Lord Krishna in his upcoming television show. “I am the ‘sutradhaar’ (narrator) who takes the viewers through the stories of the Mahapuran,” he said.

Recalling an incident, Rajniesh said, “As a child, I used to go to a temple in Greater Kailash (Delhi) and its Goswamiji (priest) was my mother’s deemed brother. He used to call me Krishna and my brother Balram. Now, life has come a full circle with this new role. My parents, who have been living in Vrindavan for the past two years, are very happy. This is my tribute to them.”

Interestingly, his first choice was to play the part of Lord Shiva. “My first question to the offer was why can’t I get the role of Shivji? But the artiste for that role had already been locked. I somehow like the shades of anger, action and darkness in Shivji and never thought of playing Lord Krishna. However, during the course (of this project) I discovered that although Lord Krishna is always smiling, he has a sea of emotions inside him,” said Rajniesh.

But there were apprehensions too. “Portraying God is a huge responsibility. I knew it was going to be tough -- it was like an exam everyday! You can’t go wrong with anything. I took three months of training and wearing the ‘mukut’ (crown) created a medical problem. A vein was getting pressed and I had to get an MRI done, but thankfully, everything is fine.”

He said the team had shot all the 52 episodes of the weekly show, which is already on air.

Rajniesh does not belive that doing a television project affects his market as an actor. “You just need to do the right project -- be it TV or the web or films; be it small or big. Today, the lines between media have blurred. Due to the content of this show (Mahapuran), I said no to a lot of web shows. However, towards the end of this year, I will be doing a web show for Amazon. I am also doing two films,” he said.

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