Rajkummar Rao confesses he’s done films he ‘shouldn’t have done’: ‘You come to know on the second or third day of shoot’

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Rajkummar Rao talks about how he has strived to maintain his own space by telling stories that have longevity.The success of Bollywood films is defined by its performance at the box office. But HIT: The First Case actor Rajkummar Rao sees it differently. For him it is important to be part of films that “live for life”.

He said, “For me, content is always the most important thing, and I’ve learnt my lesson by doing a couple of films that I shouldn’t have done. If you’re not happy doing the film, then there is no point doing them. What happens at the box office is something that nobody knows. That’s not in our control. What is in our control is that we do our work with utmost sincerity, be a part of beautiful stories because some films live for life. It is not only about that weekend or that week. It is much more than that. Even after years, I still get so much love for Shahid, Badhaai Do. For me, that is more important. The longevity is more important than anything else.”

So when do you know that something is not going to work out? The actor said, “You come to know on the second or third day of shoot. On the set, you realise, with due respect to everyone, that either the synergy is not there or everyone is not on the same wavelength. You saw the film in your mind in one way, and it is happening other way around. In that case also you have to give it your 100%. You can’t just take it lightly that you’ll just complete the film for the heck of it. I personally love being in front of the camera and playing characters, so I give it whatever I have. But eventually filmmaking is the director’s medium. I can do whatever I can but it is the director who makes the film.”When we talk about content driven films, most often than not Rajkummar Rao and Ayushmann Khurrana’s names crop up together. The two young actors have been churning out content driven films one after the other and their films are compared to one another. So how does he deal with the constant comparison and does it put pressure on him? Rao said, “You can’t take yourself too seriously. The most important thing I feel is to enjoy your work and not worry about the results. That’s what keeps you sane and grounded.”

“I don’t believe in competition, even in comparing myself to others. The problems start when you start comparing yourself and your work with others. Everybody has their own journey. You don’t have to be in somebody else’s journey. I am very happy with the fact that I am getting to do all these films. A boy from Gurgaon just saw this dream of becoming an actor, and for that dream to actually come true in itself is a miracle. So, I don’t think anything else,” he added.

In fact, Rajkummar Rao says he is very proud of his journey and the choices of films he has made. The actor said, “I am a film lover myself. I watch so much of content, and I watch my films also. I know when my film is good. I very proudly say it to everyone that I am so proud of this film. I have also done films that I am not proud of, but I’ve learnt a lot from those films. These are mistakes that I wouldn’t ever want to repeat.”

Also read |When Rajkummar Rao lived off one packet of biscuit a day, had just Rs 18 in his bank account: ‘That was tough’
It is not easy to maintain your spot in an industry where actors come and go every Friday. But, Rao has made his space and has emerged as one of the most promising actors we have today. On this, he shared, “I just listen to my heart. I feel if you’re sincere towards your work and you put so much of hard work in your films, the audience sees that. The audience sees that you’re somebody who is genuinely trying to push the envelope and not just playing it safe and doing what everybody else is doing. You have to stand out by doing different kind of work. You have to portray different kind of characters in a different way. You can’t just be yourself in every film. That also becomes very boring for me as an actor. I am glad what I do is being accepted by the audience all around the world, and that they expect more out of me.”

Does he get bogged down with the necessity to stay consistent in his craft with every film he picks? Rajkummar Rao said, “No, I don’t take pressure. I do one film at a time and finish it with all my heart. I really enjoy that process of being in one character. I really like being with the unit for almost two months and every day trying to make the scenes better than how it is written on paper. That’s where the magic happens. When you go back home, you feel content. You feel like something nice happened today.”

HIT: The First Case is the first remake in Rao’s career spanning over a decade. On why he stayed away from being part of remakes even when it’s been a trend in Bollywood, he said, “Honestly, I was never too fond of remakes. It is not like this is the first time that somebody has offered me a remake. People offer me remakes almost every week. But the intention has to be right. Intention is the key word here. If a film is a blockbuster down south, maybe somebody wants to make it like a project here. Wahaan chali hai, idhar bhi chalegi – that’s not the right intent. That intention I’ve a problem with.”

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