Back in 2012, actors Sushant Singh Rajput and Rajkummar Rao teamed up for the first time in Kai Po Che! (KPC). The film served as Sushant’s first step into Bollywood, but it turned out to be a breakthrough part for Rajkummar. Now, the two have come together again for Raabta. Here is an exclusive interview of Shushant Singh Rajput with Cinespeaks.
How is life treating you post big success of your film ‘MS Dhoni’ ?
well, nothing really has changed. I am not a kind of person who’s happiness and excitement transcende with film’s success or failur. I’m very moderate. I enjoy every bit of the shooting. I feel, I’m a learner and learning and imbibing new things really excite me. I’m not much bothered about film’s success or failure. In my view, I give my 100 percent to the film, rest it all depends on audience. My focus is to put in 100 percent effort hardwork. So life is very much the same to be very honest but yes, the only thing which has changed is my bank balance. (laughs) My main concern is to focus on a good work. I don’t worry about my movie becoming a huge success or a huge failure. I have worked very hard, I have done 54 characters till now. Byomkesh Bakshi and Dhoni were very close to me. Byomkesh didn’t do well in the first weekend; I was completely okay by Monday. In case of Dhoni; it was massive in the first weekend still I was okay by Monday. So, I don’t work for these spikes for 2-3 days. I am more worried about those 7-8 months where I put my actual effort into.
Who do you Raabta ( connection or attachment) with, in your real life?
I feel intense connection with my fans and audience. I have a strong Raabta with my audience for sure.
What all preparations you had to do for Raabta?
Several preparations I had to do. I always try to look different in every character. I don’t want my character to look similar to what I have already done and shown the audience. I had to look poles apart from the character I had played in my previous films. I had to work on my mannerism, dialect and I had also gone to Bangkok to acquire the martial art skills. I had put in my effort to give my audience something really new from my end.
Why did you sign ‘Raabta’?
I fell in love with the story, the narration was so good that it completely taken me aback. I was really facinated by the entire idea of the film. I personally don’t believe in reincarnation but the script was so strong that it kind of convinced me to sign this film. So, the story had a newness and variation. I’m sure audience will get to watch something they haven’t seen already!
What is that one thing You like being a star and one thing you completely hate or not fond of being a star?
I like that the perception of people towards me has changed first of all. But if my other two films don’t do well it’s their headache. Because, in my head; the day I dropped out of my college, From that day I am a star, from that day since 2006, there has not been a single day that I have not liked. I have been a star throughout. Like, Superstar!
Why do you have less releases?
I don’t want to mix and match my characters. I focus on one project at a time. I sign 2-3 films at the same time but I don’t shoot all of them simultaneously. I can give my best shot with finest performance only if I am concentrating at one aspect at a time. For instance, I’m playing two different characters in Raabta but not even once you will spot the similarities or resemblance in those two characters. Those two are poles apart and quite different. So, I have to manifest the layers and variations in carft of acting. Every time I’m doing something new, I have to show myself differently and have to full justice to the character I’m playing.
What are your upcoming movies ?
Romeo Akbar Waltet, Chanda mama door ke and Drive are the three movies lined up.
You are now the second actor from Bollywood to be featured in Peruvian photographer Mario’s Towel Series, after Katrina. How do you feel about it?
The photoshoot was actually being done for vogue but later on Mario Testino approached me for towel series and I said yes to it. O that’s how I got in to towel series photoshoot. It wasn’t planned it happened abruptly. I feel good about it. As it’s an amazing opportunity for me altogether.
Does controversy affect you?
If I go ahead and read it, it will affect me. It’s not that I read it at all. Recently there are some stories that are so new to me that I am also reading it for the first time. So, I am just saying I have no problems with it. Living in this age where we need 10-12 trending talking points every hour. So, I’ll also come in that loop. I am just requesting that if you’re investing time in writing fiction stories about me; and I am investing time in reading them, let’s make that symbiotic relationship and make it interesting. But, these are all repetitive.
What was that fan controversy? How true was it?
It was completely fiction. And second thing how I deal with my fans, I was a fan myself. I am still a huge fan of Shah Rukh Khan and I came to Mumbai just to see him once and get an autograph and didn’t get a chance. So, I was really heartbroken.
But, when I was dancing for Shaimak Davar, and there was a show when Shah Rukh had to perform, he was entering the stage and I shouted his name and he looked back and waved at me. And, it is such a big thing for me that 10 years down the line I am telling you this story. So, I know the importance of waving at him or looking at him and I make sure that I do this so that they have something that they can actually talk about. So, another thing is that I stop and take pictures with all the fans? No. another thing I am very finicky about is that I don’t want to get late. So, I am mostly in that zone and if a fan asks me, I unconsciously ignore them. I don’t mean to do that though. Otherwise, 98% of my waking time I do that.
Why did you find journalist Bharathi Pradhan question intrusive? Why did you lose your temper?
see there is a way to ask certain things. If you’re not a star then nobody will listen to you. That’s another big problem. What I am saying is, people would understand that a journalist was asking an actor, his opinion on something. And, actor is saying, excuse me, I don’t have an opinion because I am not well-informed. I can go with the popular opinion, it is very easy for me to do that. I am doing something and being very honest that I m not informed. But, having said that I will get my facts correct and get back to you.
So, I just said that. No matter how big the fight is, everybody who’s rational will understand what happened. As simple as that.
What is your call on box office collection?
to be very honest, it doesn’t matter to me at all. For me audience’s appreciation matters a lot; I need my hardwork and effort to be appreciated by the audience. For an instance, the other I had gone to watch a film in the theater there I had one lady coming up to me, she recollected one of the scenes from the movie MS Dhoni which made her emotional. So, these things are priceless for me. There have been times when my films weren’t getting the kind of response it should have gotten for example, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy was not a hit and not many people watched it which kind of made me upset because I genuinely had put in immense effort in the movie but on Moday I was back to being normal. It’s part and parcel of life. You have to keep working with full spirit.
There are news that you and Kriti are dating. Is there any authenticity to this news?
well, I seriously have stopped reacting to such baseless news or rumours. I’m accustomed to such fake rumours now. I usually avoid reacting to silly rumours. Newspapers can write something innovative about me than filling up the content with false news. Kuch accha likhoge toh mujhe bhi acch lagega yaar. (Laughs)
Are you still friends with Ankita Lokhande?
I only have one friend and I’m not going to name that person. (Laughs) I anyways don’t have a big friend circle, I Have a few close friends on whom I count.