Rajeev Khandelwal doesn’t mince words. This was evident during our telephonic conversation with the actor. Thanks to the gossip mills, one often hears of small-screen actors becoming too big for their shoes.
It is often said that after they enter Bollywood, they do not want to be referred to as “television actors”. But Rajeev feels that the “media is also responsible” for creating such a perception. “”Somewhere, the media has also tried to build the perception that films are bigger than television. An actor is an actor at the end of the day, be on television, film or theatre,” he says.
Rajeev reasons that because of this divide TV actors are often made to feel inferior. “When actors are referred to as ”television’ actors, they feel that they are being looked down upon. Their behaviour stems from ththis divide that is created by the media. I’m defending TV actors because I have faced this situation myself when I was doing Aamir (2008),” he says.
The actor, whose previous big-screen outing was Samrat & Co. (2014), will soon be seen in a thriller with co-stars Bond Girl Caterina Murino. In the past, Rajeev has worked in indie projects such as Aamir and Shaitan (2011). With the growing acceptance of such films, would taking them now be more fruitful for him? “Absolutely not,” says the actor, adding, “I’m not part of a film like Aamir now because doing such a movie is easier today. At that time, I was entering an absolutely new territory.”
At a time when it has become essential to contact a PR agent to reach celebrities, it comes as a surprise that Rajeev doesn’t have a PR manager. But the actor is happy with the arrangement. “I’m not part of any competition. For me, it’s about making a place for myself,” he says. “I wouldn’t like to be governed by my work. I’m not even that active on social media. I can’t go to places, take selfies and put them up on social media platforms just to reach out to people.”