It’s been almost 12 years for Rajkummar Rao in the movies. With a filmography that boasts of brave choices, he has become one of the most prominent acting talents in the country. Throw any role at him and he will deliver a flawless performance every time.
As his new release ‘Badhaai Do’ hits the screens on Friday, which is based on the concept of lavender marriage, Rajkummar spoke with IANS about how it’s high time that stories from small towns travel an extra mile, his character and conversations with his director Harshavardhan Kulkarni (who is also a fellow FTII alumnus of the actor).
Talking about the writing process of the film, he says, “The writing team has worked very hard on it, they have been working on the script for the last 2 years now. It had also gone through multiple drafts and a lot of people from the (LGBTQ) community were also involved in the script writing. So, it has been written in a very sensitive way even after keeping the entertainment part intact.”
He calls it one of the best written material that he has ever come across. “One of the best scripts that I’ve ever read. The moment I read the script, I was laughing with it. I also saw the emotional and sensitive part of it. Once I was done reading the script, I was thinking about these two characters and the drama they must have gone through.”
He adds, “And it happens a lot in the society as it is still a taboo as there are still certain sections of society is which are not ready to accept that someone’s sexual preferences can be different to yours.”
He credits the medium of OTT for bringing in a broad range of stories to the forefront. “It (OTT) has been giving rise to a lot of diverse stories. I also believe that our country or the major population of our country lives in small towns, there are so many stories and characters from those places.”
However, he admits that storytellers need to constantly move ahead in terms of crafting fresh stories to avoid the lull slipping into narratives. “I guess now we have to bring something different to it. The kind of films that Anubhav (Sinha) sir has been making or for example even films like ‘Stree’ and ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ are small town films but there is a lot more to them. I would like to be a part of small town films but there has to be something unique about it.”
Talking about the modus operandi of his director, the actor says, “He gives us a lot of freedom but he will keep on pushing you until he gets the perfect emotion and I like that fire about him. Having said that, he does not compromise on freedom, he also lets you explore the characters or the script.”
When asked as to what were his conversations with Harshavardhan, the actor responds, “FTII in itself is a very big community and most of its alumni have spent the best times of their lives in FTII. There was so much more to discuss beyond the scope of work. Harsh is a great guy and a very dear friend, we laugh on stupid jokes and pull each others’ legs a lot.”
“The bond I think now is for a lifetime, it was not a collaboration limited to only one film. Usually what happens is that everyone meets during a film, work and stay close for a particular film but move ahead with their lives. However, here Bhumi and Harsh are going to be my friends for a very long time and that is what this film has given me”, the actor concludes.