I’m very hungry as an actor: Rajkumar Rao

Rajkummar Rao on the blurring lines between OTT and theatre and keeping an eye out for the next exciting opportunity

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Rajkumar Rao

Q. You have two online releases, Ludo and Chhalaang, coming up. Is 2020 when the lines between OTT and theatre get blurred?

Certainly. The kind of love shows like Paatal Lok and Mirzapur have got is huge. The actors in it have become popular, like Jaideep [Ahlawat], my classmate from FTII. OTT will be a very strong, parallel industry. People want to see good content regardless of medium.

Q. Jaideep, you and Vijay Varma are graduates of the 2008 acting batch. Back then, did you imagine that you would find a foothold in the film industry?

That was the plan but we didn’t think it would happen. When I see people from FTII, Divyenndu, Rasika (Dugal) or Faisal (Rashid) on screen, I get so happy. After watching Paatal Lok, I was so proud Jaideep was getting what he deserves.

Q. Is it easier now for you to find leading parts?

I am very hungry as an actor. If tomorrow I find out that Sriram (Raghavan) or Imtiaz (Ali) are planning a film, I don’t mind reaching out to them and saying, ‘Sir, why not [cast] me?’ I don’t mind a screen test. There is amazing work happening outside Hindi film industry too. I wish I knew more languages so I could work in all kinds of films.

Q. You performed a brief piece for mental health awareness online. Given how little it takes to trigger trolls, was there apprehension on your part?

None at all. I liked that it wasn’t preachy but more like a conversation between loved ones. I didn’t think of how people are going to react to it. Your intent has to be right. I just recited it wholeheartedly.

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