I am not here for money or to buy a chopper, Rajkummar Rao

Rajkumar Rao is not the standard Bollywood hero. But he has managed to have a tremendous start to his acting career. 2010’s ‘Love Sex aur Dhokha’ was his debut film. The experimental film was highly acclaimed by critics and also managed to turn out a profit riding on its niche appeal. Due to its ensemble cast Rajkumar could not get the full focus. But he had his opportunity with the 2013 film ‘Kai Po Che’ based on a popular novel by Chetan Bhagat. Rajkumar’s performance was highly praised and the film also did very well commercially.

This year he achieved a rare feat by winning the best actor national award for the film ‘Shahid’ under the age of 30 years. In a recent interview, Rajkumar has given his reaction to the award win, “It is overwhelming because it’s the National Award, but it has been some days now. It already feels like history to me. It’s great, but I want to enjoy the process of filmmaking rather than cloud my mind with thoughts of awards and money.”

All of his films so far have been critical/ commercial successes and when asked about how he managed to accomplish this enviable task, he says, “I just read the script, and see if it has something that excites me as an actor and if it challenges me. I believe in my gut feeling, if I feel really strongly about something I do it.”  The actor also stated that he is not worried about not being offered big budget films that went on to make 100-200 Crore because in the west films make much more, “…look at the West – films are making 5000 or 6000 crores, what is a 100 crore in comparison?” Rajkumar states that money for him is not the primary thing although he has reached a position where he demand a certain amount of money, “I am not here for the fame or for the money or to buy a chopper, I am here because this is the only thing I know how to do and the only thing I love.”

At present Rajkumar Rao is awaiting the release of his film ‘City Lights’ that reunites him with his ‘Shahid’ director Hansal Mehta. In order to a play a man from Rajasthan, he went there and stayed there for three weeks, trying to pick the accent and the local culture. On the personal level he admits dating his ‘City Lights’ co-star Patralekha but says there is now marriage plan at the moment, “I am in a relationship, but I haven’t even started thinking marriage yet.”