I Lost My Mom While Shooting Newton... And Then It Was Not Easy

Rajkummar Rao talks about Newton being selected for the Oscars, his struggling days, his mentor Hansal Mehta and lots more...
The time is right to talk to the Man Of The Moment- Rajkummar Rao, the star of Newton which is India's official entry to the Oscars this year. Over to him:

It will be an exaggerated statement definitely but you have become famous like Sir Issac Newton...
(Laughs loudly) Thank you, thank you.

Did you think that the film critics will love the film and it will also go to the Oscars?
It's a great feeling that Newton is headed to the Oscars. I am thrilled. 
Hmmm... I knew from the time I read the script that Newton will turn out to be a good film. Frankly, I don't expect or envisage anything beforehand. I tend to lead a very neutral life. That's the way I am.

rajkummar rao talks about hansal mehtas movie simran

Are you telling me that you don't keep a track of the box-office collections of your films from day to day?
Well, I can't avoid them. They thunder on the phone every now and then. I can't run away from them, can I? BUt trust me, I don't get affected by them.

What do you think has clicked for Newton?
It's a film which talks about the election process in a democracy, and even touches upon casteism and child marriage in a subtle humorous way. I think hence... (trails off).

You have done more difficult roles before...
(Cuts in) This one wasn't easy either. It's easy to play a honest man but not an idealistic one. I would credit the writers Amit and Mayank, who made me see the film so vividly even before it was made, that the whole thing became relatively simple for me. But again, let me tell you that Newton was not an easy role to play. Bahutr conviction ki zaroorat thi to play such an idealistic man as I have done in it.

Chances of Newton at the Oscars? A lot of lobbying is required, they say...
Nascent stages for me to say anything. A lot of work needs to be done. We will collectively sit and chalk out our plans.

rajkummar rao in newton

Mid-day's Entertainment Editor Mayank Shekhar titled his review as 'Raj is the new Naseer'...
It was a very big compliment. But, let me tell you that we have only one Naseer saab.

You were not good in studies, and you always wanted to be an actor...
I wasn't a bad student. That's one of the wrong things that's floating about me on the Internet. Good you asked me about it.


Okay, so you became an actor. And today, you have really come a long way. Did you think that you will come so far?
Who would have thought of that? I just wanted to be an actor. My mom backed me to the hilt. 

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You were rejected in your initial days in Bollywood with comments like 'He doesn't have the right eyebrows', 'He does not have a fair complexion'... 
Rejections are a part of the film business. I did not take it to heart. I was ready for the struggle period, so I gulped it down easily. I knew I wouldn't be welcomed with open arms.
Let me tell you one more reason why Newton became a difficult film for me.

Yes?
I lost my mother while shooting for Newton and then after that, it became very tough for me to continue. 

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And then?
I felt that my mother was constantly egging me on and saying 'Finish your job. Just do it'.

The interview will be incomplete if we don't talk about your mentor Hansal Mehta's recent film Simran, there was so much drama around it...
I saw Simran twice and I really enjoyed it.

What's on your plate after Newton?
Web Series on Subhash Chandra Bose, Hansal sir's Omerta and Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana with Ratna Sinha.


Image Source: Instagram/rajkummarrao & hdshoot

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