Happy Birthday Rajkummar Rao: Celebrating The Phoenix Who Rose From The Ashes

As Rajkummar Rao, one of the most versatile actors of this generation, turns a year older today. Let’s revisit the journey he has had in showbiz.

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Happy Birthday Rajkummar Rao: Celebrating The Phoenix Who Rose From The Ashes
Rajkumar Yadav was just another boy in Gurgaon who had a dream to make it big in films, but didn’t know how to. But it was a chance spotting of an ad in a newspaper that changed the course of his life, and gave birth to the actor Rajkummar Rao.

It was on a visit to FTII that Rajkummar stumbled on an ad calling for fresh faces to audition for a Dibakar Banerjee film. He took that chance and pestered the casting director Atul Mongia, till he gave him a chance to audition for Love Sex Aur Dhokha. Before that, he made a brief appearance as a news reader in Amitabh Bachchan’s Rann.

Rajkummar’s career graph has been like a roller coaster ride, but the actor has risen from his lows to an extreme high on each instance, like a phoenix.

For the first few years, Rajkummar did films like LSD, Ragini MMS, Shaitan, Gangs Of Wasseypur, Chittagong and Talaash. Most of these got critical appreciation, but his performances still went largely unnoticed

In 2013, he got a big break in Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che!, which was a story of three friends, but the limelight there was still more on Sushant Singh Rajput, who was making his big screen debut after switching from TV. The same year, Raj appeared in Hansal Mehta’s Shahid that fetched him his first National Award for Best Actor, and also a Filmfare Award, which got him the dependable tag as an actor but he wasn’t still considered a bankable one.

Rajkummar Rao then followed this up with commendable performances in Queen, CityLights, Dolly Ki Doli, Hamari Adhuri Kahaani and Aligarh. But it was in 2016, that a little ripple was created in his career with his impressive act in Trapped. The act got him noticed, and he followed it up with two back-to-back successes next year with Bareilly Ki Barfi and Newton.

He was a supporting actor in the former, but his amazing transformation from a shy small-town boy to a ‘badass babua’ during the run of the film, brought multiple filmmakers to his doorstep, and since then, there was no looking back.

In 2018, he proved he was not just dependable but a bankable actor as well as he gave a blockbuster in Amar Kaushik’s horror-comedy Stree, opposite Shraddha Kapoor. Since then, he has been a top choice for filmmakers.

Last year, he had two successes with Anurag Basu’s Ludo, where he managed to outshine in an ensemble cast, and Hansal Mehta’s Chhalaang. This year too, he started with a bang with the international project, The White Tiger with Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Roohi with Janhvi Kapoor.

Up next too, the actor has an interesting line up of films that include Hum Do Hamare Do with Kriti Sanon, Badhaai Do with Bhumi Pednekar and the Netflix film, Monica, O My Darling. He is also reported to be a part of Sharan Sharma’s next, set in the backdrop of cricket, wherein he will reunite with Janhvi.

Image source: SpotboyE archives