After years of struggle, actor par excellence Rajkummar Rao has managed to work his way into our hearts and mainstream Bollywood. Through his remarkable performances in critically-acclaimed films like Newton, Shahid, Sex Aur Dhokha, and Kai Po Che, he's proved that you cannot take him lightly. He recently spoke about his struggles as an actor before he tasted success in a post shared by Humans Of Bombay.
Rajkummar talks about the days he was completely broke and survived on a monthly income of 8-10k. He also discussed the times he used to crash at his friend's place and asked if him to share his food.
“Growing up, I was fascinated with Shah Rukh Sir–I used to stare at his posters & think that if an outsider could make it as big as him, then maybe there was hope for me. It wasn’t rosy though–I didn’t get work after I came to Mumbai. I only got small jobs–I’d be like the 10th person standing in a random newspaper ad! I made 8-10k a month–but there were days when I didn’t have money & I’d call my friends saying, ‘Can I come over to eat?’ Giving up wasn’t an option. There was never a plan B. I was constantly on the hunt for auditions–I met with countless ADs & casting directors. They would call me in for small roles & I’d try to convince them to let me audition for the bigger parts–I was turned down. But I wasn’t demotivated. I persistently followed up with Atul Mongia till he finally called me to audition for Love Sex aur Dhokha. A week went by & I hadn’t heard back–that’s when I questioned, ‘Will they call?’ Then it happened...everything I worked for culminated in that one moment. I was at home when I got the most important call of my life. The words were, ‘Ho gaya, you got the film!’ I fell to my knees, cried & called my mom. The movie released & that’s when the doors opened. But I’ll tell you a stand out moment–it was sometime after Queen. I was shooting in Mehboob & heard that Shah Rukh Sir was there too. So I thought this was my chance–maybe I could meet him. I sent a message across–I didn’t think he’d know me, but he called me to his trailer. He knew my entire bio! He made me feel so special–I was already a fan, but that day I was probably his biggest. I was nervous and in awe throughout. I once spoke to his posters & now there he was, in front of me. How can I even explain what that felt like? What’s ironic is, that the people who in the beginning weren’t interested in me for a lead role–today offer me films. I’m the same actor, the same person, but now I’m offered the roles. I’ve believed in my craft, even when things weren’t going well. I just knew–I put it out in the Universe & attracted it. Remember, no matter what anyone says, no one will believe in you, the way YOU do–so hustle & let the Universe do the rest.”
Much like other actors without a godfather in Bollywood, Rajkummar's journey has also been tough. But he was inspired by SRK, who also had a rough time in the beginning. Rajkummar shares in the post, "Shah Rukh Khan made me feel so special and knew my entire bio when he was shooting in Mehboob studios." The Badshah of Bollywood made him feel so special that Rajkummar fondly remembers the encounter even today.
The Newton actor spoke in length about the constant struggle of getting a role in a movie. He said, “They would call me in for the smallest of roles and I would try to convince them to at least let me try out the bigger parts...but I was turned down. But I didn’t let any of it demotivate me – I believed that someone would see my talent,” he said.
But our Pritam Vidrohi ji never gave up and always believed in himself. He believed that the universe will make things happen for him and it did!
Rajkummar, you're an inspiration. Hats off!
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