Actor Rajkummar Rao talks about what made 2017 such an exceptional year for him in an interview with IANS.
Q. How is your ankle healing after the fracture recently?
It’s 95 percent healed. I am walking and I hope to run soon.
Q. Would you say 2017 was your most exceptional year so far?
2017 was the most exceptional year so far, because of the number of releases and the audiences accepted me in most of them. Most of my releases this year were box office successes. Just hard work is not enough. Your films have to succeed as well. Then there was the web series on Subhas Chandra Bose, which was streamed and widely viewed — maybe more than any of my big screen films. So I am very grateful for that. All these filmmakers who thought of me for all these parts. So yeah, I think 2017 was an exceptional year for me. I just hope 2018 remains as exciting.
Q. Which would you consider the high points of 2017?
Many highs during the year. I’d say Bareilly Ki Barfi because my character was appreciated by the masses. No one thought I’d be able to do a character like Vidrohi and that too in such a hardcore commercial film. Now that people have seen me playing such a fun part with so much pleasure they can offer me more lighthearted entertainers. Not that I don’t enjoy playing roles with political ramifications.
Q. Like Newton?
Yes, Newton. I got widespread appreciation in a solo lead after a long time. And the kind of success Newton saw was immense. The kind of numbers that Newton did was totally unexpected. I of course knew we were doing a very special film. The fact that it was such a game-changer was a welcome bonus.
Q. Disappointed that it didn’t make it into the Oscar shortlist?
We made a wonderful film. We are super-proud of it. We got worldwide appreciation for it.
Q. Your comments on Padmavati being hurdled by protests. Do you foresee similar roadblocks for your film Omerta where you play terror mastermind Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh?
I am just waiting to see Padmavati like everyone else. As for the trouble for Omerta, we will cross the bridge when we come to it. Like Newton, Omerta has received widespread appreciation all across the world. We are hoping for a quick release in India and very excited about it.
Q. What can we expect from Rajkummar Rao in 2018?
I like surprising and challenging myself. Yes, I think I’ve an exciting lineup in 2018. There is Hansal Mehta’s Omerta to begin with , followed by Fanney Khan with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anil Sir (Kapoor) and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha with Sonam Kapoor which is produced by Vinod Chopra. So I think there will be a lot of shooting and a lot of releases. What more could an actor ask for? 2017 was the best year of my life. I hope 2018 gets even better.