Interview By: Hasti Doshi
Rajkummar is an exceptional actor Bollywood has discovered. He has always been casual in his approach towards things while being quite dedicated for his work as well. After some of his fun side seen in ‘Barelly Ki Barfi’ it’s time for us to see him change into exactly opposite character in ‘Omerta’. This quick conversation might just help to know his method acting process and about his further films. Excerpts-
How much did you personally know about Omar before doing this role?
I only knew that he was involved in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and his disappearance, apart from that he was exchanged during a hijack I heard about that but not about where did he come from and what does he do. Also what kind of person he was I got know while doing this film. While we were doing “Shahid”, his little part was shown in that film too, where Shahid is sitting with Omar Shaikh.
What do you learn about Omar while playing his role in this film?
Shahid and Omar were both victims of circumstances, but both ended up choosing different paths in life. That’s also a learning lesson for life that you have to choose your path correctly, as it will lead you to whatever you are going to be in life.
Did you have a second thought about playing a role of real life terrorist, whom people might not like?
No I didn’t have a doubt about it because as an actor I want to do different characters in films. And a character like Omar, he has a pure black shade and he’s a real villian and people don’t like him. So I wanted to explore this genre and my ownself for doing this role. I didn’t connect with him at all on any levels, as I am a secular peace loving guy (smiling) and he his someone who is very firm on his ideology and does what he believes in. Well that was something fun because you are not even any close to the person and then you have to act like him and do that part.
Don’t you feel people might just start hating you for that moment while you are into shoes of Omar?
No because people know the difference, and even Ranveer played Khilji and people don’t hate him. They hate the character and still love Ranveer. Also when I did queen people didn’t hate me and they hated Vijay, the character.
Usually actors adapt the roles for biopics from the real life person that they play, but in this case how was your process as you can’t meet Omar?
I got a lot of information on how he grew up and what he did and where he lived and depending on that I learnt those nuisances, be it language or physical transformation. For me the most difficult part was to get psychic right and to believe in his ideology as I said I strongly condemned that on a personal level. But when we started shooting I had to believe in them and I was supposed to live it for three months.
Did the character grow on you after continuous shoot of three months?
It does actually and sometimes it depends on the film too. Like in ‘Barely ki Barfi’ it was a fun loving character, but doing a film like ‘Trapped’ and ‘Omerta’ it has to create that ground first for immersion of character completely. It did happen to Omar and it started getting into my personal space.
Did your opinions change?
Yes people do say now that, during that time your aura changed and there was something wrong about you. Which I again think is great because that’s what I want, that the role should change everything in me.
There have been several times now you have worked with Hansal Mehta, how would you describe his work pattern as?
It’s very easy to work with him and he is actor’s director. He trusts you completely and gives freedom to explore the character and even I trust him for the vision he has as a director and the way he tells the story. Hansal is the most fearless director that I have worked with.
How did you enjoy having the entire screen space to yourself, as there’s no lady love in this film?
There’s a girl actually who’s his wife. For me it doesn’t matter whether there is co-actor or not, if the story needs it then it’s good and if not then there’s no use in forcing to have it.
You seem to be very clean actor while it comes to expressing any emotion on screen, how do you change yourself every time?
That’s what we do as actors and even I have my way to get out of one character and get into another. It takes me a while to shut down one role and get into other and for that I take a while to do next film and that’s how it’s been since one and half years now.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects?
Once this film is done and then there’s Stri on which I am working on right now in Bhopal. Then there’s ‘Ek ladki ko dekha Toh’ which is almost done again with Sonam. Later I will start shooting for ‘Mental Hai Kya’.