HELLO!: You’re one of the most versatile actors in the film industry today. How does it feel to be recognised for all the myriad roles you’ve played?
Rajkummar Rao: “It feels great, of course. And thank HELLO! so much for giving me this honour. I love the ‘versatile’ tag because that’s what I want to be. I never want to compartmentalise myself in one bracket, that ‘this is what Raj does’ or ‘this is the kind of character Raj plays’. I wanted to do everything, and that’s what I’m getting the recognition for. So it just makes my belief stronger that I’m on the right path.”
H!: Being a ‘veteran’ now in breaking through the so-called nepotism circle, what would you advise aspiring actors?
RR: “Just focus on your work. Don’t listen to anything or anyone. There are a lot of opportunities today in this OTT world. Try to be the best in whatever you do. Just channelise your energy into improving your art form because that’s the only way for outsiders like us. We have to push the boundaries; we have to break the mould. That will only happen when we know our job.”
H!: Any projects in 2023 that you’re excited about?
RR: “Just everything! Starting from Bheed, which I’m very proud of. It was a very important story that needed to be told. Then there’s Guns & Gulaabs. That’s my first Netflix series with the awesome Raj & DK. Then there’s Sri, which is a biopic on the visually impaired Srikanth Bolla, and Mr. And Mrs. Mahi, another exciting film with Dharma Productions.”
H!: This ‘unconventional’ tag seems to follow you around, given the kind of scripts you sign...
RR: “I’m happy that I get to work with such awe-inspiring filmmakers. I’m as good as my maker, so I think the credit should go to them. Of course, I’m conscious when I choose a script. I try to push myself as an actor. But I think God has been kind. I have no complaints. I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing to push myself, to try to explore as many boundaries as I can as an artist.”
H!: Share a few moments that stood out in the past year.
RR: “There was Monica, O My Darling and Badhaai Do. I think, touchwood, it was a great year as an artist. I just want to continue with that streak.”