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Rajkummar Rao: Nothing much has changed in me as an actor

Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao whose Newton has premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival this year, says that previously he was hunting for films but now he is choosing the best stories.

Having achieved at this young age, he spoke about whether he witnessed any changes in him as an actor. He said, “No, nothing much has changed in me as an actor. Since the day I started out, I always wanted to be part of good stories. The only thing that has changed is, now I have options of good stories to choose from. Earlier, it was just to get an opportunity to get there. Earlier, it was more of looking for my next film, now it is about choosing the best,”

Talking about him doing mainstream films like Bareilly Ki Barfi and films like Newton which are festival oriented, he said, “I have never compartmentalized all these. For me, they are about stories. A film like Kai Po Che!, Queen, Behen Hogi Teri and Bareilly Ki Barfi are not really independent films. Can you call them one? Especially at the phase where the lines between the two (commercial and parallel cinema) are diminishing… this is an interesting time,”

He further spoke about his experience of shooting the film in real location, “I loved the story at the first place. The character is idealistic and wants to bring a change, though he is part of a corrupt system. Then I got to know that we were going to shoot the film in Chhattisgarh, in the jungle which is a Naxal-affected area… and yes, initially, I was a little scared. But when I went there, the villagers turned out to be very nice and welcoming.The place is quite unaffected and the beauty of nature is amazing there. So, the shooting went well and we had a good time.”

Speaking about his choice of filmmakers that he would like to work apart from working with directors like Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta and Vikramaditya Motwane, he said, “That’s too tough to answer because the list is long. I want to work with Darren Aronofsky, Damien Chazelle, Alejandro González Iñárritu and, of course, Majid Majidi. I told you the list is long.”

Helmed by Amit Masurkar, Newton releases on September 22.