“I’ve struggled a lot in the industry!” Say many, but “I want to struggle each time to get there!” is a path trodden by few. He dares to go by that approach and still manages to rule the hearts. With his offbeat films like Aamir, Shaitan and Soundtrack actually being applauded by the mainstream audience, he is seen breaking the myth that last Shah Rukh Khan left behind. The quintessentially different Rajeev Khandelwal is ecstatic and unstoppable in an exclusive conversation with The Viewspaper.
A very few actors have had a successful transition from small-screen to the big-screen and you happen to have proved the stereotype wrong! How has the journey been?
For me, it was always a progression where I wanted to be better than how I was the last time. I never planned things or set out to prove a point! I want to grow as an actor and for that it is very important that I work for my own creative satisfaction and not for shattering a myth.
Even before venturing into Bollywood, you’ve always been a part of off-beat projects. Any particular reasons for such a choice?
Reasons never rule the game for me, instincts do! I always believe in taking steps forward based on my conviction and eventually break new grounds. It’s like, I want my work to be as convincing and interesting even after 5-10 years down the line.
How easy or difficult is it for you to be doing Television and Bollywood projects simultaneously?
It isn’t difficult for me because I take up one project at a time and pour all my conviction into it. I don’t like to limit myself to genres or mediums but would never go back and do something that I’ve already done before. All I want to do is something different each time so that when I look back, I am happy about it. Tomorrow even if theater excites me, I’ll go ahead and do it!
Is it necessary to have a Godfather in the industry?
I can’t really say if a Godfather is necessary but I do believe that if you work hard, you may become one eventually! Success may come easy if you already have a support but I guess survival is always sweeter if you earn every bit of it. It’s like, you may move-into a fully furnished house but if you yourself design every corner of it, you’ll surely be happier in that ambience.
‘Sach ka Saamna’ is back with a bang! How does it feel to be amidst people’s confessions?
The bang is yet to strike as date isn’t out yet, but let me tell you one thing, it isn’t easy to sit there. It was very difficult for me initially as I could connect to them and each time time I ended-up asking myself, if I’ll be able to confess that in front of so many people. What comes out is an experience full of human emotions, double standards, hypocrisy and courage to top it all.
Nat Geo’s Supercars is yet another feather in your cap! How different was it hosting this show as compared to any other reality show that you’ve been a part of?
I feel elated to see myself standing next to that Nat Geo Logo where I had only seen the most intelligent minds talking about the HOWs and WHYs of the world. I’m not exactly hosting it, but you can say that I’m the face of this International Concept in India. It is very different in its approach and I’m extremely happy to be a part of it.
You just celebrated your Birthday on the 16th of October. What has been the best gesture by any of your fans over the years?
I’ve been around for almost 7 years now and every year has been full of love and affection from people who appreciate my presence. Their gifts have converted my house into such a special place that I’m working or not working, I feel they’re always around wishing good for me. So many amazing stories to tell…neither can I pick one, nor can I ever thank them enough for making my Birthdays so special.
So where do your fans see you next?
Next in line is the Second Season of Sach ka Saamna on Star Plus. Tanuja Chandra’s movie Raakh is also lined-up. It is again a mad story and a very different space that I’ve set myself in.
Very quickly then, choices…
• Who would you rather prefer making confessions at Sach ka Saamna – Aamna Sharif or your wife Manjari?
Manjari for sure, I’ll get to know her better.
• Married Life or Bachelorhood?
Married life, though it has just been 6 months (chuckles), I’m hoping I’d stick to the same answer even after years!
• Low-budget cinema with a Message or a typical Bollywood Masala with never-ending cast?
1st option, anyday!
• A movie you saw and wished you were a part of it.
I’m pretty satisfied doing movies I’m chosen for so never really wished I was a part one. Although, there have been films that I have great respect for like A Wednesday, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Jab we Met to name a few.
• Who is the real Rajeev closer to – The Cynical Cop from Shaitan or high-on-Life DJ from Soundtrack?
I have a bit of both in me, excluding their extremes.
Compiled by: Himanshi Chaudhary, Garvita Khybri and Garima Obrah