I get 50 seconds in Raabta to prove that I’m a great fighter: Sushant
Ever since he forayed into Bollywood, Sushant Singh Rajput has amazed people (the audience and industry alike) with his choice of roles. After his brilliant portrayal of Team India’s former skipper Dhoni in M.S.Dhoni – The Untold Story, Sushant is all set to play two distinct characters in Raabta, a love story that revolves around the theme of reincarnation. While one the one hand he plays a modern young man, the other side sees Rajput as a fierce warrior known for his fighting skills.
From one physically demanding film to another, mastering martial arts and following his heart when it comes to his choice of films, Sushant shares much in a chat with Pandolin.
Tell us about your role in Raabta.
There are two characters that I’ve played in the film; it is a modern take on reincarnation. Basically, what we’re trying to show is that, if there is something called true love, it doesn’t dilute with time, be it one life or multiple lives. Even if you don’t remember what happened in your previous lives, you have a tendency of getting close to someone without any reason. The flashback that you will see in the film – the world, the people in it, everything has been created from scratch, there was no reference. The people in that talk differently, behave differently. There’s no similarity between the past life and present life.
Acting is a very delicate job because I have to convince you that I’m somebody else. For those two and a half hours, I create that illusion that I’m somebody else. Here (in this film), it gets even trickier. Just when I’ve lured you to believe that I’m somebody else, after around 20 to 30 minutes, I’ve to prove again that I’m somebody else too. This role gave me the room to use all my tools to make sure that there is no similarity between the two characters.
I know that Friday can be dicey but Monday, I’ll be fine, Monday is mine
Moving from a film like M.S.Dhoni – The Untold Story where you had to be in your best physical form to Raabta where again you had to learn martial arts, how challenging does it get?
It’s always physically tiring because you give almost eight to nine months of your time playing a certain character. It is exhausting! You’re changing your pattern and trying to think in a different way, like the character.
In this film, one of the skills that I had to develop the most was martial arts. Just before my character is introduced, everyone is told that we haven’t seen this guy but we know about him because of his fighting skills. And I get 50 seconds in the film to prove that the story is right and I’m such a great fighter! My skills had to be of that level. So I went to Bangkok and stayed there for a month. I would train for 12 hours everyday! I have basic training in martial arts, yet, they invested time in us everyday for a whole month.
What is the first aspect you consider before saying yes to a film?
The story. Right after the release of M.S.Dhoni – The Untold Story, the film that I was supposed to shoot for, didn’t start. And suddenly I had a gap of 3 – 4 months in between. At that time, many filmmakers came to me with a lot of scripts but there was something in those script. I didn’t do them. Instead, I was preparing for a play.
I could’ve done any of those films, but I didn’t. Just by doing that play instead of those films, tells me something about myself.
Acting is a very delicate job because I have to convince you that I’m somebody else
How have things changed for you after M.S.Dhoni – The Untold Story?
Nothing has changed. I’ve done 54 characters till now if you count theatre, TV, etc. I worked really hard for Detective Byomkesh Bakshi and I enjoyed it a lot. The Friday that it released, it didn’t open well; the following Saturday and Sunday were miserable. By Monday, I was okay.
When Dhoni released, the Friday, Saturday, Sunday were all massive. Again, by Monday, I was okay. I’m just not future obsessed. I know that Friday can be dicey but Monday, I’ll be fine, Monday is mine.
Would we see you doing more massy films?
I don’t know what a ‘massy’ film means. I don’t think anybody knows. If we could figure out the formula, everyone would be doing it (smiles).