Rajkummar Rao: “I feel as an actor, as an artist, you should be socially responsible”


At Tote on the Turf in Mumbai recently, star Rajkummar Rao engaged in a discussion covering a variety of topics including being drawn to characters with many shades, responsibility, ‘Padmavati’ and censorship.

For Rao, ‘Kai Po Che!’ (2013) was a turning point for him as an actor, reports The Indian Express. “Kai Po Che! was a big film for me. But I feel as an actor, as an artist, you should be socially responsible. I really don’t want to do films where I am spreading hatred or something that if I do probably 10 other boys from small towns will follow me. I am aware of my social responsibility.”

When discussing his signature style in acting he said, “My trademark is my character and my performance. I keep my character in mind and perform accordingly. I am aware that people relate to my characters — I do hear from fans that they know someone like Pritam or Newton. That’s my achievement. I don’t like heavy dialogues because that breaks the believability of a film. If I portray reality, I have to do so in a convincing way; it’s the only way the audience will connect with the character they see on screen.”

Regarding the controversy surrounding ‘Padmavati,’ Rao said, “I have openly voiced my opinion on the Padmavati controversy. What’s not done is not done. Everything can be resolved with dialogue. Violence isn’t the answer, that’s just goondagardi (hooliganism).” This led to his thoughts on censorship in general.

“It’s happening a lot more now but the industry is dealing with it. We talk about it a lot more now. The trailer of Aligarh got an ‘A’ certificate, which was so unfair. We did what we could do but eventually, it is the government; they have to decide to take a stand.”

He concluded by saying, “Everything is available on the internet and we’re talking about it, about sex and sexual problems, murders and violent images. So what is the point in making films the victim of all that?”

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