The multi-talented actor RajKummar Rao spoke at Express Adda in Mumbai on Saturday. Rao said, “As an actor or an artist, you should be socially responsible. I really don’t want to do films where I am spreading hatred. Or do something that will influence 10 more boys in small towns, who follow me… I am very aware of that.” Rao has been part of issue-based and well-made cinema especially in 2017 with films like Trapped and Newton which is India’s entry for the Oscars in Best Foreign Language Film category. At Express Adda Rao spoke of his life journey from being a middle-class man from Gurugram to a well-established film actor.
Regarding the type of cinema which the actor is willing to do, he said, “I want to be the brand ambassador for compassion and secularism. I get very disturbed and sad when I see people get divided in the name of religion; when they kill in the name of religion. So, if somebody wants me to become a brand ambassador for them, I’ll say I can be the most secular guy. We shouldn’t feel divided by anything, be it religion or region, we’re all Indians… Actually, we’re all human beings first.”
In a very honest answer to the question of whether he would endorse any brand or product, Rao said “I could never endorse a fairness cream. We’re Indian and we’re brown and we should be proud of that. I think those products are a scam.”
RajKummar Rao is a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India. He came to Mumbai in 2008 to establish his career as an actor. He talked about his struggle and after giving numerous auditions he finally got a part in Dibakar Banerjee’s 2010 film Love Sex aur Dhokha. Commenting on this Rao said, “It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I like characters with different shades, those who have some internal struggle going on. Once you understand the character, you can enjoy, have fun and take them anywhere you want.”
Rao was very candid in recalling the embarrassment family experienced when they watched the film. He recalled the comment, “Humara beta toh pehli hi film main nanga ho gaya (Our son got naked in his very first film).”
On Padmavati controversy, the actor said, “I went to a news channel with Hansal sir. What’s not done is not done. I think everything can be solved through dialogue, violence is not the answer to anything. That’s goondaism.”