“I WANT TO CARVE A NICHE FOR MYSELF” – RAJEEV KHANDELWAL
Bharat SharmaAugust 3, 2016
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After his successful small screen debut with ‘Kahin to Hoga’, television heartthrob Rajeev Khandelwal stepped into the world of Bollywood with dreams and determination. ‘Aamir’ helped him prove his mettle and opened up new avenues for him as an actor. He bagged successful films like ‘Shaitan’ and ‘Table No. 21’ and continued to amaze audiences with stellar performances. Having wowed critics and fans alike with his willingness to take risks, Rajeev wants to carve a niche for himself in the industry. In an exclusive tete-a-tete with Utopeen, Rajeev speaks about his upcoming film ‘Fever’, his journey so far and why nothing succeeds like success.
Tell us a bit about your acting journey.
I hail from Jaipur and did school plays from as early as when I was three year old. It is from there the seeds of an actor were sown in me. My father was in the army and he never wanted me to be an actor, and that itself was my biggest motivation to start. After travelling to different cities and trying my luck at acting, I finally decided to take that leap of faith and move to Mumbai. It was a great learning experience for me, without money and family around, I was struggling to make ends meet. Ultimately, my persistence paid off and I bagged the role in Balaji productions’ Kahin to Hoga. It has been 14 fulfilling years now and there has been no looking back from that day.
How easy was the transition from small to the big screen?
I have always believed in my acting abilities and thus the transition was favorable. I feel an actor has to keep on struggling to find the best out of himself. I was never involved in a theatre group or an acting school, whatever acting talent I have, comes from within. After doing two daily soaps for the small screen, I was craving diversity and ‘Aamir’ came my way. Initially, people had apprehensions about my acting skills, a lot of them even believed that I carried the hefty tag of a ‘small screen’ actor, but Raj Kumar Gupta, the director had immense faith in me and wanted me for the role. And so it happened. I always wanted to grow as an actor and that is something which drives me till today.
What keeps you motivated?
I feel there are a lot more talented actors in Bollywood as they have been at any point in the history of Indian cinema. For my role in Aamir, I was trained by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as both Raj Kumar Gupta and Anurag Kashyap had wanted me to observe his theatrics. I look upto Mr. Bachchan as someone who has an inspiring body of work spread across generations. Also, from the new breed, Ranbir Kapoor is a very promising actor as well. Talking about inspirations, my mother is my biggest source of motivation till today. Even after all these years, she is genuinely proud of my work and her support gives me immense strength to pursue my dreams.
What works more – Luck or Talent?
I cannot stress this enough that if you work hard and put your passion into everything you do, success will happen. It’s good to have support and a godfather might just make it a tad bit easier for you to break on to the scene, but it is no replacement for dedication and conviction. I have worked very hard to achieve whatever I am today, and thus I believe in the power of the self. My journey so far has been a mix of success and failures and I look at my career as a very happy and creative space.
Tell us something about your upcoming movie ‘Fever’.
Fever is going to be a different concept from what the audiences have seen so far in Bollywood. It is a suspense thriller with a high dose of twists and turns in the tale. Shot entirely in Switzerland, the film has a universal appeal to it. I am happy and nervous at the same time but I feel the film will be a one of a kind concept in the industry. I am sure everyone who watches it will not be disappointed. There’s a good surprise in store for my fans – be prepared to blown away!
A piece of advice for the newcomers.
Honestly, I haven’t reached that stature in my life to advice anyone. However, all I can say is that I have always believed in God and luck, but most importantly, I have foremost believed in myself. I feel that if you really are ready to put your heart and soul into acting, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams. I thank my fans for their unconditional support and faith in me. I have attributed my success to the days of struggle, and thus, everyone should be prepared to work hard and persevere. Trust in God and have faith in your own self.
Fever stars Rajeev Khandelwal as the male lead opposite Gauhar Khan. The film introduces Hollywood actress Gemma Atkinson and Bond girl Caterina Murino in Bollywood. Shot exclusively in Switzerland, Fever is directed by Rajeev Jhaveri and promises to be an edge of the seat suspense saga. It also boasts of high octane chase scenes to give audiences a dose of adrenaline. Rajeev who plays the role of a contract killer in the film, is sure that the movie will win hearts of audiences all around the world. The movie hits cinemas on August 5. We just can’t wait to catch the Fever this time![You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]