He has very unconventional looks. He is tall, lean and looks like the boy next door.

Yet, he dreams big and is willing to take on challenging roles. Today, he is in the news for his role as Shahid Azmi in the film “Shahid”.

“Yes, there was a time when people in the industry told me I was dark and not ‘hero’ material, but then ‘Kai Po Che’ happened and life suddenly changed for me,” says Raj Kumar, who adds that his “fee” has increased and has the liberty to choose the scripts.

“It’s sad that as Indians we are so obsessed with the fair skin. So for me I had to work extra hard for people to see the talent in me,” says Raj, who also studied acting in the FTI, Pune and says that “it has instilled a confidence in me as an actor. It also gave me a brand that I had mastered the skill of acting in an acting school.”

Raj is happy about Shahid as “I like to choose roles that are different. They should challenge me and I have to give it my best. I have always chosen films that made sense to me. That’s why I chose ‘Shahid’. It was such a complex character. I saw that there was so much scope in it for me as an actor.”

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