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“You need guts to become an actor”

Madhur Tankha
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Rajesh Khera:His role of a gay fashion designer in the populat TV serialJassi Jaisi Koi Nahinmade him a household name
Rajesh Khera:His role of a gay fashion designer in the populat TV serialJassi Jaisi Koi Nahinmade him a household name

The role of a gay fashion designer in the popular TV serialJassi Jaisi Koi Nahinmade Rajesh Khera a household name. Now Rajesh is hoping that his portrayal of Raghav Shetty, head of a TV channel, inMeri Toh Lag Gayi....Naukrion UTV Bindass will become as popular as his earlier role.

Describing Raghav Shetty as an exciting character, Rajesh says: “As Chief Executive Officer of Jhakaas TV, Raghav is a hard taskmaster when it comes to getting work done from his subordinates at office. Eighty-five per cent of Raghav's personality, the way he perceives life and the people around him, is similar to mine.”

Five young interns are working under Raghav Shetty. They represent the carefree young generation which is not serious about work. “They will take time to realise that working in an office is no easy task. Each character adds a new flavour in terms of speaking style and personality. While one speaks like a girl from Hissar, the other converses like a typical Bombaiya,” says he.

Speaking about his challenging role in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, the actor says: “As a professional actor you are supposed to play a wide variety of roles. But here I was required to play a designer who is a homosexual. It was the first of its kind on television. If you consider yourself an actor of substance then you have to set aside your reservations and play the character with complete conviction.”

As in Bollywood, so in the television industry actors get typecast. Even after the serialJassi Jaisi Koi Nahinended, Rajesh was besieged with offers of a designer who had to speak in an effeminate manner. “For the next two years I was getting similar roles; it was very irritating. Fortunately, the same production house offered me a different role where I could demonstrate my versatility.”

As for his upcoming new film that is set in achawl, the actor says people living in congestedchawlshave a different outlook towards life. “We shot the film in 40 days on a set. It would have been quite difficult to shoot in achawl.

Production trainee

Rajesh, who went to Mumbai in 1993 with just Rs.600 in his pocket, was confident that he would make it as an actor. He started doing voice-overs and worked as a production trainee with an advertising agency.

“For someone with no formal training in acting, there was a little struggle initially. But once work started coming, there has been no looking back. You require guts to become an actor,” he says.

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