He literally started from a scratch to get into the tinsel town. Actor Sushant Singh Rajput tried every trick like being a dance student of Shiamak Davar to working in Ekta Kapoor’s serial to attract attention of filmmakers.
With his flair for acting and being clear about his goals, the actor has shown his versatility right from his debut film “Kai Po Che!” to his last “Raabta”.
Excerpts from an interview
How was Sushant as a child?
As a child, I was shy yet mischievous. I was academically bright, won National Olympiad in physics. I got enrolled for studying mechanical engineering at the Delhi College of Engineering, but dropped out in fourth year to follow my showbiz dreams.
My family was supportive of my decision to pursue my passion for acting. My mother told me was that I want you to have a very good education – not because you will become an engineer or a doctor one day, but it will decide the way you think. She always encouraged me to chase my dreams, follow my heart!
You have played Dhoni and would now play an astronaut in ‘Chanda Mama Door Ke’. How difficult is character transition?
The word difficult is very subjective. If it is applied to something one does not like to do, then it is surely difficult. However, if we take the example of playing a videogame, if I like it and don’t know what is going to happen in the next level, it never seems difficult, rather interesting. The only reason we are excited about the next level is just because it is unknown. So, ‘not knowing’ what is going to happen, using your skill, and enjoying what you do is my secret. As long as the story and the character resonate with me, it is enough to keep me going.
I am doing one film at a time, taking breaks in between, preparing for the next and giving my best to everything. I step up my game so that I continue to get the work I really want to do. It’s making me a better actor this way.
What is your take on the debate about insiders versus outsiders in Bollywood?
Somebody who says it isn’t there is either very powerful or very ignorant. But I feel it is okay because I am an outsider and I am here just because of my hard work and talent. All the films I have done and the projects I am doing are the ones I really wanted to do. As an outsider if I can do it then anybody can.
Any message for young souls?
I was always told to answer all the questions asked by teachers as it is a way of measuring intelligence. However, my advice to you is that only answering questions limits your understanding, ask questions to gather better information and learn more.
As a kid, I used to enjoy the evening play time with friends. The 1 ½ hours of play time just went by, like in 5 minutes. My last 11 years in entertainment industry have also been just the same, because I truly enjoy my work. So, enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy!
I want all you kids out there to ponder if you can be successful in things you don’t like, then think how successful you would be while doing things you really love to do. That would be success in its real essence.
What made you become ambassador of Behtar India campaign launched by NDTV?
It is an honour to be a part of a campaign of this magnitude. I truly believe that students are the future of our country and only they can help bring the right difference in the mindset of people regarding health, hygiene, and environment, the three main pillars of the campaign.