As a performer, Rajkummar Rao says he doesn’t want to bracket himself and yearns to be part of unique stories told by great storytellers.
Rao has dabbled between independent and commercial cinema with his performances in movies such as Kai Po Che, Shahid, Trapped, Newton, Badhaai Do, and Bheed.
“It is exciting times to be a part of different beautiful stories, which have got a great heart in it and that is what I want to do. I want to continue doing that. I never want to put myself in a bracket, like ‘this is something that works, so I should keep doing that,” the 38-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
Giving the example of his upcoming film Sri, a biopic based on the life of visually impaired industrialist Srikanth Bolla, Rao said he was initially scared to take up the role. “It is important to challenge yourself, break those boundaries for yourself and do things that scare you sometimes. Like this biopic of a visually impaired boy. It was scary but that is the fun of being an actor. You do work with great makers, choose a great story, and more than half your job is done,” he added.
Rao’s next release is the Netflix show Guns & Gulaabs, a project that was a “no-brainer” for him as it hailed from filmmaker duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK.
“I read the story and I knew about the idea for a while. When they gave the script, I liked it because their writing is unconventional, full of quirks and humour but with great characters. So, it can’t get better than that,” he said.
Set in the 90s, the Netflix series explores a world of crime while depicting love and innocence. In the seven-part show, Rao plays the role of a mechanic named Paana Tipu.
The actor said Guns & Gulaabs has an authentic ’90s vibe and the credit goes to the makers, the production team, and costume designers.
“It is not like we were consciously thinking that you know, ‘Oh! We are in the 90’. It was just that the world was given to us, which was the 90s world and there’s actor material that was given to us. We had to be sincere about that material. Everything else was taken care of by Raj and DK and the respective departments because more than anything people would focus on the production design and the costume.”
Actors Dulquer Salman, Gulshan Devaiah, and Adarsh Gourav round out the cast of “Guns & Gulaabs”, set to premiere on Netflix on August 18. The show will also feature the late actor Satish Kaushik.
Besides the series, Rao will be seen in Mr and Mrs Mahi alongside Janhvi Kapoor and Stree 2, the sequel to his 2018 blockbuster horror-comedy.