Sushant Singh Rajput is the Mr. Perfectionist of the younger generation. The actor, who excelled in television and won hearts with his dancing, is working immensely hard to make his base strong in Bollywood. He kickstarted with 'Kai Po Che', followed by sweet and somber 'Shuddh Desi Romance'! And now he is all set to change gears with 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy' that releases today.
In a candid chat, Sushant talks about shooting for Dibakar's cinematic brilliance, his fan boy moment with Shah Rukh Khan and forthcoming film 'M.S. Dhoni'. Read onâ€¦
Firstly, Sushant how was your experience of shooting for 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!'?
It was very interesting and enjoyed my approximately four-and-a-half month of preparation. There were so many things to learn, like knowing about Calcutta's 1940s pre-independence period, their way of living, lifestyle and so on. Also about going to Calcutta and staying there to understand their mindset, and then the central idea of the film, along with having lots of conversation with Dibakar (director), because we never knew exactly what Byomkesh Bakshy should be. We had rough pictures, but in those four months we created Byomkesh. Generally during the last phase of any shoot for any film, I feel very nostalgic about my character. But I didn't have this kind of feel much this time, because we are having more 31 stories along with this one to show. So if everything goes well and if the movie runs well, then I will again play this character.
Did you take any references from other films or the television series for Byomkesh's character? And are you scared people might draw comparisons with other films based on this character?
As an actor when you come on board, there's a common interpretation between you and your character. Also I had some visuals when Byomkesh Bakshy used to come back in 90s when I was a small kid. It's only after I finished shooting for the film, that I saw everything was there. I just think about myself and say yes to the film. And sometimes all the parameters that are there, are not in my hand, so then I pray that film should do well, as before that I don't think about anybody else. So it's like having an idea of doing the same thing in different way. Also the idea of working with Dibakar and getting to know so many things that I don't know is exciting, and the sheer feeling of playing Byomkesh on the screen is quite exciting.
You once mentioned that you are a die-hard fan of Shah Rukh Khan. Share us your experience of meeting Shah Rukh Khan while promoting DBB on 'Sabse Shaana Kaun'?
When I was in second or third grade, I became a fan of Shah Rukh Khan. In fact I was such a big fan that when I was doing my engineering in Delhi, I came to Bombay on the sets of 'Swades' just for the autograph. Also I danced behind as a background dancer for the film, when I was with Shiamak (Davar). And when he (SRK) called me as an actor to promote my film on his show, I was like over the moon. He (SRK) also said me that he finds me very good and promising actor.
The promos of 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' have raised curiosity among many good cinema lovers, including the kids. Do you think Dibakar will stand true to their expectations?
One thing we need to understand that if we make films and as an actor if we do the same things that people expect us to do, then I believe it's not the right way to do it. Because we are not one, we are not evolving, and we are not helping them. So it takes time to develop a taste, but it doesn't mean that we should always make escapist films and we should fly with excitement. I think the kind of films that are doing well this year - 'Badlapur', 'NH10', 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' - are so simple and yet different films. There's a strong conviction in each and every film. Obviously we need to think about the audience that they should be entertained, but it's only when I am convinced, it's only when I am excited and interested, is why as an audience you will like it.
Television actors look up to you and Ayushmann Khurrana when it comes to making it big in Bollywood. What advice would you give them?
I was with Barry John for few years and he told me that you are an above average actor, which was not good. Shiamak (Davar) told me that you are not one of my finest dancers, but I will still keep you in my troupe. So I was not the best dancer and was also never a very good actor. It happened to me only because I believed in myself. Before trying theatre, I read a book in which it said that an actor is trained in theatre. We never make actors, we only train who are already an actor. So I was wondering that what if I am not an actor, but then when Barry told me that you are an average actor, so then I was pretty much convinced that at least I am an actor (laughs). So it's the belief that makes it possible!
Lastly Sushant, your next film is based on the life of MS Dhoni. What's the one thing which made the makers sign you for this film?
I was so excited for signing this film. Of course you trace filmmakers and that's why they take you in their film. But during auditions, one thing you need to understand that when they give you something, then it's up to you that whether you can change the way you act or not.