“I used to stare at his posters and often think that if an outsider could make it as big as him, then maybe there was hope for me”, said Rajkummar Rao.
Rao is a whole talent house of the Bollywood industry in this current competition. Such a fine actor, he has entered the industry on his own without any influence.
Recently he met his inspiration Shah Rukh Khan at the Mehboob studios in Mumbai’s Bandra area. Khan called him to meet him at the studio and Rao felt like his dream came true. When Rajkummar Rao was not into the films he used to stare at SRK’s posters in the city, this being the only thing which kept the actor motivated by doing what he wanted to.
Rao’s shares his biggest fanboy moment with the Humans of Bombay, here what he said verbatim,“Growing up, I was fascinated with Shah Rukh Sir––I used to stare at his posters and often think that if an outsider could make it as big as him, then maybe there was hope for me. It wasn’t rosy though––I didn’t get a lot of work after I came to Mumbai. I only managed small ads here and there. Things you won’t even recollect––I’d be like the 10th person standing in some ad!
I made about Rs. 10,000 a month––but still, there were days where I didn’t have money, and I’d call my friends asking to share their meal.
Giving up was never an option. There was never a plan B for me. I was constantly on the hunt for auditions – I met with countless ADs and casting directors. They would call me in for the smallest of roles and I would try to convince them to at least let me try out the bigger parts…but I was turned down. But I didn’t let any of it demotivate me – I believed that someone would see my talent.
I was also very persistent – I remember constantly following up with Atul Mongia till he finally called me for the audition of Love Sex Aur Dhokha. I did around 3-4 tests. A week went by and I hadn’t heard back – and finally it happened…everything I had worked for culminated in that one moment. I was alone at home, when I got the most important call of my life. The words were, ‘Ho gaya hai. You got the film.’ I fell to my knees, called my mother.
The movie released and I got a lot of love… that’s when the doors opened. But I’ll tell you a stand out moment for me – I think it was after the release of Queen.
I was shooting in Mehboob. And I heard that Shah Rukh sir was also shooting there. So I thought this was my chance––maybe I could go meet him. I sent a message across to him––I didn’t think he’d know me, but, he called me to his trailer – he knew my entire bio!
He made me feel so special. I was already a fan, but that day I was probably his biggest. I was nervous and in awe throughout. I once spoke to his posters…and now there he was, in front of me. How can I even explain what that felt like?
What’s ironic is, that the people who in the beginning weren’t interested in me for a lead role––today offer me films. I’m the same actor, the same person, but now I’m being offered the roles. I’ve believed in my craft, even when things weren’t going well. I just knew – I put it out in the Universe and attracted it all.”
Today Rao is one of the greatest actors in the industry who keeps on doing different kinds of roles with immense perfection.
This was the advice SRK gave Rao when they met for the first time, “Remember, no matter what anyone else says, no one is going to believe in you, the way you do – so hustle, and let the Universe do the rest.”
Rajkummar Rao will now be seen in ‘Stree’ which is a horror comedy along with Shraddha Kapoor on 31st August.