Like playing characters with conflicts: Rajkummar Rao
Mumbai: Playing a police officer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in his upcoming film "HIT - The First Case" was a memorable experience for actor Rajkummar Rao, who says he gravitates toward complex characters.
In his 12-year-long career, Rao has impressed the audience with his stellar performances in films such as 'Shahid', 'Trapped' and 'Newton'.
In HIT, he plays Vikram Jaisingh, a cop who is on the trail of a missing woman while he struggles with mental health issues.
"It is a great part because it is so complex. I like things that are complex in my characters. I don't want it to be one journey, there have to be twists and turns. There have to be conflicts in your character's head," Rao told PTI in an interview.
The National Award winner said he enjoyed working on the film as he got an opportunity to delve into the psyche of someone "carrying a lot of trauma from his past".
"He has baggage. That trauma has turned into PTSD, he gets panic attacks. He is so passionate about his work, but his job is such that it gets triggering sometimes," the 37-year-old actor added.
Since there was no reference point to his character, Rao said he read a lot about PTSD and watched several videos of people with the disorder.
"I wanted it to be truthful as there are people who are suffering from this disorder. I couldn't do anything from my imagination, it had to be factual. So, I was carrying that baggage throughout. Those triggers were real for me whenever they used to happen on sets. Mentally, it was a taxing film," he said.
On many occasions during the shooting, the actor said it would take him a while to come out of the character, even when they were done for the day.
"There are some scenes which are very intense in nature. So, that used to take some time to get out of it. It was not an easy film or an easy character to portray.
"But that's what I enjoy when challenges are thrown at me. I get nervous and scared and that's when I push myself. It was such a wonderfully etched-out character. It was something I hadn't done earlier."
This is not the first time Rao has played a police officer. Most recently, he played a small-town cop, who is a closeted gay man.
People in uniform are often depicted as "the bravest of the brave" and what "HIT" does is humanise them, he added.
"The difference between our film and other films is that our cop is very humane. We always show a cop as a macho, somebody who is well built, the bravest of the brave. But in 'HIT', he is somebody who has his own trauma. That's what makes Vikram Jaisingh very human and that he is somebody who you could relate to. We all carry our own baggage, regrets and guilt in life," the actor said.
"HIT" is the Hindi remake of the 2020 Telugu hit of the same name directed by Sailesh Kolanu, who had also helmed the original film.
Also starring Sanya Malhotra, the film is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Dil Raju, Krishan Kumar and Kuldeep Rathore. It is slated to be released on Friday.