Success has given me an increased sense of responsibility
The success of 2018's Badhaai Ho helped Gajraj Rao create a niche in the industry, and today, he is one of those few actors who are critically as well as commercially successful. Though the actor is thrilled with all the appreciations coming his way, he feels the success has increased his sense of responsibility.
"Badhaai Ho gave me success, appreciation and of course a fan base. There are people who love my work and want to see more of me on screen - that's where my responsibility as an actor increases. The amount of time that I now invest in a character...in the preparation process, has increased. I have to be extra cautious and prepared for my performance. The reason is, 15-20 years back, people hardly knew me and hence didn't really notice the flaws in my performance; it didn't matter much back then. But after Badhaai ho, they have started noticing me and my performance. They have certain expectations from my character and I believe, my admirers have all the rights to criticise me," says the actor who's latest release 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan' is enjoying a fantastic run at the box office.
He further adds, "Never in my life have I taken a project lightly. I consider everything as a challenge and try to prepare for it in the best way possible. For example, I read the script of 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan' 50-60 times before the shoot, only to understand my character well and work on it. With success, my sense of responsibility has definitely increased."
Throwing more light on how he brought the character of Shankar Tripathi. (Rao's character in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan) to life, Rao says, "Shankar Tripathi was an entirely new character for me as I had no idea about the world he comes from. I had to look for a reference point that could help me understand things well and I found it in one of my relatives."
"I have a relative who is extremely orthodox and didn't allow his daughter to work outside. He isn't a bad person but a little rigid in this regard. For Shakar Tripathi's role, I tried to copy his behaviour, mannerism and thought process. I read the script multiple times to understand what more elements can I bring into this character to make it look more real. I gave time to understand the relations I share with other characters in the movie. All of us spent ample time rehearsing the lines and practising the scenes."
"It was undoubtedly the most challenging role of my life," he concludes.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Neena Gupta besides Gajraj Rao released last Friday. Produced by Anand L Rai, the movie is getting rave reviews from across the country.