'It's all about talent'

Glamour quotient

'It's all about talent'


Rajniesh Duggal

His debut film 1920 hit bull’s eye at the box office and now, model-turned-actor Rajniesh Duggal has many other interesting projects in the pipeline. “I was scared during the first weekend of 1920. But it feels so good that movie was a success,” says the winner of Mr

India 2003 to Metrolife. “It was a very important movie for me as a debutant, as whenever one starts something new, one hopes for it to go well.”

Hailing from Delhi, Rajniesh had never really thought of becoming an actor. “I had just finished BCom Honours,” he says. “Once, I was at a wedding and a choreographer suggested that I should try my hand at modelling.” Slowly, Rajniesh became popular in the modelling industry and walked the ramp for all the big designers.

“That’s when I thought I should enter the Mr India contest.” And as luck would have it, Rajniesh ended up winning the pageant. 

He went on to model for ads and is best remembered for his retro looks and funky moves in the Bombay Vikings video Chod Do Aanchal. “It was the first video I had done. I learnt so much on the sets of it.” Gradually, he landed a role in Vikram Bhatt’s 1920.

Currently, he is doing another Vikram Bhatt production called Phirr with Adah Sharma, who starred opposite him in 1920. He will also be seen in Dropout, a film on education. “It is a light film about an engineering student, who drops out,” he informs.  He is also working on Khalid Mohammad’s Rutpa, in which he will be playing the role of Khalid himself.  He adds, “Rutpa is the story of Khalid’s life in a fictional way.” Rajniesh is delighted to have worked with a fine director like Khalid.

“He is so professional. And at this stage, I need to work with a good director so that I can learn a lot.”

He also has two comedies lined up — Paradise On Earth and Bajaj Lost And Found, about which he cannot reveal much at the moment. 

But is winning a beauty pageant a shortcut to films? He answers, “Winning a title does put you a step ahead of the rest as people are interested in meeting you. But that’s the maximum edge you can get. From then on, it’s all about your talent.”
Does he feel bad when people say models cannot act? “It doesn’t matter to me. To each, his own,” he quips.

He also loves to play board games and go for a drive with his wife whenever he is free.

Ask him about Bangalore and he remembers style guru Prasad Bidapa. “I have been to Bangalore for a lot of shows. But I have heard that the traffic has gone really crazy of late,” he notes. You are quite right, Rajniesh!

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