'I want to be proud of my work'

Going Strong

'I want to be proud of my work'

Making a move from television to big screen is nothing new in an actor’s life. But sustaining it and being accepted by the audience is the real challenge.

However, Rajeev Khandelwal has managed to carve a niche for himself in Bollywood right from his debut film Aamir. With projects like Shaitan and ‘Soundtrack’, where he had portrayed diverse roles, he is often called a ‘thinking man’s actor’. But that doesn’t deter him as he doesn’t see himself as a ‘commercial hero’. Now after a year, the actor will be seen in the thriller ‘Table No. 21’.

Describing the film as ‘shockingly different’, Rajeev tells  Metrolife that the movie represents today’s youth, who live life for the moment. The movie revolves around a young couple who indulge in a simple game of ‘Truth or Dare’ for money. They don’t realise that if they fail in any one task, they will die.

But one wonders if one will ever get to see Rajeev doing the ‘running around the tree’ routine. “Why should one do something that one gets to see every Friday? We already have so many actors doing that. I’m not saying that being a commercial hero is a bad thing, but for me, acting has always been about doing projects that stand apart. It’s okay even if it caters only to a certain kind of audience or has a short shelf life as long as I can do justice to the role. When I look back, I want to be proud of my body of work,” he adds.

In this movie, the actor shares screen space with Paresh Rawal. Having been a big fan of his works, Rajeev found this a great opportunity to work with someone like Paresh.

“Paresh Rawal is a legendary actor and a great human being. He is strong and secure and very passionate about his work. I remember after Aamir, he came to me and introduced himself. He appreciated me for my work, which I will never forget. Having worked with him, I hope I have come out learning something,” he adds.

Rajeev has also hosted one of the most controversial shows Sach Ka Saamna. The show raised a lot of curiosity and hype. So much so that everywhere Rajeev goes, he is asked whether there would be a third season soon.

He admits that it was one of the most challenging things he has ever done. “Hosting a show like that is very difficult. Especially since your are dealing with real people and facts about their lives,” he says.

So will he ever sit on the hot seat of the show again? “It is definitely not easy to tell the truth in front of the whole world. But come to think of it, I am more or less playing the game through my movie ‘Table No. 21’,” he laughs.

As for the future, Rajeev says that he likes to keep the mystery alive by not revealing his next project.

“People are curious about the kind of movie that I will sign on next. I personally have never planned my career. Let’s see what happens next,” he signs off.

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