The quiet son-rise

homeward bound

The quiet son-rise

The ‘Boutique Bollywood Actor’ on Twitter is bound to evoke curiosity. For the creative person that actor Rahul Khanna is, he couldn’t be more descriptive.

 “Outside India, there was this perception that I was doing 10 films a year. I had heard ‘boutique’ being used to describe everything from hotels to investment companies that were niche. So I decided to use it, it was sort of a joke,” Rahul explains. The nomenclature might have got a few good laughs, but clearly, Rahul Khanna does occupy a niche space in the creative domain, albeit he remains refreshingly grounded. 

The actor has been difficult to place, moving between countries and genres, unlike his contemporaries. Based in Los Angeles, Rahul’s path has been an unconventional one. With ‘Fireflies’, the story about love, loss and redemption, coming to the screens in October-end, he seems homeward-bound.

“I think it is a great privilege to do many styles. I want to try as many genres as possible. I chose ‘Fireflies’ because it was an independent film wanting to make on its own without any big production house backing it. The technical and creative team are among the best in India.

Director Sabal Shekawat is one of India’s top ad-film directors. In terms of visuals and production, it is one of the stylish films I’ve worked on. It also has an interesting cast and I like all their works personally. And the story was poignant,” he says.

The shoot was tough, neverthelesss, he carried back some unforgettable moments. “We shot in Mumbai for a while, Bangkok and in the tea plantations and forests in Sri Lanka, away from civilisation. Once I went for a swim and was attacked by sand flies that left me with red bites all over my back. The next day, I had to shoot a scene where I had to take my shirt off. But with cinematographer Shanker Raman’s camera work and lighting, you can’t see it,” he adds.

In spite of being anointed as the rising son of a famous father, Rahul had made his way on his own. He had attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and the School of Visual Arts in New York. But how much does training help an actor? “It is like a sport. If you have interest in it, you can better it, like an athlete who improves with training. I always believe no education is ever wasted.”

Growing up, “I wanted to be a horse trainer. Later on, I became more interested in the creative world. I wanted to do some sort of creative work.” As a natural progression, Rahul has been displaying his writing skills whenever he gets an opportunity. “You know, I do write for magazines, I have got book offers and I’m optimistic about it,” he says.

There is some method in the midst of all the madness that the profession of acting comes with. For the uninitiated though, he is said to balance chocolate with yoga. Is that true? (Laughs) “It is not so much of balancing, it’s a violent struggle all the time. It’s about watching what you do. I strike a balance between exercise and food’,” he says.

With a politician as a father, he nurses no political ambitions, none whatsoever. “I don’t understand politics,” he is candid. Now, away from the idolisation that is part of the Indian psyche, does he ever miss the limelight? “I am a bit of a gypsy and I go with the flow. I am also a very private person.” The ‘Fireflies’, meanwhile is waiting to light up homes and hearths!   

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