Here comes the ‘slo mo’ king

Here comes the ‘slo mo’ king

I have no inhibitions on stage as I'm simply myself and go along with the flow, Raghav Juyal tells Shilpi Madan

Raghav Juyal

That was just something that I perfected without realising that it would become a sensation overnight,” says Raghav Juyal modestly, with a smile, as we chat about him being the ‘King of Slow Motion,’ and his rendition of his now-famous slow motion moves on camera. The actor dancer from Dehradun has earned the moniker of ‘Crockroaxz’ because his slow motion moves on stage bring in the power of a crocodile along with the stealthiness of a cockroach. No kidding! One look at the master-dancer and he has you gasping, stupified, with every limb articulated perfectly, smoothly.

“I like to take risks in life, to explore newer areas and challenge myself consistently,” he says. Raghav starred in the dance blockbuster ABCD 2 that starrred Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. “That role was an extension of my real self,” he confesses, waving aside his limpid moves very casually. Raghav is busy these days shooting for the Varun Dhawan starrer Street Dancer that gets ready to unspool in January 2020. What has him super excited though, is his ongoing schedule of his upcoming project in Bhot Hua Samman, where he is cast along with stalwarts including Ram Kapoor and Sanjay Misra.

Dream come true

“It has been a dream to work with these senior actors,” he admits, having worked on his acting skills after he won applause for his outing in ABCD 2., “I trained with Saurabh Sachdeva to hone my acting chops, just like I used to work on my dance for up to 14 hours a day. I never thought that my slow motion dance would become such a rage. For me, it was my passion, perfecting the moves and performing in front of the camera. It was a viral effect thereafter,” he says, glowing.

Choreographers Terence Lewis and Remo Dsouza have waxed eloquent about Raghav’s dance abilities, especially with Raghav’s self-taught accomplishments in dance, with the television and the internet as his guides. But it was a big challenge convincing his parents to let him pursue his dream: dance. With his father a senior law practitioner and mother a teacher in Dehradun, it was an uphill task. “I had nicknamed my father Objection Juyal as he was always up in arms, trying to dissuade me, and I was bent upon carving my career in this field,” laughs Raghav. “Of course, I was very naughty, and had been expelled for my antics from every school in Dehradun,” he smiles. But life has come full circle with Raghav’s passion and hard work yielding golden results. His parents have come around, and are extremely supportive of his work. Raghav’s paved the way and his younger brother too is in the US studying filmmaking.

“The biggest challenge has been to open up, and let go of societal constructs. Small things and comments that ‘only girls cry’ leave us stuck with stereotypical notions,” he rues. “I feel it is wrong to repress feelings. These mental constructs simply end up limiting your potential. Acting is all about being honest with your emotions. I follow my intuition and gut instinct constantly and am now looking at exploring different aspects of my personality and range of emotions on camera,” he says, remaining very modest about his 4.9 million followers on Instagram. “I am very hands-on and manage my social media accounts on my own,” he says.

In the moment

“For me, it is all about living in the moment. I dream of being a better actor everyday. I want to work with directors like Imtiaz Ali, Shoojit Sircar, Anurag Kashyap...” says Raghav. He is a popular face on the telly having anchored many dance shows, and takes to performing impulsively on stage, wowing audiences with is moves in Dance Plus, Prem Ki Diwali, Rising Star, Dance Champions.... “I have been dancing too much,” he laughs, having been shooting for Street Dance to wrap up the project. “But seriously, I have no inhibitions on stage. I am simply myself and go along with the flow. I also know there are no shortcuts to success. My advice to all the youngsters out there is that you must work on your craft.