Kai Po Che actor Rajkummar Rao has
cleared the air about the recent casting controversy that he has
been ousted from the upcoming film NH 10 on the insistence of
actress and co-producer Anushka Sharma.
The 25-year-old Band Baaja Baaraat actress is
co-producing the action thriller about a road trip gone wrong
with Phantom Films.
Rajkummar, 29, says the decision to back off from the
much-delayed project was mutual as he had already committed to
another film and he has no issues with Anushka.
"I never signed NH 10 officially. I was supposed to do
it. Then it got delayed. Then I moved on to other films like
Kai Po Che and Shahid. Then I started working on another
film. I can't do two films at the same time. I prefer doing
one film at a time," Rajkummar told PTI in an interview on the
sidelines of IFFI.
"So it was a mutual decision. I share a very good relation
with the team. I think Anushka is also a very sensible girl.
She is a really good actor and I don't think she will do
anything like that," he added.
According to some reports, Anushka decided to replace
Rajkummar with actor Neil Bhoopalam, who is currently a part
of Anil Kapoor's 24.
Rajkummar's last three films - Talaash, Kai Po Che and
Shahid have been hugely successful. In Shahid, directed by
Hansal Mehta, the actor received rave reviews for his
sensitive and accurate portrayal of lawyer and human rights
activist, Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai.
When asked if the success of the film has sunk in yet,
Rajkummar said, "Yes it has in a way. We have got a lot of
great response. Everyone who has seen the film has loved it. I
think it is a great feeling. But now it's all over and I have
moved on to another film... I have undertaken a new journey."
Shahid's success has also paved a way for a second
collaboration between Rajkummar and Mehta. The duo will work
together in City of Lights which is being produced by Fox
Star Studios and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
"We have started working on that. City of Lights is an
official remake of the 2013 British-Filipino film Metro Manila.
We are just adapting it to the Indian context. It's a great
script. It's a human drama about a couple," he said.
Rajkummar had a rather unconventional Bollywood debut with
Dibakar Bannerjee's anthology film Love, Sex Aur Dhoka in
2010. But the actor has done pretty well for himself in the
last three years.
Rajkummar says he does not bother much about the praise
that is coming his way and wants to rather focus on building
his career on his achievements.
"It feels great. I am really happy and thankful to God
that my career is going in a correct direction. It is very
flattering. But I feel it's too early to begin to enjoy it. I
still have a long way to go. The start is really good. I just
want to concentrate and not get carried away by all the
laurels that are coming my way.
"I want to be honest to my craft. It gets a little
difficult dealing with the fame and adulation. But you always
have a choice. You either get carried away or not get affected
and continue to do your work," Rajkummar said.
The actor has recently changed his surname from Yadav to
Rao and also added an extra 'M' to his name.
"I always wanted o change it and anyway Yadav or Rao are
the same surname, so it does not matter much. My mother asked
me to put an extra 'M' and she asked me to do a whole lot of
things. I told her I can't do all of that but only this much.
I think she is just being a concerned mom just like how all
moms are," he said.