“IF YOU HAVE MOTIVATION AND WILL IN YOUR HEART, EVERYTHING BECOMES EASIER”
In this exclusive interview to CINEMA TV TODAY, RAJESH AGGARWAL tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that if you wish to work, you will find a way to work, even if you live in Delhi like him and commute for work to Mumbai.
Tell me how you started your journey as an actor and your experience of theatre vis- a- vis your interactions with stalwarts like M.K. Raina, Ranjit Kapoor etc!
I started my career around 1988. I did my first play in Delhi, which was A View from The Bridge by Athar Miller and directed by KK. It was the first time ever I had stepped on the stage. It had Saurabh Shukla playing the lead role. I had a small role in that play- just one scene and a couple of lines. That is how I started my journey with theatre. I did many plays with many directors, like Sidhu Saab, and Shailender Goyal ji, and many more.
What was your role in Kanu Behl’s film Agra? How is Kanu Behl as a director?
I have played the role of a doctor in Kanu Behlsaab’s film. It is a nice character, not a one-line role. It was an integral part of the story. All the lead actors were present in the scene. Kanu Behlsaab is also very strict and at the same time very cool. He is also a perfectionist and for every role, small or big, he works with very detailing. I got to learn a lot from him and really enjoyed my time shooting. He taught me about acting, pauses, and how one thing can be said in many ways.
What was your role in the web series Class of 2020 directed by Aarambh Singh?
Class of 2020 was a fun! Aarambh Singh is a very cool guy. Aalam Khan was playing the role of my son in this. All the young kids were hard working. My character was that of a fun loving and a cool dad. He was a today generation dad, who was involved with their children and taking part in their pranks. I had a lot of fun and I did this role in a very relaxed way and it was also appreciated. It is an ALT Balaji series available on the platform.
You have been a part of digital ad films like Duroflex Mattresses, Tata Motors, Reliance Mart, Kenstar and Eno. How was the experience working in ad films and what do you think is the major difference between working in ad films and feature films as an actor?
In ad films you have to say the most in the least amount of time. On the other hand, we have length in feature films to say and express things in a stretched manner. As an actor, I find it easier to work in ad films as even the ad film directors are much more patient while working. They have more time and a good budget, and do not rush things when shooting. They prefer taking many takes and a lot of safety shots as well. Such is the case with feature films as well, but if you compare the both, it is slightly easier to shoot ad films. Also, in feature films, you have to carry your character for a much longer duration in contrast to the ad films. For an ad film you need to shoot for a maximum of a day or two. You have to carry your character for just one to two days. However, in feature films and web-series, if you have a good role and there are breaks in between the shootings, you have to carry the character for longer.
What is your approach as an actor?
You have to live that character and the different shades of its story. You have to keep all of that in mind. You have to maintain all of that and also stay in the character, the script, and also in the director’s vision. You do not have the space to leave the character, or cross the lines of the draft. Therefore, it gets a little difficult to carry all this for a long period of time.
Is being a long distance actor shuttling from Delhi to Mumbai every time for a project a big hindrance for you as an actor?
Jahan chaah, wahan raaha. If you wish to work, you will find a way to work. Actually, before Covid, I used to stay in Mumbai. I even had a house there. However, after Covid, opportunities got reduced, auditions also were taken in the form of self-auditions, and people stopped inviting you over for meetings. If I had to send only the work from my home itself, I thought why not from Delhi. My family, kids, and business, everything is in Delhi. I still have my place in Mumbai and travelling is not that hard. Sometimes the production house bears my travel expense or sometimes I pay from my own pocket. Hence, it is not that hard. Also, if you have motivation and will in your heart, everything becomes easier. There are no hindrances. Delhi-Mumbai, any which way, is just a two hour flight.
What are your forthcoming projects as an actor?
I am currently doing a very good project with Amazon Prime Video with a well-known director and a very big star cast and have a very good role. I cannot disclose much about this project as I am under a contract. However, I am no longer working in one to two days or one to two scene roles. I am only looking for important characters. If not primary, I am open for meaty roles and important roles. I am still getting offers for a single or two-day shoots but turning them all down. I am currently pursuing good roles. If all of them get materialised, then I will work on them only. Otherwise, I will wait for this big series to release and only then look forward to other projects.