I don’t believe in reincarnation, says Sushant Singh Rajput
After earning accolades for his transformation into cricketer MS Dhoni, Sushant Singh Rajput is now ready to show off his ‘animal side’ in director Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta — a modern-day story of people with an extraordinary past life connection and a prophecy. With an impressive line-up of films in his kitty, Rajput has hung up the wicket-keeping gloves, only to scale new heights.
What attracted to you to a reincarnation story like Raabta?
I simply reacted to the script. I had just finished shooting Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! when this one came along. I read it when I was chilling out in Goa with a beer. The script and cracked me up the entire time. When I finished I thought maybe it’s because of the beer. So, I read it again, and it was good. I don’t believe in reincarnation and all the references I had were of not good films. But this time, because of the way the story was written, I wanted to believe in reincarnation. For me, the challenge was that in two-and-a-half hours I should be able to convince you that I am two completely different characters. There is not even an iota of similarity in the two. The contemporary guy, Shiv, is fun-loving and easy-going whereas the other guy is animalistic, wild and wired for survival and reproduction.
What was it like playing a double role in two different timelines?
It gets easier when you get a hang of the character. The important thing as an actor is to convince yourself that you are the guy and then from there you can start exploring. Getting into two different characters was difficult in terms of acquiring skills. The wild guy is an extremely good warrior. I didn’t have much time to show that side of him. I use two swords for two to three minutes, and the audience has to be convinced quickly that this guy is that legendary guy they talk about. Some part of a lot it is shot underwater, but neither Kriti nor I are good swimmers. We trained for almost eight weeks.
Were you disappointed that Dhoni did not translate into more acting awards for you?
To be honest, if you give me an award I would really like it. But since I am not thinking about it, if you don’t give it to me, I will not miss it. One ceremony did give me an award, many didn’t, but I danced and took home a nice paycheck.
What are your future projects?
I am looking forward to the space adventure Chanda Mama Door Ke, where I play an astronaut. I will be going to NASA to do astronaut training. I have already started with simulators and virtual reality. Then there’s RAW: Romeo Akbar Walter which is loosely based on the true story of a young spy and how his decisions affect the couse of the Indo-Pak history. I have also finished principal shooting for Drive.
Raabta releases on June 9