‘I would stand outside Mannat for hours’: Rajkummar Rao opens up about his Shah Rukh Khan fandom
Actor Rajkummar Rao revealed that he like thousands of Shah Rukh Khan fans has he has waited outside Mannat to get a glimpse of his idol when he was still a struggler. Speaking to Neha Dhupia as part of her chat show No Filter With Neha, Rajkummar said he has been inspired by the Badshah of Bollywood.
"I would simply stand outside Mannat (Shah Rukh’s residence) for 6-7 hours in a bid to see the actor. I saw Gauri though." The Bareilly Ki Barfi actor went on to say that he meet Shah Rukh much later while shooting at Mehboob Studios in Mumbai.
An excited Rajkummar said SRK was sweet when he met him, adding that the Shah Rukh knew everything about Rajkummar and it made him feel special. “Shah Rukh is so fantastic. He is so charming and after that, of course, now, we are pretty close. Like I know I can message him, I know I can call him and he calls me and I still get pretty excited and you know that fan inside me would never die. I still feel very very happy whenever he calls me.”
“Growing up, I was fascinated with Shah Rukh Sir–I used to stare at his posters & think that if an outsider could make it as big as him, then maybe there was hope for me. It wasn’t rosy though–I didn’t get work after I came to Mumbai. I only got small jobs–I’d be like the 10th person standing in a random newspaper ad! I made 8-10k a month–but there were days when I didn’t have money & I’d call my friends saying, ‘Can I come over to eat?’ Giving up wasn’t an option. There was never a plan B. I was constantly on the hunt for auditions–I met with countless ADs & casting directors. They would call me in for small roles & I’d try to convince them to let me audition for the bigger parts–I was turned down. But I wasn’t demotivated. I persistently followed up with Atul Mongia till he finally called me to audition for Love Sex aur Dhokha. A week went by & I hadn’t heard back–that’s when I questioned, ‘Will they call?’ Then it happened...everything I worked for culminated in that one moment. I was at home when I got the most important call of my life. The words were, ‘Ho gaya, you got the film!’ I fell to my knees, cried & called my mom. The movie released & that’s when the doors opened. But I’ll tell you a stand out moment–it was sometime after Queen. I was shooting in Mehboob & heard that Shah Rukh Sir was there too. So I thought this was my chance–maybe I could meet him. I sent a message across–I didn’t think he’d know me, but he called me to his trailer. He knew my entire bio! He made me feel so special–I was already a fan, but that day I was probably his biggest. I was nervous and in awe throughout. I once spoke to his posters & now there he was, in front of me. How can I even explain what that felt like? What’s ironic is, that the people who in the beginning weren’t interested in me for a lead role–today offer me films. I’m the same actor, the same person, but now I’m offered the roles. I’ve believed in my craft, even when things weren’t going well. I just knew–I put it out in the Universe & attracted it. Remember, no matter what anyone says, no one will believe in you, the way YOU do–so hustle & let the Universe do the rest.”
Earlier, the actor had said “Growing up, I was fascinated with Shah Rukh Sir––I used to stare at his posters and often think that if an outsider could make it as big as him, then maybe there was hope for me. ”