Rajkummar Rao is an Indian film actor who primarily works in Bollywood Movies. The actor had entered the film industry with the experimental film 'Love Sex Aur Dhokha' in 2010. Since then, he has acted in several critically acclaimed films including 'Gangs of Wasseypur-2', 'Chittagong', 'Talaash', 'Kai Po Che!', 'Shahid' and 'Queen'. He has been honored with the National Film Award for Best Actor for his remarkable performance in the biographical film 'Shahid' in 2013.
Rajkummar Rao Early Life
Rajkummar Rao was born on 31 August 1984 in Gurgaon, Haryana in a lower-middle-class Yadav family. However, when he was born Gurgaon was not the modern city that it is now but a small rural village back then. As a kid, Rajkummar never dreamt of becoming an actor or making it big on screen but all he liked was mimicking several Bollywood Celebrities which included the likes of Amitabh Bachchan’s dialogues from ‘Deewaar’ and Shah Rukh Khan’s stammering KKKKK…Kiran from ‘Darr’. It was only later after completing his 10th standard while performing on the theatre stage and the applause he received, that he was drawn towards acting and decided to make a career of it.
Rajkummar Rao Family
Rajkummar Rao Family Brother Sister
Rajkummar Rao was born into a lower middle class ‘Ahir-Yadav’ family in a small rural village of Gurgaon, in the state of Haryana, India. Though not much is known about his small family, all that one knows is that it consists of his father and late mother who was a staunch believer in astrology, sister Monika, and brother Amit. His mother passed away on 11 March 2016 after succumbing to a heart attack.
Rajkummar Rao Career
Rajkummar knew that the road to making a career in Bollywood as an actor is not going to be easy but he was prepared for the struggle. After graduating from FTII, Pune, and shifting base to Mumbai, his pursuit to get a break as an actor began in 2009 when he started meeting casting directors and making the round of studios.
Rajkummar got his first break by acting in a short film titled ‘Bombay Mirror.’ Though his first short film vanished without a trace he didn’t have to wait too long for his first big break when he responded to an ad by producer Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms who were on the lookout for newcomers to acting in director Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’. Rajkummar bagged an important role and was noticed in one of the segments of the film - Sex (Titled ‘Paap Ki Dukkaan’) where he played the role of Adarsh. The success of ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’ made people take notice of him as an actor. He slowly and steadily got to be known as a remarkable actor who was breaking all the old concepts and setting a new trend of a natural form of acting.
After giving full credit to producer Ekta Kapoor for launching him in ‘LSD,’ Rajkummar signed his next flick with the former yet again titled ‘Ragini MMS’ where he played the antagonist. The film was an instant hit as both the films got him recognition and appreciation. Next, he appeared in director Bejoy Nambiar’s critically acclaimed film ‘Shaitan’ where he yet again walked away with all the accolades.
The year 2012 saw Rajkummar consolidating his position by doing big films like Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur- 2’ where he played the role of Shamshad Alam. To get under the skin of the character, he visited Wasseypur to understand its people’s behavior, mannerisms, and accent. He later admitted that working with director Anurag Kashyap was a learning experience though his role was smaller compared to that of Manoj Bajpai and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The same year also saw him appear in the critically acclaimed Manoj Bajpai starrer ‘Chittagong’ where he played the character of freedom fighter Lokenath Bal.
Before ‘Kai Po Che!’ happened, Rajkummar followed up his performance in ‘Chittagong’ with Reema Kagti’s Aamir Khan starrer ‘Talaash: The Answer Lies Within’. His lifelong ambition to act along with Aamir Khan in the same frame came true in ‘Talaash: The Answer Lies Within’ which he later admitted to in an interview.
The year 2013 can be considered as the turning point in Rajkummar’s career as it saw the release of Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Kai Po Che!’, ‘Boyss Toh Boyss Hain’, and the award-winning ‘Shahid’ directed by Hansal Mehta. Despite ‘Kai Po Che!’ having him play one of the three main leads, his performance didn’t go unnoticed as the film became one of the biggest hits of 2013. ‘Kai Po Che!’ was director Abhishek Kapoor's adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's novel ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life’ which helped the audience take notice of Rajkummar’s method acting.
Director Hansal Mehta’s ‘Shahid’, a biopic based on the life and times of Shahid Azmi, the slain lawyer and human rights activist, saw Rajkummar earn his first National Film Award for Best Actor and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor in 2013. With these two awards, Rajkummar announced his arrival on the big screen.
The year 2014 saw Rajkummar appear in the super hit Kangana Ranaut starrer ‘Queen’ where he played the character of Vijay who calls off his wedding with his fiancée Rani (Kangana Ranaut) at the last moment. Though his character had gray shades to it, he still received critical acclaim. His next release, ‘Citylights’ saw him pairing up with his real-time girlfriend Patralekha on the screen which was directed by Hansal Mehta and garnered critical acclaim.
2015 saw him appear in big-budget films like ‘Dolly Ki Doli’ co-starring Sonam Kapoor, Pulkit Samrat and Varun Sharma, and ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ directed by Mohit Suri which starred Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan. Both the films fared badly at the box-office till Hansal Mehta’s ‘Aligarh’ released the following year in 2016.
‘Aligarh’ was based on the true-life story of professor Ramchandra Siras from Aligarh who was humiliated and boycotted by the society for being a homosexual, had Manoj Bajpai playing the central character. Rajkummar was seen in a supporting role where he played Deepu Sebastian, a journalist in the film who tries to support professor Siras in getting back his position as a professor in Aligarh Muslim University. ‘Aligarh’ received accolades and critical acclaim at various film festivals including the 20th Busan International Film Festival. The film not just earned Manoj Bajpai the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor that year but also fetched Rajkummar a nomination in the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor category. ‘Aligarh’ saw Rajkummar being honored with life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television by Sandeep Marwah.
The year 2017 has so far proved very crucial for Rajkummar Rao who has been seen in a gamut of films releasing in different genres. The year started off with Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Trapped’ where he plays Shaurya, a man who gets locked in his rented flat and no one comes to his rescue. The film yet again garnered rave reviews from critics as his performance was appreciated along with his amazing weight transformation to look the character. He later took to the social media to post his weight transformation pictures leaving his fans and followers amazed.
His ‘Trapped’ look and performance was followed by a cameo in producer turned director Dinesh Vijan’s ‘Raabta.’ ‘Raabta’ was a reincarnation saga where he played a 324-year-old head of 'Muraaki' ruler for which he had to undergo 16 look tests before getting a final approval by the director. For Rajkummar’s ‘Raabta’ look, a special team from Los Angeles led by prosthetic expert Zuby Johal was called on board. Besides undergoing five to six hours of makeup before the shoot, Rajkummar also worked on his body posture and voice modulation for the character. He was well supported by the lead cast including Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon. ‘Raabta’ unfortunately tanked at the box-office and failed to evoke enough curiosity among the audience.
Soon after ‘Raabta’, Rajkummar was seen in films like ‘Behen Hogi Teri’ opposite Shruti Haasan and ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ opposite Kriti Sanon. ‘Behen Hogi Teri’ had him playing Shiv Kumar Nautiyal (Gattu), a young man who loves his beautiful neighbor (Shruti Haasan) since childhood but both the families take them as brother and sister. Though the film didn’t do much at the ticket windows, Rajkummar’s portrayal as the boy-next-door was yet again applauded.
His ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ released on 18 August 2017 was directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari. This rom-com was a love-triangle which saw him and Ayushmann Khurrana falling in love with the same girl, Kriti Sanon. It was Rajkummar’s character Pritam Vidrohi in the film which received all the applause and earned him the much required hit as the rom-com collected over Rs. 30 crores at the box-office. Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan wrote a letter to Rajkummar Rao appreciating his performance in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi.’
September 2017 saw Rajkummar Rao’s black comedy ‘Newton’ release which was directed by Amit Masurkar where he played a government clerk who is sent on election duty in a Naxal-dominated area in Chhattisgarh. ‘Newton,’ which had earlier received a standing ovation at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival, received critical appreciation from all quarters. Newton won the National Award 2018 under Best Film category.
Rajkummar Rao will next be seen in Ekta Kapoor’s Hansal Mehta directed web series titled ‘Bose: Dead Or Alive’ where he plays the role of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. His ‘Bose: Dead Or Alive’ look too has caught the fancy of many moviegoers. He will also be seen in Hansal Mehta’s ‘Omerta’ where he plays the character of the infamous British-born terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had kidnapped and murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. ‘Omerta’ is to release in India on 20th April 2018 after being premiered in Canada on 8 September 2017.
Rajkummar Rao’s Upcoming Movies
Rajkummar Rao’s upcoming movies or under-production films are ‘5 Weddings’, Bengali film ‘Ami Saira Bano’ in which he will be seen in the role of a transgender, ‘Ittefaq: It Happened One Night’ (a remake of Yash Chopra’s 1969 classic) co-starring Sonakshi Sinha and Sidharth Malhotra and directed by Abhay Chopra. He will also be seen in ‘Love Sonia’, Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Shimla Mirchi’ where his co-stars are Rakul Preet Singh and Hema Malini. This will be followed by ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’ and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s production ‘Fanney Khan’ co-starring Anil Kapoor, Divya Dutta and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. ‘Fanney Khan’ directed by Atul Manjrekar will see Rajkummar Rao with Aishwarya Rai for the first time which is the official remake of the popular Oscar-winning 2000 Dutch film, ‘Everybody’s Famous!’
Rajkummar Rao’s looks and getups
Rajkummar Rao makes sure to put in every effort to look the character he is playing in the film. Some of his getups which caught the attention of many moviegoers are listed here:
Rajkummar Rao Awards
In his seven years long career, Rajkummar Rao has not only earned critical acclaim for his performances but also been a recipient of a few popular awards including a National Film Award for his performance in ‘Shahid’. Here we have listed some of his awards below:
Year Award Film Category 2014 Filmfare Award (Critics' Awards) Shahid (2012)
2014 National Film Award (Silver Lotus Award) Shahid (2012)
2014 Zee Cine Awards (Popular Award) Kai Po Che! (2013)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Rajkummar Rao Honors
Rajkummar was honored with life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television by Sandeep Marwah.
Rajkummar Rao Favourites
Rajkummar Rao Education
Rajkummar was an average student who knew that his interest laid in an acting career and not academics but nevertheless wanted to be a graduate lest he fails to make it as an actor. After completing his schooling from Blue Bells Model School, Gurgaon, he graduated in Arts from Delhi University’s Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College. While attending college, he was actively involved in doing theatre with Kshitij Repertory and Shri Ram Center in Delhi. Despite being a brilliant theatre actor, he got enrolled in the Acting Discipline Course at Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India in 2008. After successful completion of his acting course, he shifted base from Pune to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting in Bollywood.
Rajkummar Rao Endorsements
Rajkummar Rao hasn’t endorsed many brands since becoming an actor of repute. He has endorsed a few brands including ‘Titan,’ ‘Tanishq’ and ‘Cadbury.’ His most memorable ad has been for the Titan watch where the ad tells the story of a man quitting his job to start his own company. He took everyone by surprise by his phenomenal performance.
Rajkummar Rao Trivia & Facts
Here are a few lesser-known facts about Rajkummar Rao which speak volumes about him as a person and actor who is brewing to fame:
- He is often mistaken for being a south Indian for having a ‘Rao’ suffixed as his surname but he belongs to the Haryanvi ‘Ahir Yadav’ community who also carry the ‘Rao’ surname
- During his 5th grade, he trained in martial arts and went on to win a gold medal in Taekwondo at the national level
- During his theatre days in Delhi, he used to cycle his way from Gurgaon to Delhi for his plays
- During his struggling days as an actor, a few said that he wasn’t fair complexioned and had ugly eyebrows and wasn’t hero material
- He possesses a never-give-up attitude which he attributes to his success to
- To get a break in films he often pleaded casting directors to give him at least one chance
- Dibakar Banerjee was looking for newcomers
- He underwent a drastic weight loss to look the character in ‘Trapped’ which went viral when he posted the same on social media
- He is a big fan of actor Aamir Khan which was the sole reason for accepting a role in ‘Talaash: The truth lies within’
- His mother being a staunch believer in numerology convinced him to add an extra ‘M’ to his name and take up ‘Rao’ instead of ‘Yadav’ as surname
- He was the original choice to play the male lead opposite Anushka Sharma in NH10 but the latter was adamant to sign up Neil Bhoopalam for the same
- He enjoys a bigger female fan following compared to male fans across the country
- In his spare time, he likes to chill out with friends rather than attending parties
- He is often reported to completely let go of his image while playing a character
- To play the character of Subhash Chandra Bose in Ekta Kapoor’s web-series ‘Bose: Dead/Alive’ he reportedly gained 11 kilos of weight and took up smoking despite having no vices in real life
Rajkummar Rao Affairs
Rajkummar Rao hasn’t been linked to any of his female co-stars except his rumoured girl-friend Patralekha aka Anwita Paul whom he met while studying at FTII but eventually fell in love much later during the shooting of a short film. Their affair came into the limelight during the shoot of director Hansal Mehta’s ‘Citylights’ which was Patralekha’s debut film, where the both played on screen husband and wife. The pair has been in a steady relationship for almost 4 years now. Though there were reports of him promoting girlfriend Patralekha for ‘Citylights’ and other films but the former said that he has never endorsed her for any projects.
Rajkummar Rao Controversies
Rajkummar Rao has been dragged into a few controversies ever since he started gaining popularity as an actor. To begin with, one of the recent controversies that made headlines was when he approached the Cyber Cell to lodge a formal complaint regarding a person maintaining a fake Facebook account by his name. The accused was found to lure aspiring actors through his Facebook messages by extending casting opportunities in films and subsequently extracting money from them.
Rajkummar found himself in yet another controversy when the director of ‘Behen Hogi Teri’, Ajay Pannalal and the film’s producer Tony D’Souza were arrested on the grounds when one of the posters of the film had Rajkummar Rao donning lord Shiva’s getup which didn’t go down well with certain religious groups hurting their religious sentiments. Later, it was reported that the makers were let out on bail and the film had a smooth release without any cuts.
Another controversy that the actor found himself dragged into was when he came out in support of director Hansal Mehta who was stuck into a war of words over the film ‘Simran’s ‘writer’s credit’ issue with Apurva Asrani which was credited to actress Kangana Ranaut.
Rajkummar Rao Social Profiles
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