“She is an absolute diva,” says Raj who is also a die-hard fan of Sridevi and Madhubala. On a high after the success of the film, the actor talks to CS about his love for films and girlfriend Anwita:
An early start
As a school kid, I loved dancing. Later on, I started acting in school plays, dramas, etc. I realised very early in life that I wanted to become an actor. I was doing theatre along with my graduation. After getting my graduation, I enrolled in FTII Pune. My parents were not only supportive but also confident of the fact that I would make a mark as an actor. I count that as one of my biggest blessings. My mom adores Amitabh Bachchan while dad is a Sanjeev Kumar fan.
I had a great time in film school watching, talking and discussing films. We had some great teachers. I loved the process. You can say that I was in a live-in relationship with acting then, now I am married to it. Yes, I feel that being a trained actor is definitely a plus point. However, spontaneity is equally crucial. After all, acting is all about reacting on the moment. But preparation is equally important as it helps you concentrate on the finer nuances of the job.
As an actor, I am in absolute awe of Daniel Day Lewis. Whenever I see him I feel like I am nothing. If I had to rate myself before him, I would be in the minus scale. I thoroughly believe in his idea of preparation. I am also a huge fan of Robert De Niro, especially in the film Taxi Driver.
Partner in films
My girlfriend Anwita is just starting out with her career. These are very early days for her. We have been dating each one since a year-and-a-half, and things are going well (smiles). Both of us discuss work, characters, films and understand our aspirations to the hilt. That kind of understanding is a real blessing. In fact, she gave me one of the best compliments after watching Kai Po Che. She said, “I can only see Govind (his character) and not you in the film.” It was a big thing because she’s also one of my biggest critics, along with my friends, Dev and Vinod.
Life is beautiful
I am definitely not a laidback guy. However, I like to take three-four days off after working non-stop for a month. Though I love my work, having a life is also a priority for me. I love to read and travel. I think both these things are extremely helpful for an actor.