In 2008, Sushant was spotted by Balaji Telefilms' casting team in one of his plays and was asked to audition. He landed the role of Preet Juneja in 'Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil' his character was the fun-loving and childish younger brother of Prem Juneja, played by Harshad Chopra. Sushant's character was later killed in the show but came back for the series finale as a spirit looking at his family celebrate after going through difficult times.
All pictures: YouTube/Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan's Instagram account.
In June 2009, Sushant was cast in 'Pavitra Rishta' as Manav Deshmukh, a role that proved to be a breakthrough and for which he received several awards as Best TV actor. He played a mechanic who falls in love with Archana, an uneducated, caring woman, played by Ankita Lokhande. Manav and Archana's love is tested through challenges. Sushant and Ankita won many Best Couple awards for their on-screen chemistry in Pavitra Rishta that fuelled a real-life romance between the two. In October 2011, Sushant decided to quit Pavitra Rishta to pursue a film-making course abroad. He was replaced by Hiten Tejwani after the show saw a leap of 20 years.
In December 2010, he participated in the dance reality show 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4' where he was paired with choreographer Shampa Sonthalia. The pair scored perfect points several times and Sushant won the title of 'Most Consistent Performer'. Pic/YouTube
Sushant auditioned for Abhishek Kapoor's 'Kai Po Che' (2013) and bagged the role of one of the three leads. Sushant's dynamic debut in Bollywood garnered rave reviews and earned him the Star Guild and Screen awards for Best Male Debut. The film has been a critical and a commercial success. In an old interview with PTI, Sushant Singh Rajput shot to fame with the TV serial 'Pavitra Rishta', quit the show for his big break. But Rajput said that contrary to reports his decision to leave the show had nothing to do with his film career. "I didn't quit the show for the film. These are all rumours. I wanted to quit the show because my character was getting monotonous and I wanted to do something different in my life."
Sushant's second Bollywood outing was Shuddh Desi Romance (2013), directed by Maneesh Sharma and opposite Parineeti Chopra. Sushant was praised for bringing freshness and spontaneity on screen, while his sizzling chemistry with Parineeti kept the viewers hooked and pinning for more. In an interview, Sushant Singh Rajput said it was a different kind of a love story set in rural India. "There are a lot of love stories being made mostly outside India. Our film is different, presenting the issues, problems between love and commitment in a desi way."
Sushant appeared in a small but significant role in Rajkumar Hirani's pk (2014) opposite Anushka Sharma. He was acclaimed for his effortless and breezy performance, while his charming screen presence as Sarfaraz made one wish there was more of him in the film. Pic/YouTube
Sushant is set to appear in Dibakar Banerjee's Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! which is slated for a February 13, 2015 release. The crime thriller based on the exploits of a fictional detective character Byomkesh Bakshi, originally created by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandopadhyay, is sure to test his acting mettle. Talking about the crime thriller, directed by Dibakar Banerjee, Sushant said: "I don't know if it's the toughest film till date or not, but one thing I can assure you of is that in my area of acting in TV and films, I have never given so much to a film. I've never approached a character like the way I've done in this film...Thanks to the script and thanks to the filmmaker I had in the film, Dibakar Banerjee...he is a genius." Pic/Shadab Khan
The biopic 'MS Dhoni' helmed by Neeraj Pandey saw Sushant Singh Rajput padding up to play MS Dhoni, one of India's most successful cricket captains. It covered the rise of the World Cup-winning captain and revealed facts of his personal life and journey before he became a global sporting icon.
Sushant Singh Rajput starred alongside Kriti Sanon and Jim Sarbh in the romantic thriller Raabta in 2017. The film courted controversy after makers of the 2009 Telugu hit Magadheera claimed the film was plagiarised however the court ruled in the latter's favour. The film had a lukewarm response at the box-office.
Sushant Singh Rajput left TV when he was at the peak of his career on small screen. He got bored of doing the same thing on a daily basis. "The show was going on and on. There was nothing new to say as an actor though I was in a comfortable space, was famous, highly paid. But then my agenda is and will be always to evolve as an actor. While doing the show I felt I was repeating myself there was nothing to learn and there was a conscious decision to leave the show. The TV is a powerful medium and reaches every home. Next two-three years he feels there will be seasons of shows, there will be creativity and then it will be satisfactory. There is a mindset that this is a TV or film actor. TV actors can be as good if not better than those doing films."
Now, as the actor is all geared up for Abhishek Kapoor's yet another venture, Kedarnath, opposite the newbie, Sara Ali Khan, daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh, Sushant Singh Rajput is a tad excited about the release. The film is slated to hit the silver screen on December 7. Sharing his experience with mid-day, Sushant Singh Rajput said: "Physicality and nuances are factors that can get actors to go beyond what is offered to them [in the script]. I focus on nuances for every role. [I concentrate on the details] to such an extent that should I play a similar character again, you will not mind watching me do so, because I will make the two look distinct. You'll look at me and say, 'He also took care of the small things.'"
The actor will also be seen opposite Bhumi Pednekar in Abhishek Chaubey's Sonchiriya. In an interview before, Sushant Singh said that he wants to be part of unconventional films and portray characters that are real. "I would like to portray characters that are etched out in a good way. I am a good dancer, trained in martial arts. I can do films that are conventional Bollywood films as they make money and entertain. This is not something I am looking for... I am trying to portray more realistic characters."
As the year ends, let's take a look at Sushant Singh Rajput's celluloid journey. The actor started his acting career with soap operas like 'Pavitra Rishta,' later, he changed his path and made it big on the silver screen. Sushant made a dynamic debut in Bollywood with 'Kai Po Che!' and after garnering critical acclaim with 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story,' the actor is all set for his next release - Kedarnath, opposite Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh's daughter, Sara Ali Khan.
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