||Champion releases next
week and Rahul Dev is as nervous as a schoolboy sitting for his first exams. He
appears for the first time on screen in Champion and in a way this film
might decide his fate in the industry. He's not yet seen the film, and is
waiting for the first copy to come from Madras. Lots of tension! Butterflies in
the belly! But he's trying hard to divert his attention to other things. Amidst
the flurry surrounding his debut release, he takes out a few moments to chat.
You are very nervous, with the
release of Champion just round the corner.
Yes, I'm damn nervous. After all it's my
first film. But I'm sure that my role will be appreciated. I play a gray
character in the film, not a completely black one. There is a justification in
the end for his behaviour. It's a revenge story. Something like what Shah
Rukh did in Baazigar. My character loses his family after his
father shoots all of them because he has undergone a major problem in his
business. But Nadir (my character's name) thinks that Deepak Parashar framed his
father and his only mission is to eradicate Deepak's entire family. He thinks
that his father was a victim of frame up. So basically, it's a tale of vendetta
against Deepak Parashar's family.
What about your role in Santosh
I'm very excited about Ashoka, which should release around April.
I play a supporting character in the film; it's a very positive role. I'm
playing the Senapati of Kalinga in the film. I was very excited because
it's a period film, and very different from the other films being made. Also,
Shah Rukh will be showing the film at the Cannes and the Berlin film festivals
but without the songs. Only one song will be retained, the traditional Oriya
Doesn't Indra Kumar's
Aashique have you as he villain once again?
In Aashique I'm playing the main bad guy. It's a
completely black role. I did Aashique only because of Indra Kumar. He's a
huge director, having given so many jubilee films. It's a completely commercial
film. Indra Kumar has a different school of film making, once you accept that,
it's a pleasure working with him.
Aren't you doing Sunny Deol's
next home production as well? go?
Yes, I'm doing Sunny's Indian, which is being directed by
Maharajan. Once again, it's a completely positive role. Initially, they wanted
to cast a big actor for that role, but later they decided to go for me instead
as I have no image as yet.
Are there any other films in
Yes, I'm doing
Mukt, which is being produced by Mohan Chabbria and directed by Adeep who
was earlier, assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Namrata Shirodkar and Aditi
Govitrikar are my costars in the film. I play the leading man in the film.
Shooting will complete soon, and the film should release by August. Other than
that, there are other films, but they are still not finalized as yet.
Do you feel bad that Dus
will never get released?
feel very bad initially, but I never look back. Or else I'll always be depressed
and down. In a way, it was good for me that Champion is my first release
because in Dus, I played a totally black character. At least in
Champion, I have gray shades to my character. Once you start off with a
completely black role, it's very difficult to get out of that mould.
What sort of films do you want
to do at this stage of your career?
I want to do characters, which have been well thought off by the director
of the film. The director has to be excited about my role and the film. I'm
extremely choosy whom I work with because I only want to work with good makers.
I would like to associate myself with the likes of Santosh Sivan, Ramgopal
Verma, E.Nivas, and the young whiz kids like Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar,
because these makers are really good at their job. I'm working with Maharajan
who's making his debut Hindi film, but I was really impressed by his dedication,
involvement and that's why I took on his film. I'm not looking at slotting
myself from any angle. I want to do good work and create a right mix so that I
create a niche for myself. I know I have a limited face to play the commercial
film actor, so I'll try to do varied roles to suit me. I want to be like Sanjeev
Kumar, Nana Patekar and Naseer- they played such diverse roles with so much
conviction; they are my idols. I will be happy if I can achieve a bit of what