Sushant Singh Rajput has been a household name for a long time now. He tiptoed into the world of entertainment as a supporting actor on the television show, Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil in 2008. He later went on to become one of the most loved heroes of Indian TV. After wowing the audience as Manav Deshmukh of the popular daily soap, Pavitra Rishtra, the Patna boy bagged many awards. Then he made jaws drop with his killer moves during his stint on the dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa in 2011. A far cry from his seedha-saadha character, his dance performances oozed sex appeal. Naturally, the girls went gaga over him when they caught a glimpse of this new side to the guy-next-door.
It was just the beginning of his journey. In 2013, Sushant made his Bollywood debut with director Abhishek Kapoor‘s adaptation of Chetan Bhagat‘s novel, Kai Po Che! Though there were a couple of other talented young actors in the movie, it was this guy who somehow managed to grab everyone’s attention. He also received a lot of critical acclaim and Best Debutant awards. In no time, he was tagged the ‘Next Big Thing’ in B-town and soon he was signed by the esteemed Yash Raj banner. The youngster was riding high on the success of his first outing. But then he was jolted back to reality when his next two offerings, Maneesh Sharma‘s Shuddh Desi Romance and Dibakar Banerjee‘s Detective Byomkesh Bakshy didn’t really manage to weave magic.
Despite being helmed by two of the finest Hindi filmmakers of the recent times, both the movies failed to leave a long-lasting impact. But what did leave a mark was Sushant’s impressive acting chops. Right after making his debut and at a very nascent stage of his career, Rajput picked two of the most challenging scripts that came his way – a complicated romantic drama and a period thriller. He didn’t shy away from taking a chance and he did emerge winner in his own right. Naturally, ace directors continued to approach him.
Being a huge fan of Rajkumar Hirani, Sushant was ready to do even a passing shot in any of his movies. So it’s obvious that he readily accepted a minuscule role in PK. Somehow even with those few minutes of screen presence in the Aamir Khan–Anushka Sharma flick, SSR won a lot of hearts. Talking about winning hearts, the 30-year old has done that all over again with his recent release, M.S. Dhoni. And this time, he has done it like never before.
It’s no cakewalk to play the title role in the biopic of a celebrated cricketer like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But Sushant managed to do so with absolute ease, at least he made it seem so with his effortless performance. With some support from the rest of the cast, the actor has carried this flick solely on his shoulders. And how can I not mention what an extraordinary job he has done!
Just like the cricket star from Ranchi, Sushant also hails from a two-tier city like Patna. Plus, even he didn’t have any background in the field he intended to carve a name in. But SSR has still managed to come so far, all thanks to his talent and his fortitude to chase his dreams no matter what. This guy has come a long way and he’s now here to stay.
I remember interviewing Sushant for a magazine that I used to write for. It was just before the release of Kai Po Che! He was quite reticent back then. I have to say that I had a tough time extracting some meaty quotes for my story.
After that, I had a chance to meet him at the YRF office during the Shuddh Desi Romance promotions. There was a plate of sandwich and a cup of cappuccino that was no longer hot, lying on his table. But he was so bored with the back-to-back interactions with the media, that he had lost his appetite and left it all untouched. I had felt so bad for him that I had skipped many of my questions so that he could have a breather before the next journalist came in. “What? We are done?!! Thank you so much,” he had exclaimed when I told him that I was done.
And then one day, I met a completely different Sushant. I think he had just finished working on Byomkesh Bakshy. This time, I had chatted with him at length inside his pretty home theatre. From films to his personal life – he discussed everything with the kind of confidence that he never exuded before. I could no longer see any traces of an unsure and dazed newcomer. I was catching up with a star in the making – a star that was born in the theatres across the country on 30th September, 2016.