Rajeev Khandelwal has a lot of preparation to do for his next two
films, Sourabh Narang's Return Gift and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Chenab
Gandhi. While for Bhansali's film he needs to get fluent in Urdu and
familiar with the pre-Partition era, the preparation for Narang's film
is even more complex and elaborate.
Rajeev can't wait for his reality show to end so he could embark on his
big-screen preparations. Interestingly in spite of the show's
popularity there's no mention of a second season for Rajeev. "For now,
this is it," he says tersely.
For Return Gift in which Rajeev plays an Indian bureaucrat on a mission
to Pakistan Rajeev will have to meet bureaucrats from both sides of the
border to understand the intricacies of across-the-border diplomacy.
"I can't just go into the part unprepared. It's a character that has
far-reaching relevance. I'll be meeting eminent bureaucrats to
understand the workings of the Indian bureaucracy and the complex issue
of Indo-Pak relations."
For all of this, Rajeev needs time off. Sach Ka Samna hardly gives him
that space. In fact it now threatens to crowd him even more. Rajeev
Khandelwal has a problem. And it's got to do with his hair. Before he
goes into Sanjay Leela Bhansali's production of Chenaab Gandhi Rajeev
has allotted dates to Sourabh Narang's Return Gift, which requires him
to play an Indian civil servant on a diplomatic mission.
And everyone knows IAS officers are supposed to sport close-cropped
hair. But Sanjay's film requires Rajeev to have very long hair.
Says Rajeev, "In fact one of the reasons why Mr. Bhansali selected me
was because of my hair. I had grown it really long and curly for my
role as a Goan beach bum in Peter Gaya Kaam Se. Mr. Bhansali saw that
look and thought it was what he wanted for his assistant Vibhu Puri's
film. That's how I was considered."
Having bagged the coveted role Rajeev was clearly told the hair remains.
Says Rajeev, "I was in a dilemma since Sourabh's film needed me to keep
my hair short. And there was no time to cut my hair and grow it back.
So I was left with no choice but to ask Sourabh to work his way around
Apparently Rajeev will now wear a cropped wig to look the Bureacrat's part.
Says Rajeev, "All I'll say is, I won't look wrong for the part."
Laughs Rajeev, "For the privilege of working with Mr Bhansali, I'd
happily go bald. He's one of the best filmmakers of our country.
Although he isn't directing Chenaab Gandhi his involvement with the
project is full-on. I'll wrap my work in Return Gift and move on to
Chenaab Gandhi. The thought of sharing screen space with Mr. Amitabh
Bachchan so early in my career gives me goosebumps."
-By Subhash K Jha/Sampurn Media