Rajkummar Rao only played a small role in Anurag Kashyap’s cult classic Gangs of Wasseypur. Though he was earning a name for himself in the industry with films like Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD) and Ragini MMS, Rajukmmar agreed to play the smalltime goon Shamshad Alam in Anurag’s film without a second thought. And in a recent interview with Mashable India, the actor revealed why.
Rajkummar was initially supposed to do a bigger role in the film, which would’ve pitted his character against Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Faisal Khan, but Anurag later changed the story of the film and the scope of his role. “Anurag watched LSD and called me. That was my plan; I was hoping that filmmakers watch LSD and take a shot with me. He told me he was making Gangs of Wasseypur. At that stage, the film was about my character and Nawaz’s. It was about their rivalry. I was thrilled to have gotten an Anurag Kashyap film after LSD, and that too as a parallel lead,” he said.
Rajkummar and Nawaz even started prepping for their roles and spent about 10 days in the Wasseypur area to get the hang of the dialect. He said, “Then one day, Anurag called me up and told me that he’d changed Gangs of Wasseypur quite a bit and that it was now a two-parter and my character wasn’t going to be as prominent as it originally was. He told me that it was fine if I drop out, but I would never think of it. I was getting to work with Anurag Kashyap, after all.”
The actor is glad he did the role despite its limited scope because it is on the sets of Gangs of Wasseypur 2 Rajkummar met casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who introduced him to Hansal Mehta, who eventually cast him in Shahid (2012). Shahid’s success reinforced Rajkummar’s image in the industry as a performer.
Rajkummar can currently be seen in Netflix’s series Guns & Gulaabs, which is getting middling reviews from audiences and critics. Created by Raj and DK, the series follows the story of a mechanic Paana Tipu (Rajkummar). Dulquer Salmaan, TJ Bhanu, Satish Kaushik, and Vipin Sharma are other actors in the series. Sri and Mr And Mrs Mahi are upcoming projects in his pipeline.