National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao has scaled success with his perfectly balanced film career which straddles the worlds of commercial potboilers as well as content-driven and meaningful films. He says as an individual he has not changed, but people around him have.
"I am the same person who came to this city Mumbai a few years ago to act in Hindi films and I am just continuing doing that. I did not change as a person. All that happens is people change around me.
"When you are successful, the perception of the people around you changes. If I do a variety of work, people notice me differently and that is what is happening. I am fortunate to get these opportunities," Rajkummar told IANS in an interview here.
The 33-year-old actor delivered a film like "Bareilly Ki Barfi", and is also known for critically acclaimed movies like "Newton", "Omerta", "Aligarh", "Trapped" and "Kai Po Che".
With time, has he become a better judge of a good script?
"My parameter of judging a script has not changed over the years. I still go for a script where the story interests me. Yes, there are times where I might go wrong; say, out of five scripts, I might go wrong on one.
"But that is only natural and the ratio is not bad I guess. I try to bring all my sincerity to the character I play. That way I am dedicated," said the actor, who is gearing up for his next release "Stree" with Shraddha Kapoor.
Giving an insight into the film, Rajkummar said: "It is an interesting genre that has not been explored because it is not just a comedy or horror film. It is damn funny and scary in parts.
"So for an audience, it is a good dose of entertainment. The overall character that I am playing in the film was very exciting for me to explore, so I did not take time to say 'yes' to the film."
As Rajkummar has worked with Shraddha for the first time, he said: "I know Shraddha from my 'Kai Po Che' days and we always wanted to work together. This script was apt for us to collaborate. We had a good time working together."
Whether it's a film like "Newton", which was selected as the Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, "Omerta" which played at the Toronto International Film Festival, "Aligarh" which was screened at the Busan International Film Festival -- Rajkummar has emerged as one of the observers of the global audience of Indian cinema.
Sharing some of his observations, he said: "I think over the years, the respect for Indian cinema among the global audience is growing thanks to some of our wonderful filmmakers like Amit Masurkar, Ritesh Batra and others who are making films like 'Newton' and 'Lunchbox'.
"These films are travelling the world and, of course, the perception is changing about our stories and our cinema that is going beyond the song and dance saga. Our stories are more character-driven now and have a more emotional connection to the global audience."
He also credited some of the producers too for playing an important part in bringing changes.
"Stree" is releasing on August 31.