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I’m not an intelligent actor, I go by my instincts: Rajeev Khandelwal

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I’m not an intelligent actor, I go by my instincts: Rajeev Khandelwal

Post by Samantha on 2013-03-12, 13:41

Bollywood hottie Rajeev Khandelwal talks toTOI about his films, wife and more during the launch of the Times Food Guide 2013

Dapper dude Rajeev Khandelwal who just had a hit film Table No. 21 made many girls weak kneed when he walked in the hotel lobby and flashed his disarming smile. As soon as he landed at his second home (by his own admission), the first thing he wanted to do was to gorge on the ubiquitous Gujarati thali. "When I'm in Ahmedabad how can I not have a Gujarati thali? I would also love to visit Law Garden and the Municipal Market. I have spent most of my growing years there," says Rajeev. Excerpts from an interview:

Have you planned strategies to market yourself well as an actor?
Of the five films I've done till now — Aamir and Table No. 21 were commercially successful; Shaitan recovered its production costs, while the rest of the films I did were critically acclaimed. I think I've been smart about choosing my roles.

How do you select your projects?
My instinct guides me. If I can't sleep after reading the script, I sign it. I was recently offered a big ticket film which they promised would be released on a large scale, but there was a missing link in the script and I decided not to sign on the dotted line. I was said that with this film, I'd reach a greater high as an actor, but I am happy where I am. If a script doesn't excite me, I don't do it. I didn't want to do Table No. 21, I felt I couldn't play the character well. I am careful now — I do a detailed study about the people who are backing the film. It is important that the films reach to the masses.

Do you want to do films with a strong social message?
I am not looking at films with social issues. I might do some silly role too. I am not an intelligent actor, I'm an actor who listens to his instincts when he signs a film. I like to be a part of films that don't just preach, but have substance.

During your college days, you spent two nights at the Kalupur Railway Station, and today you get mobbed on the streets! Life's taken a complete U-turn.
It seems unreal and unbelievable that people love me so much. I have been in showbiz for 10 years and I try and reciprocate as much love I can. I am an ordinary guy. It feels great to receive so many smiles from people. There are two kinds of fans — one who run behind you and another who smile at you and bless you — I am glad I belong to the latter category, elders appreciate me and bless me. I can't describe in words the feelings I go through when people give me so much love. It does pressurise me to perform better, as my fans expect a lot from me.

How do you manage to stay grounded?
People tell me that I am a humble and down-to-earth guy, but I find it funny. I am a practical guy. I am just earning my bread and butter by acting. People who live in the air, eventually land on earth some day.

You love adventurous trips. What are you dream destinations?
I have a pact with my wife, Manjiri to go to South America till Antarctica, board the Trans Siberian Train which travels from London to Tibet and visit Tibet via China. I also want to go the moon some day.

Most men don't cook, but you do.
Whenever I am home, I make the first cup of tea for Manjiri. I lay the table for breakfast, sometimes prepare breakfast. I love to do things for her. There are times when she doesn't like my cooking as I cook healthy meals. At times when I don't do all this, she complains too. (Laughs) I feel if you love someone, you should do everything to make the person happy. It gives me happiness to do all this for her.

How much have you changed as a person post marriage?
There have been changes in me for good. I have started understanding how I am as a person. Manjiri has shown me the mirror — she tells me when I am wrong. I have become a better person post marriage. I now live with a dog called Barfi and have started appreciating dog lovers. My habits are the same. Even now I flirt with girls, I never partied till late before, and I don't party even now.

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