Etched in the background of quintessential Bharat, ‘Badhaai Do’ boasts of quirky characters, replete with local lingo and earthy humour that is laced with family members continually interested in everyone’s private affairs — be it love or marriage, Badhaai Do has a flavour of it all! Directed by Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Rajkummar Rao as Shardul and Bhumi Pednekar as the feisty Sumi brings this light-hearted family drama to life which is a perfect mix of humour and emotions. Here, Rajkummar Rao gives us insights on his reasons to choose the film, his transformation and working with his co-stars.
Badhaai Do is a story set in the very heartland of India, what are your thoughts?
There is a real demand for stories from the heartland. Audiences today want to see real stories and characters on screen. This shift is why we have more relatable and realistic cinema. And this gives us the chance, as actors, to play a range of characters, and get to tell stories from the small towns. What I loved about Badhaai Do are the everyday conversations a typical family would have presented smartly with a touch of humour around it. Right from the constant nok jhok at home to the pressure of getting married at the right age and how everyone gets involved in it. Most Indian families and couples, I think, would relate to it when they watch it. The relatability factor is what makes this film a perfect family watch.
Shardul on the surface seems like your regular next-door guy, what sets him apart? What qualities would you retain from Shardul's character?
Raised in a conventional Indian household, Shardul is trying to fit the stencils of the society. It really takes great strength to be someone like Shardul, and I took back a lot from this role. In my character, I think I would love to retain the purity and empathy that my character profusely had. I feel these are the two things that the world really needs more of.
Your look in the film is different from the usual characters you've played; how did you get into the character?
It’s a distinctive look than what I have donned before. The film required me to don a chiselled physique, I do play a police officer after all. I have always believed in doing justice to the craft, with absolute authenticity. So, I very diligently followed my routine and kept a check on what I ate. Apart from the physical transformation, the idea to play a role like Shardul is to bring in a great deal of empathy, understand and imagine yourself in the character sketch, try living and breathing in his shoes. This was something different and challenging to play.
Tell us about your experience working with Bhumi?
Bhumi is one of the most hard-working co-stars I have worked with. She would always come fully prepared, she’d keep taking notes, was always open to new ideas and would always support me whenever I would want to improvise. But apart from her professional side, she’s also fun to be around. I remember on-set, we were constantly joking and pulling her leg and yet she was always such a sport.
The movie is set to have its World Television Premiere on Zee Cinema on 28th May at 2:30 pm.