Abhishek Kapoor on Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide: A systematic dismantling of a fragile mind
Nairita Mukherjee MumbaiJune 17, 2020UPDATED: June 17, 2020 16:13 IST
Sushant Singh Rajput and Abhishek Kapoor.
"It's a systematic dismantling of a fragile mind."
Sushant Singh Rajput's Bollywood debut was directed by Abhishek Kapoor. In a way, he launched Sushant. And because of that initial bond, Abhishek says he loved the 34-year-old actor as his son.
The news of Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide has sent shockwaves through the country, and in the same breath, has reopened debates about nepotism and favoritism, and even bullying. In a video interview with Shoma Chaudhury, Abhishek spoke about how an artiste within an actor needs validation because that's like oxygen to him. He said, "Artistes are fragile, they need to be taken care of. I can make a film and make sure the audience likes it and likes you, but I cannot guarantee validation."
Abhishek goes on to add that validation is something that comes from recognition. And that's where most talent management agencies falter. They fail to nurture the artiste within the actor and end up selling them like a commodity. "Validation comes from award functions and those are terrible. Then there is talent management who will look at you as only a commodity they can sell. You need to understand the talent you're working with and then decide how you want to market it. You want to make crores off him, at least bespoke a package where his mind is maintained spiritually so he can give you better things," he added.
Sushant had changed several managers over the course of his film career. To that, Abhishek said, "They tell you who to work with and who to compete with, jabki an artiste can only compete with himself and better himself. And if 80 per cent of your energy goes into this, app baki 20 per cent se hi film banayenge."
Taking about how the industry failed to understand an artiste like Sushant, Abhishek said, "It's a systematic dismantling of a fragile mind. Sushant was brilliant, he was an engineer, he was into astrophysics and quantum physics. But because we couldn't box him into stereotypes we called him 'off'. He was off, just off your radar. There's this thing that if you're not like us then you can't be with us. There are so many camps that if you're not part of a camp, even if you're in the middle of a room, you will be ignored. It is true, especially for actors. I, as a filmmaker, can isolate myself. I can warn a young actor but he cannot see it at the time because the lights are so bright. You lose yourself."
Abhishek worked with Sushant again on Kedarnath in 2018. Speaking about how Sushant had changed from Kai Po Che (2013) to 2018, he said, "He was very troubled while we were shooting for Kedarnath. But when we shot, he was 100 per cent there. He never threw tantrum, it was cold, he had to carry Sara on his back, and he never said no if I asked for retakes. I couldn't pay much attention to him during the shoot, but I knew we would reconnect if he wanted to."
Abhishek further reiterated that the industry is cutthroat, and often, actors don't get their due. "The business is harsh. Aur akele ka koi baap nahi hota. After Dhoni's success, it was said that film Dhoni ki wajah se chali, Sushant ke wajah se nahi. Kyu? Aap actor ko credit kyu nahi doge," asked Abhishek.
Sushant Singh Rajput's death caused a social media storm of sorts. Many are of the opinion that he was being bullied within the industry by the key players, pushing him to this fate. The likes of Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt received flak from his fans on social media for their 'fake' condolence messages to the actor and his family. Several eminent actors and filmmakers have urged there be a probe into this. Today, a case was registered against Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Salman Khan, Ekta Kapoor and four other people in connection with Sushant's death in a court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur by advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha.
Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14 and his last rites were performed the following day in the presence of his father, family members and few close friends.
"It's a systematic dismantling of a fragile mind. Sushant was brilliant, he was an engineer, he was into astrophysics and quantum physics. But because we couldn't box him into stereotypes we called him 'off'. He was off, just off your radar. There's this thing that if you're not like us then you can't be with us. There are so many camps that if you're not part of a camp, even if you're in the middle of a room, you will be ignored. It is true, especially for actors. I, as a filmmaker, can isolate myself. I can warn a young actor but he cannot see it at the time because the lights are so bright. You lose yourself."
"But because we couldn't box him into stereotypes we called him 'off'. He was off, just off your radar."
People call others "off" because they are different than others and unique.
And the people who did that have barely passed school themselves. Illiterate asses with barely functioning brain cells judging someone like Sushant... The irony is appalling.
This is the best take there can be of Sushant.Very heartfelt.
By someone who honestly is admitting he has not been in touch with him, but stating the facts as they are.
I feel how much ever Sushant said that nothing affects me, He could be breaking down a little by little inside, over the years.You can grow a thick skin and say nothing bothers you,but if you are human, it does.
He had all these dreams, all these ambitions.But at the root, all he wanted to do was act.Thats how he could feel.If you take that away from him, plus bring him down every step along the way, the person is bound to snap.
I wish he could be healed.I wish he found some purpose in living, and letting be loved by the ones who truly loved him.
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