“I don’t get a kick when you call me a celestial body’ or a ‘star’- Sushant Singh Rajput
The success of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story is unprecedented. Has it changed things for you?
Nothing has changed from my point of view. I meet the same people, eat the same food and I live in the same place. As far as work is concerned all the films that I’m doing right now are the films I had signed before Dhoni. Where the industry is concerned, I don’t know what they think of me. I can only tell you what’s happening around in my environment.
A compliment that came your way for Dhoni?
Sakshi (wife of cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni) said that it’s difficult to understand Dhoni but the fact I could do so in such a limited span of time is remarkable.
As an actor have you hit the big league with Dhoni?
I don’t understand what big league is! Am I getting the money I want? Fuck, yes. I’m investing that money in forming a team and making small-budget films and short films for the digital platform. (Laughs) Yeah there’s a certain amount of money that I need for myself every month. The rest I can invest. This is the biggest league one can be in. If you want 100 crores and you earn only five crores you’re doomed. But if you want five crores and you make five plus crores, you are in a big league. Guess, I’m in the biggest league that I could be in right now.
What actually made you turn to production?
You may equate money with psychological security. But after a point when you have enough for your needs, it loses its relevance. You don’t know what to do with it. So if money flows from irrelevance to relevance, it’s a good idea. You can take the risk believing that it will come back. Even if it doesn’t, I don’t care because I have the ‘relevant’ money. When I was growing up, we were a big family. I wanted study in a university but could not afford to because we didn’t have that much money. I thought it was unfair. But once you have it, money becomes relevant only when it resonates. I will have a setup that can make some money. But even if it doesn’t, I don’t care a f**k. So I’m just screening out the best film I can find and funding those people who don’t have the means to make it. It has nothing to do with ‘Oh I want to be the torchbearer of good films’. Make shitty films I don’t care a fuck, I swear. I enjoy reading scripts. That is excitement for me. I’m just a conversion machine that exchanges money to excitement.
Despite success is it difficult being accepted as ‘a star’?
I don’t care about stardom. Whether they consider me a star or not a star it doesn’t change anything. Right from 2013, I’ve been offered films that I wanted to do. It’s not that I’m choosing the best from the options offered. So, I don’t believe they are having trouble accepting me. I don’t get a kick when you call me a ‘celestial body’ or a ‘star’. It doesn’t do anything for me.
Apparently, you weren’t invited for any of the big Diwali bashes in the industry. Were you hurt?
Someone asked me on Twitter which party I’d be attending out of the three happening. (Laughs) I replied that I wouldn’t be attending any as I wasn’t invited for any of them. It was not that I was craving to attend them. If I wanted to light firecrackers and I could do it by only attending parties then it would have been a big thing. I watched Pink on TV instead. I enjoyed it. I had chicken biryani, jalebi-rabdi and a glass of wine. Can you think of anything else better than this? I don’t have any complaints.
Why didn’t you throw a success party after Dhoni as is the norm?
Because I didn’t do it after Byomkesh Bakshi. When I read the script of Byomkesh, I found it brilliant. When I read the Dhoni script, it was again brilliant. When I started working on Byomkesh I did my best. For Dhoni, I did my best too. The parameters in between are not in my hand. So Byomkesh did a certain business, while Dhoni did a different one. If I don’t give a party after Byomkesh and if I give a success party post Dhoni, it means I’m celebrating those parameters that I can never control. It doesn’t make sense to me.
If an actor believes that he’s the sole reason for a film doing well at the box-office then he’s actually a good actor because he’s simply acting. (Laughs) He doesn’t know he’s is liar. Of course, he can claim that this was his best. But he can’t claim that his existence in the film is directly in proportion to the box-office numbers.
Are you in a happy space in your life and career right now?
In childhood the conditioning was ‘one day I will become happy and for that I need to work today’. But with experience I realised that what comes closest to happiness is excitement. It can be playing a video game or it can be talking to you at this point of time. If I’m excited it means I’m closest to the sense of happiness. Am I excited today? Yes, I’m damn excited. You can take away each and everything I have but you cannot take the excitement within me. Give me films and I’ll be excited. If there are no films, I’ll do plays and be equally excited. You cannot take away that excitement from me.
Okay there a sense of security now?
My tweet the other day was something to the effect – the fear of not being successful is less than the fear of losing it after being successful. So success does not give you security. It can only make you more insecure if you keep thinking about the future. Because you now want to hold on to things and you are not hundred percent sure why you got them? You can manufacture reasons but you are not sure. If you’re a struggler you’ve got nothing to lose in that sense. Right now, I have four films and I wonder what if the first one of those doesn’t do well. Then the other three producers will run away. So security doesn’t come with success. Rather obsession with the future causes insecurity. Thankfully, I’m not obsessed.
Apparently, ex-girlfriend Ankita (Lokhande) called you after watching Dhoni and you both still share a cordial relationship. Comment.
Four years back I made my debut when a story in a leading newspaper said that I had slept with a guy to get that film. I still haven’t reverted back on that. That backlog remains. There were many stories after that as well – like the allegation that I was ‘slapped’. By the time I come to commenting on this report, it will take two-three years. Firstly, I will have to name with whom I slept. I need to ‘find’ that guy first. Story bhi banayi to male ke saath. (Laughs) Had it been an actress, I could have flaunted it before my friends. These people should consider writing scripts because such spicy inputs make for good stories.
Are you enjoying your single status?
I always enjoy whatever shit I have. Whatever state I am in is because I’m enjoying that. If I lose something or if I gain something it’s because I want to remain excited in life.
Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta is your next release. Are you excited?
We’re done shooting that film. I enjoyed the experience. When I read the script I liked it. When I was shooting for it, I loved it. It’s similar to the feeling when after starving, you enjoy a good meal and then you start burping. Full on satisfaction!
Your onscreen and off-screen chemistry with co-star Kriti Sanon has kept the rumour mills busy…
Of course, our pair needs to work otherwise the film won’t work. We will see that on that particular Friday. Questions like why it didn’t do well only happen on a Saturday. Yeah, it was a requirement that my chemistry with Kriti be so good that we’re able to sell an idea that normally people don’t believe in. We did our best. Time only will tell.
There’s a buzz about you doing Omung Kumar Five and Anurag Kashyap’s Nishanchi?
In the past, there were films that I claimed I was doing and they never got made or somebody else did those films. So until it’s final, you can’t say anything. It doesn’t make sense.