THE HUSTLER
Filmfare|October 2021
RAJ ARJUN HAS FINALLY MADE IT TO THE BIG LEAGUE AFTER TWO DECADES OF STRUGGLE. RAGHUVENDRA SINGH CHRONICLES HIS JOURNEY
RAGHUVENDRA SINGH

Actor Raj Arjun has seen extreme highs and lows in his life. The Bhopal-based actor left his crockery business after his father’s death and came to Mumbai to try his hand at acting. In 2005, he was cast as the lead opposite Isha Koppikar in Ram Gopal Varma produced Shabri. The film roamed the festival circuit for six years before getting a theatrical release in 2011. It didn’t do well at the box office and the actor’s career as a lead never really took off. He started doing character roles both in Hindi and in Tamil and Telugu films. His role as an orthodox father in Secret Superstar (2017) finally brought him his share of limelight. He’s currently in the news playing politician RM Veerappan in the Hindi version of the Kangana Ranaut starrer, Thalaivii. We catch up with the versatile actor who is finally breathing easy after his marathon struggle.

You’ve been receiving rave reviews for Thalaivii…

I have known director A. L. Vijay for years. I’ve seen his work and craft. He never compromises on anything. He volunteers his services in every department. He spent 1-2 years with writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasad sir researching the film. Even in this pandemic, the movie was well received by the audience. In normal circumstances, it would have been very successful at the box office. I’m overwhelmed with the response of the audience both towards the film and towards my character. It has encouraged me to push the envelope even further the next time around.

How did you prepare for your role in Thalaivii as politician RM Veerappan?

I read the script many times and tried to go through all the available sources to know more about RM Veerappan. I wanted to get to know his mind space. Because if I could think like RM Veerappan then everything I did would sound natural. The costumes and the make-up too helped round up the character. I came to realise that he’s a man who deeply loves Tamil Nadu and is ready to do anything for that love. That was my guiding light in essaying the character. Here’s a man who loves his state, who loves MGR and is willing to take on anyone whom he considers as a threat to both these entities. I didn’t want to portray him as a villain. In all my research and from the director’s inputs he never came across as a negative person. I must have done something right, given the love and appreciation I’m getting.

Samuthirakani played Veerappan in the Tamil and Telugu versions. Was there competition between you on the sets?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FILMFAREView All

Rakul Preet Singh Is No Longer Single

Rakul Preet Singh plays a shepherdess in her latest release Konda Polam. She shares the excitement of playing her first rustic character with Mayukh Majumdar

6 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

Kartik Aaryan Slays It Big Time

Raghuvendra Singh chats with the latest-superstar-in-the-making, Kartik Aaryan, and is impressed by his humbleness

10+ mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

Director's cut

JITESH PILLAAI TALKS WITH VIKRAM PHADNIS ABOUT HIS TRANSITION FROM A FASHION DESIGNER TO A DIRECTOR...

6 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

A fine balance

JITESH PILLAAI INTERVIEWS THE DOYENNE OF BENGALI CINEMA. RITUPARNA SENGUPTA

6 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

FIGHTING FIT

FITNESS CAN BE FUN. SARA ALI KHAN AND HER TRAINER NAMRATA PUROHIT SHARE THEIR SECRET WITH FILMFARE

5 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

LOVE & OTHER DRUGS

MAYUKH MAJUMDAR CONVERSES WITH NUPUR SANON, THE PRETTY LI'L SISTER OF KRITI SANON, WHERE SHE DISCUSSES HEARTBREAKS AND MORE...

5 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

KICKASS!

SANJANA SANGHI TALKS ABOUT DOING LOTS OF ACTION IN HER UPCOMING FILM OM: THE BATTLE WITHIN AND HOW LIFE HAS CHANGED AFTER DIL BECHARA. VEDANSHI PATHAK TAKES NOTES

5 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

MR NICHE GUY

MAYUKH MAJUMDAR INTERVIEWS RAJKUMMAR RAO, WHOSE MOVIE CHOICES ALWAYS KEEP US HOOKED

5 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

SUCH A LONG JOURNEY

PAVAIL GULATI MADE A NAME FOR HIMSELF AS THE HUSBAND WITH ANGER-MANAGEMENT ISSUES IN THAPPAD. HE TALKS TO RAGHUVENDRA SINGH ABOUT HIS CAREER, LIFE AND MORE...

6 mins read
Filmfare
November 2021

Sidharth Shukla's Last Interview

Sidharth Shukla’s Last Interview With Vedanshi Pathak Was All About Being Grateful For His Journey So Far...

6 mins read
Filmfare
October 2021
RELATED STORIES

फिर पूरे देश में चमकने की और इंदौर...

दिल्ली सरकार के शहरी विकास मंत्रालय के द्वारा स्वच्छता सर्वेक्षण 2020 के परिणामों की घोषणा 20 नवंबर को दिल्ली में की जाएगी। इस घोषणा के साथ ही आयोजित पुरस्कार वितरण समारोह के लिए इंदौर भोपाल सहित प्रमुख शहरों को बुलाया गया है। यह बुलावा आते ही एक बार फिर पूरे देश में इंदौर चमकने की तरफ बढ़ गया है।

1 min read
Rising Indore
17 November 2021

रेलवे संस्कृति, पर्यटन-तीर्थाटन जोड़ने का जरिया

प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने रानी कमलापति रेलवे स्टेशन का लोकार्पण किया, कहा-देश में ऐसे और स्टेशन विकसित किए जाएंगे

1 min read
Hindustan Times Hindi
November 16, 2021

Tribals made partners in India's development by us: PM

Modi hails contributions to India’s history & culture; hits out at past govts for ignoring the community, says Cong used tribals just for votes

2 mins read
The Morning Standard
November 16, 2021

Will ban Khurshid's book in state: MP home min

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra on Friday said the state government will ban the sale of Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s book ‘Sunrise over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’.

1 min read
The Times of India Mumbai
November 13, 2021

PM Modi to attend grand tribal day event in Bhopal on Nov 15

PREPARATIONS are in full swing for the Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas (Tribal Pride Day) programme at Bhopal’s Jamboree Maidan on November 15 that will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
November 12, 2021

Probe ordered after 4 infants killed in Bhopal hospital fire

Four newborns died as a fire swept through the neonatal care unit of the Kamla Nehru Children's Hospital in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal on Monday night, prompting chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to order a probe into the cause of the fire.

3 mins read
Hindustan Times Delhi
November 10, 2021

Parents contest Bhopal hospital blaze toll

Chouhan govt denies that casualty figures are suppressed; orders high-level probe, ₹4 lakh in compensation

1 min read
The Morning Standard
November 10, 2021

Bhopal hospital had no fire certificate

HOURS after a blaze at Bhopal’s Kamla Nehru Hospital killed four infants, it emerged that the government-run medical facility did not even apply for a no-objection certificate from the fire department, despite getting multiple notices in recent months.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
November 10, 2021

प्रकाश झा पर फेंकी स्याही

भोपाल में वेब-सीरीज आश्रम-3 के सेट पर तोड़फोड़

1 min read
Prabhat Khabar Kolkata
October 25, 2021

अग्नि दुर्घटनाओं के पति गंभीर नहीं है सरकार

देश में आग से होने वाली जानलेवा दुर्घअनाओं का आंकड़ा छोटा नहीं है मगर इसके प्रति गंभीर नहीं होना उससे भी बड़ा जोखिम है। हाल ही में मई 2021 में नगर निगम भोपाल द्वारा जारी सार्वजनिक सूचना के मद्देनजर लगाई गई आरटीआई से जो खुलासा हुआ है वह काफी चौंकाने वाला है। ये साबित करता है कि नेशनल बिल्डिंग कोड 2016 के मुताबिक फायर एनओसी लेने में संस्थान कितने लापरवाह हैं और इउससे ज्यादा लापरवाही जिम्मेदार विभागों की है जो समय रहते लापरवाह संस्थानों की जांच करने में कोताही बरत रहे हैं।

1 min read
Open Eye News
September 2021