That Rajkummar Rao is a fantastic actor has long been established. Starting out with off-beat films such as Love, Sex Aur Dhokha and Ragini MMS, he's slowly but surely impressed both critics and audiences with films such as Shahid, Queen, Citylights and Aligarh. While actors are forever chasing stardom, he's busy being a powerhouse performer. And looks like this National Award-winner isn't done taking risks yet!
Turns out, Rajkummar shot for a Bengali film, Ami Saira Bano, last year where he plays the title role of a transgender who is rechristened as Saira Bano by the transgender community. It's the first time that a Hindi film hero would be attempting such a character on the big screen.
In a report in Mumbai Mirror, he talks about the film and his preparation for the character that involved, meeting transgenders in Kolkata, among other things.
"It's a story about a boy who is a girl from inside and is drawn towards the transgender community who rechristen him Saira Bano. It was a fascinating story and character and challenged me as an actor"
While the film, directed by Rahul Mukherjee, is currently stuck in a financial mess, Rajkummar hopes it is revived soon. He even hopes to work on something similar in Hindi.
In the 90s, Paresh Rawal and Sadashiv Amrapurkar had attempted similar characters in Tamanna and Sadak respectively. But we've never had a Bollywood hero take up such a role since then.
After playing a journalist in the much-talked about Aligarh, based on the true story of Professor Siras from the Aligarh Muslim University, Rajkummar's work in Ami Saira Bano is proof that, as an actor, he isn't shy of taking up controversial subjects. Let's hope that Bollywood offers him more such roles to prove his mettle.