Software engineer turned model,then script writer turned actor,Raj Singh Chaudhary is revving up for tinsel town
Whatever complaints Raj Singh Chaudhary has,boredom certainly shouldnt be one of them. In less than a decade,Chaudhary has donned several hats,and changed them with alarming alacrity. He started off as a software engineer who finished fourth in the Gladrags supermodel contest in 1995 and subsequently modeled for brands like Allen Solly and Van Heusen. He even attempted writing movie scripts and managed a successful stint as an assistant director. Yet,by his own admission,its his newest avatar playing a lead role in Anurag Kashyaps soon-to-be-released Gulaa l thats making him the most nervous. I have acted in a bit role in Black Friday before this,but this is my first lead role. So obviously the stakes are high, says Chaudhary,whose debut film has him playing a college kid who gets embroiled in student politics. The film is slated for release on March 13.
Its a story that Chaudhary had conceived of when he was still pursuing his engineering degree in Bangalore.
I wrote a script based on the repercussions of ragging and sent it to Anurag through a common friend. It was only in 2002,after I had already tried my hand at running a software firm and modeling that he got back to me,saying that he had reworked my script. He had chiseled the script way better than my amateurish attempt and before I knew it he had auditioned and selected me for the role, he reminisces.
Of course the going wasnt easy from there on. The release of Paanch,Kashyaps debut movie got delayed and subsequently Gulaal ran in to trouble over finding a financier. This would have been Anurags second movie,but no producer seemed willing to take the risk, he says. But thankfully,Chaudhary had made a firm friend in Kashyap who made sure he used the interim time creatively. He sent me for numerous acting workshops,taught me the basics of direction and let me assist him in Black Friday. I ended up co-writing the script of No Smoking too. In fact,when Gulaal finally took off he got feelers from various big stars that they would like to act in it,but he kept his faith in me, says the soft-spoken young man.
Meanwhile,offers for Chaudhary from other producers have started coming in. Chaudhary has already signed on the dotted lines for Sushil Rajpals film Mehmaanjee,due for an April release,besides Waiting Room and Meridien Lines opposite Soha Ali Khan. I would love to do films which blend the commercial with the artistic,but right now I am hardly in a position to dictate terms. It all depends on how this film does, he says. Clearly,switching careers is no longer an option.