Rajit Kapur is among those rarer actors who have played Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on screen and feels the key to play such diverse range of personalities is to find their core and bring it alive.
In Shyam Benegal’s 1996 drama, The Making of the Mahatma, Rajit played the titular role and more than two decades later, played PM Modi in this year’s blockbuster Uri The Surgical Strike.
The actor also stepped in the role of Nehru in this year’s The Gandhi Murder and Rajit says in all his outings, he has tried to be honest to what the personalities stood for.
“The important thing is to find the core. For Making of the Mahatma, the director wanted to embody My Experiments with Truth, where it was important to imbibe his inner struggle. I did just that and kept that in mind.
“In Uri the core of importance was the planner and the strategist in the man. So everything else becomes secondary. People will associate it with different things but you have to find that core around which you create your character,” Rajit told PTI.
The actor says he’s unaware why directors approach him for roles of such strong personalities.
‘I am playing Vikram Sarabhai’s role in R Madhavan’s Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, which is based on ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan. I asked Madhavan why me and he said, well, we just thought you’d do it! So that was it. I haven’t given it a thought why these roles come to me. I choose what’s offered.”
As an artiste, Rajit is only concerned about doing justice to his characters because he views being an actor as “a study in understanding people.”
“The beauty is you learn to be more accepting of other people because you’re attempting to understand people through the characters you’re playing. So your level of understanding and sensitivity increases. It is not necessary that an actor has to be empathetic, but it works me and is important for me,” he adds.
Rajit has been acting for close to three decades now and has featured in films like Raazi, Guzaarish, Well Done Abba. The actor describes his Bollywood journey as “formidable.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to play so many characters and that continues. Every film has taught me something. After 27 years, there’s some stability, you learn to be more patient, that’s the biggest thing.
“My aim is to do different roles. The struggle is to try new things and to hope there’ll be challenges ahead. If I get offered something easy I may just reject it but if it’s something that I think will help me stretch as an actor then maybe I’ll jump at it.”
He will be next seen in Neil Nitin Mukesh starrer Bypass Road, scheduled to release on November 8.