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What did Gajraj Rao learn from Irrfan Khan on Talvar?: ‘Only your scenes and dialogues should not be important, you should…’

Gajraj Rao learnt some important lessons about acting from Irrfan Khan, when the two shared the screen in Meghna Gulzar's film Talvar.

irrfan khan gajraj rao talvarIrrfan Khan-led Talvar released in 2015.
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Bollywood actor Gajraj Rao has appeared in many impactful roles in his career. He played a corrupt policeman in Meghna Gulzar’s 2015 film Talvar, which was spearheaded by the late Irrfan Khan. In a recent interview, the actor shared the important lesson that he learnt from Irrfan while working with him on the film.

Gajraj Rao recently appeared on Cyrus Broacha’s podcast, where he was asked about his experience of working with Irrfan in Talvar. He shared that when he took up Talvar, he wouldn’t invest a lot of time understanding his characters. He was also directing ad films at that time, and was more invested in them. But then, before he was about to shoot for his first scene in Talvar, Irrfan approached him and asked him to have a discussion with him regarding the background of his character.

The actor revealed, “It was amazing. It was my first scene in Talvar where the CBI officers will come and ask, ‘Dhaniram ye kaise hua?’ and daantenge thoda bohot. But before the shot, Irrfan told me, ‘Baat karte hain thodi si Gajraj ki tumhara character kahan se hai, tumhara ghar kahan hoga (Let’s talk a bit about your character, where he hails from, where he lives)’ I was someone who used to direct ad films, so I didn’t use to invest a lot of time in my characters. So, we had this discussion for half an hour to one hour with Meghna Gulzar.”

After that interaction, Gajraj Rao learnt that “when you are doing a film, only your scene and your dialogues should not be important, it should be important to know who all are there in your universe.” He also let go of the set formula of just remembering his own lines after interacting with Irrfan.

The actor, who witnessed a career resurgence with films such as Badhaai Ho and Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, shared that he never thought of Irrfan as his competition. “Competition comes from the peers who started their journey at the same time as you,” he said.

Gajraj Rao recently shared the screen with Madhuri Dixit in the Prime Video film Maja Ma. And despite being a seasoned actor himself, he was ‘nervous’ and ‘scared’ to share the screen with such a legend. He said, “When I did Maja Ma with Madhuri Dixit, I was sweating, I was scared. She is a legendary film star. I have watched her films in theatres. So, working with her, I was nervous, I didn’t think about competition.”

The actor was last seen in the film Thai Massage. He has Ajay Devgn’s Bholaa and Maidaan in the pipeline.

First published on: 04-02-2023 at 18:55 IST
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