Fondly remembered for his portrayal of the brooding Sujal Garewal in Kahiin Toh Hoga and Captain Rajveer Singh Shekhawat in Left Right Left, actor Rajeev Khandelwal’s last innings on the small screen was as the smartly dressed man, asking uncomfortable questions in Sacch Ka Saamna. As soon as the promos of his latest show Reporters were aired on Sony, the scene depicting a kiss between him and his co-star Kritika Kamra, significantly managed to create a buzz. “I was not sceptical about kissing. The promo is not about the kiss. Rather, it gives a message that women should not bear any kind of harassment at work,” he says.
After his big screen debut in Aamir in 2008, Khandelwal was seen as a police inspector in Mumbai torn between the good and the bad in Shaitan and a deaf DJ in Soundtrack, among others. The actor, however, stresses that he never left the small screen. “It is just the perception especially when the media talks about bada pardah and chota pardah, but the fact is television is way bigger than Bollywood. Ask those who entertain people round the clock. It is not easy. Boredom can set in but then you keep reinventing yourself,” he says. It explains why the 39-year-old actor rejected many offers until Reporters.
Ahead of the show airing on April 13, the actor who was in the Capital for the show’s promotions, was quick to clarify that the show is not an Indian adaptation of the American series, The Newsroom. The transition to fit into the role of a senior journalist, Kabir Sharma, didn’t need much preparation, says Khandelwal. “Even before the show, I would observe anchors. During Sacch Ka Saamna, I had to put on a ear piece and I know all news anchors have to do the same, where they are wired to the PCRs and control rooms. I know how they collect their thoughts, how information is fed, and how till the last second you have to convey that information,” he says.
Staying clear of imitating popular TV journalists on screen, Khandelwal chose to bring in his own style. “I wanted to have a style that was different, a very ‘Kabir kind of style’. I didn’t want it to be an amalgamation of different styles,” he says.
Despite his successful stint on the small screen, the actor is still jittery about how his audience will perceive his comeback. And call it pure coincidence or a mere overlap, but the actor is also essaying the role of a news reporter in director Ishan Hydar’s upcoming movie project Woh Aadmi Bohot Kuch Jaanta Tha, set in the ’50s.