From A Struggler To The Juggler Of Roles In Film Industry, Award Winning Actor Rajkumar Rao Is The New-Age Actor

Mad4India By Archana Bhakta | 4 min read

rajkumar rao

Out of the many great actors of the current generation, Rajkumar Rao definitely tops the fellow list. A versatile actor and a humble human being, he has set up a new exemplary setup for Indian cinema. 

Rajkumar Rao is known for his unpredictable movies and power pack performance. He is cited as one of the most experienced actors of his generation. 

Rajkumar Rao is a man who has carved a niche for himself in the film industry. The man is known for his incredible talents. Many actors have a sole reason to give a performance that astonishes the viewers. 

The Indian actor Rajkumar Rao is known to his viewers with his reel story. The emotions he penetrates through his eyes and the protean acting, he is a remarkably a new-age actor. 

But, the actor did not have it easy. He struggled a lot and faced endless rejections to achieve what he has today. Unlike any monotone being, he relishes the journey that taught him things, the struggle in Bollywood, and the actor he is today. 

Hailing from Gurugran, Haryana, Rajkumar Rao is a celebrity who has earned universal praises. 

Rajkumar Rao

Rajkumar rao
Image Source – Instagram

The borne name is Raj Kumar Yadav. He was born on 31 August 1984 in Prem Nagar, Gurugram, Haryana. His father, Satya Prakash Yadav, was a government employee in the Haryana Revenue Committee and his mother, Kamlesh Yadav, was a housemaker. His parents had died in 2016 and 2019, respectively.

Rajkumar Rao went to S.N. Sidheshwar Senior. Sec Public School, and graduated from Atma Ram Samathan College, University of Delhi. During his college days, he was fervidly involved in theatres and actively participated in the Kshitij Theater Group and the Shri Ram Centre in Delhi. 

Coming from a humble middle-class family, he used to daily travel from Gurugarm to Delhi in crowded buses and sometimes from a cycle from Gurgaon to Mandi House to do theatre. His struggle started from there and then. 

While he was in college, he used to teach dance and dramatics to students of DAV Public School, Gurgaon. He was the youngest teacher at that time. It was a good pact for honing his acting skills, and he would earn extra money. 

rajkumar rao age
Image Source – Instagram

Rajkumar Rao was highly influenced by Manoj Bajpayee. It was after seeing his performance, the awakening feeling of acting arose in him. He enrolled in a two-year course 

He then landed in Bombay, the city of dreams and drama. Upon reaching, he would meet a lot of people only to face rejections, and it wasn’t an easy route for him. 

There was a time when he didn’t have money in his bank account, and his teachers paid his school fees for two years at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune 2008. After that, he moved to Bombay to pursue a movie career. 

When Rajkumar Rao came to Bombay city, they were living in a small rented house. At that time, he was paying Rs. 7000/- of his share. Every month, he required around 15-20000 to survive. 

There was a point when he had Rs.18 in his bank account, and his friend had Rs. 20.

With little to survive on, at times he would have nothing to eat. Rajkumar Rao along, with his friend, would travel for an audition on bikes 

Life gave many challenges and hurdles, but he stood up with his grit and passion for acting. 

Rajkumar Rao – Career and journey 

rajkumar rao and patralekha
Image Source – Instagram

After completing his course from FTII, he would look for short commercials in studios. It was in 2010 when Rajkumar Rao had a cameo in Ram Gopal Verma’s political thriller, Rann. 

His Bollywood breakthrough can be said when he was cast in Love Sex Aur Dhoka (2010) of Dibakar Banerjee. He auditioned for the movie and got selected. The movie and Rajkumar Rao’s performance were met with critical acclaim. 

After his debut movie, Ekta Kapoor offered Rajkumar Rao the lead role in Ragini MMS in 2011. But instead, he took the offer as Casting Director. 

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He was then cast in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. The directors had loved his performance in Love Sex Aur Dhoka. He delivered a brilliant performance. 

Abhishek Kapoor’s social drama film, Kai Po Che! in 2013, was Rajkumar Rao’s venture. The movie and acting received critical acclaim, and he stood out and played the role magnificently. Rajkumar Rao was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film. 

Bollywood breakthrough for Rajkumar Rao

rajkumar rao wedding
Image Source – Instagram

In 2013, Rajkumar Rao appeared in Hanshal Mehta’s movie Shahid – a Biographical drama. The film exceeded everyone’s expectations. His role was emotionally draining and was complex and challenging. 

Rajkumar Rao’s Shahid received a National Film Award for Best Actor at the 61st National Film Awards. It also received the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor in the 59th Filmfare Awards.

His other 2013 release was Queen, where h played the supporting role. Queen – the film had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and was released in India in 2014. 

In a hinged point of turn, while filming City Lights in 2014, Rajkumar Rao was mistaken as a laborer one day and got paid Rs. 100 as his wages for his work. 

There was no stopping for Rajkumar Rao to conquer the cinema world with his exceptional performance and challenging roles. 

In 2015, he again collaborated with Hansal Mehta in Aligarh. Rajkumar Rao was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his pitch-perfect performance in the film. 

He aligned with Vikramaditya Motwane for directorial venture Trapped. The movie received positive reviews and won the Best Actor award in the Filmfare Critics Award. 

The first rom-com (romantic comedy) of Rajkumar Rao was in 2017 with Behen Hogi Teri. 

rajkumar rao
Image Source – Instagram

Rajkumar Rao’s performance charmed everyone with unfavorable praises and an astute role. 

Along the line, he released several movies that gained recognition. One of his was a black comedy flick Newton. The film premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. The role earned him an Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Actor. 

Over the years, Rajkumar Rao contributed massively and entertained the people with his packed performance. 

In 2021, he made his Hollywood debut with The White Tiger, based on the novel by Aravind Adiga. 

His latest release, Badhaai Do is surpassing the stereotypical shackles and acclaiming praises all over. 

He has appeared in more than 30 films since 2010. 

Rajkumar Rao had been in a relationship with actress Patralekha Paul since 2010, and he married her on 15 November 2021. 

rajkumar rao
Image Source – Instagram

Apart from being a successful actor, he is formally trained in taekwondo. 

His career took a long strive of the struggler. The boy who acted in theatres is now a buttoned down actor in Indian cinema. 

Awards and Nominations

Rajkumar Rao is the recipient of several awards. He also featured in Forbes India in their 30 Under 30 list of 2014. The PETA – People to the Ethical Treatment of Animal gave him the title of India’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2017.

He has been vocal about his thoughts across all matters. He is an intelligent person with enormous acting to entertain people. 

Rajkumar Rao didn’t have it easy in life. He struggled, faced a lot of rejection, and emerged as one of the most acclaimed actors of this generation. 

To know more about Rajkumar Rao, please check – Instagram, Twitter

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