Rajeev Khandelwal
Rajeev Khandelwal

From the dashing television hunk to the unconventionally crafty Bollywood actor, Rajeev Khandelwal speaks up about his film journey, as we gear up for a free willing chat.

Debuting in the industry with an unconventional ‘Aamir’ and then mesmerizing the masses with another stellar act in the gritty ‘Shaitan’, ‘Table No. 21’ seems to be your first commercial Hindi film. Are you excited?
For me, Aamir and Shaitan were very commercial films, but yes I haven’t ever tried doing a typical Hindi film throughout these years. Table No. 21 is one of those films which has all the key ingredients, all the sensibilities of being a good film and it should be released on a higher level.

What made Rajeev say yes to the film?
It was the concept, the story of the film which instantly got me hitched. When I read the script, I got goose bumps, and I was amazed with the way someone could really think and write a story like this. It is probably the way the story unfolds; the way the characters are defined and the way the story is narrated which makes it a very intriguing, interesting, edge of the seat thriller. But it is not a mindless thriller. And of course Paresh Rawal’s presence made it more reliable for me to jump in.

You previously hosted the ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ show on television and according to reports, ‘Table no. 21’ is more of a truth and dare game. Did you imbibe anything from the show?
There was nothing that I could take in with me when it came to playing this character because each character on Sach Ka Samna was different. What I could have imbibed was how to play the host because then I would have known what to do, how to enact in situations. Had I been a host, I could have borrowed characteristics. But here I was the contestant myself. There was nothing that I could pick up from my experience in Sach Ka Samna.

There are also quite a few intimate scenes shot between you and Tena in the film.
You know it’s just a couple of scenes but they are just being talked about. Nothing has been done to grab eyeballs; it was all a part of the script. We aren’t doing intimate scenes in the film out of nowhere. Once you see the film, you would find it relevant.

How was it working with Pareshji?
He gave a lot of strength though he doesn’t come up to you and teach you anything, but the more you observe him, you can draw strength from him, the way he acts and moves and beautifully makes each scene worth a watch. For me, I got a lot of reassurance I got from him and he is a great support system. He is not the one who will try and intimidate you; he will instead try and get you to a point where you deliver your best. He is always very concerned about the films in totality.

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