Rajeev Khandelwal said- without creativity the industry will become a shop, the star system will have to be broken

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
8 Min Read

Actor Rajeev Khandelwal, who wrote a new chapter of stardom with his show 'Kahin To Hoga' two decades ago, started his career as a director. He directed a TV series named 'Filmi Chakkar'. After this, in the year 2003, he got a chance to debut as an actor with 'Kahin To Hoga' and he became a star overnight. These days he is in the news for playing the character of superstar Armaan Singh in his web series 'Showtime'. Completely different from the moody and crazy Armaan, Rajeev spoke to us openly about the flaws of the industry that runs after stars and figures:

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News of insecurity and abuse of power among stars is common. Like your character Armaan in the series, he gets his capable co-star fired from the job. Why are stars so insecure?

Your question is correct but I am not close enough to our stars or senior actors to give a concrete answer to it. Secondly, this character is a mixture of many actors. Some have one fear and some have another, Armaan has been created by combining all of them but as you said, we keep hearing that one star's scenes were cut from another, I think this happens when you know that my stardom is not due to talent. The only thing is that my last five films have earned 100 crores, I don't know how they earned but my stardom is due to this. In such a situation, if someone else performs well in front of me then my talent will be exposed to everyone. That's why you would want only less talented people to work with me. Then you showed the figures to the public, whether they actually watch the film or not and our industry is so strange that the producer knows that these figures are fake but still he reaches there.

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Do you think focusing on earnings and crore clubs rather than the content of films is harmful for the industry?

Of course, nobody talks about a good or bad film anymore. You talk about the content of the film and say it wasn't fun, it's rubbish, but what they say is it only made five crores, the film flopped. If everyone talks like that, who will talk about the content? Then you don't even know if those figures are correct or not. Now people have started booking tickets themselves, there are corporate bookings. Overall, it has become just a business now. The industry is all about making money. I hope the few people who think about content get the strength and support to save it as well. Business will continue but it should not dominate so much, because creativity has also been a huge part of our industry. That's why we remember so many performances, stories, songs, music from the past. If all that goes away, it will just become a shop.

You achieved stardom overnight with your show 'Kahin To Hoga'. How did you not let it overwhelm you? Because you yourself are completely different from Armaan?

You are right, I don't relate to Armaan Singh at all, but there are many Armaan Singhs in our industry. I am very unrealistic in terms of the concept of stars, but that is my nature. I understood long ago that fame and fan frenzy is not for me, it is for my character. Six months ago, there was no such thing that a girl would stop her car on the road and say I love you. So I did not buy a big car at that time. I tried to be like me, that is Rajeev and now after working so much, whatever love I have, I can say that it is for me. It is for my work and this thing gives me more happiness. I think my life has become a little easier because of this, otherwise I would have gone mad that I have to go on social media, do PR. The life I am living would not have been possible. I always wanted to live a life where work, personal life, dreams all go together.

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What is your opinion about the star system in the industry? Don't you think it is not right to give more importance to the star than the film?

Star system exists in every industry. In corporate also you work with the company which gives you profit. Same is the situation here. Everyone knows that the thousand demands of the star are wrong, this thing is weakening the industry but I am getting benefit, that's why we are going on. Like studios came, what did they do? Those who used to charge fifty rupees, they gave them hundred rupees and made a deal for four films. They thought about their benefit but spoiled things for the future. Stars also started thinking that I am a star, I deserve this. Today there is a big discussion that producers spend a lot of money on the demands of actors but you have created this situation. You must have sent him two cars, given him cold coffee. Now you are having problem that these demands are increasing but you have created this monster, so now suffer. Star system should be broken because a film is not made only by stars. Writing is equally important in it. Spot boy also has an equally big contribution. The role of production is even bigger than that, but when a film is released, the actor's name tells us that a particular actor's film was a hit. Whereas the actor neither made the film nor wrote it. Then how did he become the master of the film? These are things to think about.

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