Actor Rajeev Bhardwaj is part of Subhash Ghai’s show Jaanki. Rajeev says that it has been phenomenal working with the filmmaker. He says being selected by Showman as his hero for such a powerful role is my biggest breakthrough.
“Subhash ji’s team had seen a lot of actors, their videos, and auditions but they were not getting what they wanted. This role has a huge range of emotions. They needed a performer with a good understanding of emotions who could carry this lead role from a young age to old. Then his creative team saw one of my women’s day Ad films and liked my performance. I got a call confirming if I am a theatre actor who plays Chandragupta in Chanakya, and I said yes. They saw a few other video clips of mine, and finally, I was called to Mukta Arts office for a meeting with Subhash ji. Until then, I was unaware of what exactly the role was. There was suspense over it. That one-hour meeting, and long conversations with him, was one of my most enriching experiences ever,” he says.
“Basically, he wanted to understand me as a person, as he himself said, ‘A good actor should also be a good person; that’s our main requirement.’ Getting narration about the whole story and the role from Subhash sir was a very memorable experience. Then Subhash ji asked me how I liked the story and this particular role. I was simply blown away by the variations and range of the character of ‘Ashwini Prasad’. I was so eager to play it. Finally, he revealed that Ashwini (Janki’s father) is our hero and you, Rajeev, fit this role perfectly. Welcome on board. Every big opportunity is also a big responsibility, hence being selected by Mr. Subhash Ghai for his hero’s role in his first-ever TV show was a very happy development, super good news for me. At the same time, I realised it was a big responsibility too.”
His compliments mean the world to Rajeev.
“It’s been a phenomenal experience. He is very clear in communicating his story briefly and what he wants from me as an actor and the whole creative team. He observes and likes honesty and dedication in work and gives open feedback. He has an eye for details. I was extremely surprised to know he has been watching every single episode before and after edits. It was really heartening to know how much he liked my performance. He openly appreciated it, and complimented me in front of the whole unit for the range of emotions I portrayed for the role and the consistency in my performance. We have shot more than 120 episodes already,” he says.
Talking about the feedback he got from Ghai, he says,
“He said, ‘Everyone wants to be heroes and heroines, but very few realise that it’s a huge responsibility. You need to put in honest dedicated effort for your role and performance. Honesty in effort is what we like the most.’ I’m happy with Rajeev’s honest and dedicated efforts for his scenes. I have received amazing feedback from our director Jignesh ji and my production and creative team about Rajeev. Rajeev has utilised all his experience and learnings for his craft in Ashwini’s role. He added, “I’m also surprised by the consistency in performance and range of emotions exhibited by Rajeev.” It’s word for word exactly what Subhash ji has said about my work. Subhash Ghai ji’s feedback makes me feel like I have won the Best Actor award. His words are my biggest award. He is really a Showman. He treats you and pampers you very well. Every meeting with him is about a lot of good food and happy talks along with important discussions.”
His style of working is impeccable, says Rajeev, adding,
“His talent and skills are known to everyone. His sense of storytelling, emotions, small intricate nuances, and how to make a character touch people’s hearts are his uniqueness. But more than anything else, very rarely do you see such senior people being so encouraging and generous in complementing youngsters and people. He doesn’t hold back. Yes, he will correct people when they are wrong, but if something has touched him, he will communicate it happily, openly, generously, and lavishly. He treats people with respect and pampers them well; that’s his style of working. Showman style.”