All you need to know about Shuddh Desi Romance star Sushant Singh Rajput

FP Staff

September 04, 2013 14:14:38 IST

The posters of Shuddh Desi Romance are up and one of the reasons the film is making so many hearts go pitter-patter is the hero, Sushant Singh Rajput. Rajput plays the role of Raghu, a tourist guide, who gets tangled between two women (Parineeti Chopra and debutante Vaani Kapoor) and one wedding planner (Rishi Kapoor).

Anointed the next big thing in Bollywood as much for his performances as his looks, Rajput is already a heartthrob. The one thing that everyone says about him off screen is that he's shy and reticent. So, for all those who want to know a little more about the shuddh desi man of the moment, here is our dossier on Sushant Singh Rajput.

Rajput was born in Patna, in 1986. He's the youngest of five siblings and the only son. His father was a government official and his mother passed away when he was young.

Courtesy: ibn live

Courtesy: ibn live

Two things you're most likely to find near Rajput: black coffee and cigarettes.

Like all good middle class kids, Rajput worked hard at his studies and initially, seemed to be all set to follow a conventional path. He did well in his studies, was ranked seventh in the All India Engineering Entrance exams and enrolled into Delhi College of Engineering.

The reasons Rajput turned to the performing arts vary. The cheekier explanation is that there weren't any girls in the engineering college. The more serious answer is that he felt the need to combat his shyness. "I was in a prestigious engineering college, but I was very shy," said Rajput in an interview. "And I was unable to express myself in front of strangers. So when I started with performing arts, with no set agenda, the first thing I was asked to do was to bring my privacy, my vulnerable side and show it to complete strangers – and that felt very powerful. As I continued with it, the release I got was extraordinary. And it’s addictive."

Rajput's favourite actor is Daniel Day Lewis. He also likes quoting Stanislavski's line about there being no small parts, only small actors. From Bollywood, Rajput has said his idol is Shah Rukh Khan.

While studying engineering, Rajput joined Shiamak Davar's dance academy. Davar noticed him and suggested he try theatre, which was when Rajput signed up for Barry John's acting school. Rajput's outings with Davar's dance troupe included performing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and the 51st Filmfare Awards.

After three years of engineering, Rajput decided to drop out and move to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting. His father was quite taken aback, but Rajput wasn't deterred. In Mumbai, he joined Ashley Lobo's dance group and Nadira Babbar's theatre company, Ekjute. The first few years, his work for Ekjute involved random little jobs, like handling props and getting tea for the cast and crew. Let that be a lesson to everyone who thinks those working backstage aren't stars.

Rajput was hanging out with his friends at Prithvi Theatre when he was spotted by a Balaji Telefilms executive. In 2008, he was cast as Preet Juneja in Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil. Audiences immediately noticed him, and young women in particular, felt their pulses flutter as he romanced Meher Vij in the show.

In 2009, Rajput got the lead role in the serial Pavitra Rishta. He played Manav Deshmukh, who goes from humble mechanic to wealthy businessman in the course of the show. He also met his girlfriend Ankita Lokhande on this show, but more on that later.

Even though his popularity was soaring thanks to his television performances -- in serials as well as dance shows like Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa 4 -- Rajput was getting bored. He had been offered quite a few film roles, but none of them were particularly interesting. Having assisted Mohit Suri in Raaz 2, Rajput had some experience of being behind the scenes and he decided to go to America to study filmmaking.

Rajput is rumoured to have dated Richa Chadha in the past. At present, he's in a committed relationship with actress Ankita Lokhande, who is supposedly a little possessive of him but not enough to be bothered by his 27 kissing sequences in Shuddh Desi Romance. Rajput proposed to Lokhande in an episode of Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa, which just goes to show that for all his shyness, the man's definitely got a flair for the dramatic.

Instead of going abroad to study filmmaking, Rajput ended up being cast in a Bollywood film. Casting director Mukesh Chhabra thought he'd be perfect for the role of Ishaan in Kai Po Che and asked him to audition. It was the first audition Rajput had been asked to do in his career so far and he landed the role.

If you're among those who drooled over Rajput in his shirtless scenes in Kai Po Che, here's a little bit about how he prepared for the film. His regime was gruelling, and not just because he read three of Chetan Bhagat's novels. Rajput trained with Ranji cricketers, got a gym instructor and worked with a dance instructor. He lost 14 kilos in six weeks.

Despite his rippling muscles, Rajput hates going to the gym because he finds it boring. His present fitness regime includes horse riding, playing lawn tennis and martial arts. Apparently, Rajput thinks his belly is his problem area. For the purposes of research and journalism, we've spent a fair amount of time staring at his midsection and we'd like to report that it's not problematic.

The one exercise regimen that Rajput loves is ballet. He practises ballet four to seven times a week, depending upon how much free time he has.

His favourite breakfast is aloo or gobhi parathas with butter. For the sake of maintaining that hot bod, however, Rajput has had to shift to boiled sprouts and protein shakes. He has chicken and rice for dinner, in case you wanted to imagine dining with him.

When Rajkumar Hirani signed Rajput for Peekay, he gave him a signing amount of Rs 20, which Rajput has laminated and framed.

Rajput's next role is as the Bengali detective, Byomkesh Bakshi, in Dibakar Banerjee's upcoming film. Banerjee described Rajput as "a boy who has the eyes and body that is full of mystique."

Updated Date: Sep 04, 2013 15:14 PM