“An actor has no caste, creed, color, sex or religion. An actor is just an actor”, said renowned Indian film actor Rajkumar Kanojia, who has worked predominantly in Bollywood, while addressing students of School of Cinema at Asian School of Media Studies recently.
Rajkumar, who has worked in popular movies like Veerey di Wedding, Dabangg 2, Dolly ki Doli, God Tussi Great Ho, Paheli, Haasil, Besharam, Style, 123, Direct Ishq and My Friend Ganesha, urged students to focus on body language and its role in conveying different emotions & characters to the audience. Giving some unique activities to students, he explained them how to prepare body and voice before an audition, what facial expressions one should make in the audition room when he/she is not performing, how voice inflects when someone introduces himself/herself to casting directors, etc.
He further reiterated that flexibility plays an important role in actor’s life. An actor should be flexible enough to mould in any character by adding that ‘personal tadka’ individually to avoid getting stereotyped. To explain it further, he called few students upon stage to enact a scene from Ramayana where Maa Shabri offers ‘ber’ to Lord Rama. The student playing ‘Rama’ immediately put his chin up and chest out to imitate Lord Rama’s personality, thereby eliminating his own individuality that would have provided a new dimension to the scene.
He also explained the significance of five W’s (who, when, where, what & why) that are interconnected and by developing a character’s personal background one is preparing to understand his motivations, defining the time-frame, giving hints about his/her social psychology; shaping the conflict & discovering the inner conflict.
Known for his comic roles in numerous regional and international movies, Rajkumar has also starred in many commercials, some reputed ones including Britannia, Castrol, Centre Fresh, 5 Star, Sintex, Minto Fresh, VKC Pride, Nippo Batteries, Star Gold Lux Sabse Favorite Kaun and many others as well as TV shows including Chandrashekhar Azad, Balika Vadhu, Phulwa amongst others.
One being asked by one of the students that how difficult is it for actors to continue being in the character for roles that demand shooting for 4-5 months, Rajkumar cited example from the film ‘Padmaavat’ where Ranveer Singh maintained his focus throughout as he wasn’t involved in any other project during that time and how well he imbibed the character of ‘Khilji’ and also how the director (in this case Sanjay Leela Bhansali) helps an actor to get involved in a project.
He concluded the two-hour long session by motivating students to be honest in their approach, to give his/her 100% for any role and not getting affected by distractions & hardships along the way.