Leading man Rajkummar Rao and director Vikramaditya Motwane of Trapped in conversation with Team Box Office India
Box Office India (BOI): What was the thought behind making this film?
Rajkummar Rao (RR): Yes, he offered me Lootera and I refused. Can you believe that? (Laughs) So can you please answer the questions?
VM: This was not my idea; it was the writer Amit Joshi’s idea. The guy emailed me out of the blue. I noticed the name Amit Joshi and a synopsis and I thankfully read the email. I thought the idea was fantastic and that’s how the journey of this film began.
BOI: When you read the script, you must have had someone in mind for the role. Was he your first choice?
VM: Yes, Rajkummar Rao was always my first choice.
BOI: What was your reaction when he approached you with Trapped?
RR: I was super-excited. I had been trying to work with him since Udaan and then I saw Lootera.
VM: And then we worked together…
RR: He told me we would work together and work out something. Then we met at a screening and he told me this idea and I was super-thrilled. It is so rare to work with Vikramaditya Motwane and a script like this. I was so happy.
BOI: What was it about the character Shaurya that made you want to be a part of the film?
RR: I don’t think we have many survival dramas, not even in world cinema. So I thought this would be a great platform for me to explore and discover many things. With this character, I knew I would be really pushing my boundaries as an actor.
BOI: Can you tell us something about the development process? You got the email and you called him. What happened after that?
VM: I got the email, I called the writer and told him ‘let’s do this’. Then, suddenly, he disappeared. Again, there were two to three emails that arrived in my inbox and I called him in and another writer, Hardik Mehta, and I told them to work together. I would keep going in to stir the pot, you know, like cooking, just to throw in some masala. We reached a stage where we had developed quite a bit but something else that I was working on did not happen and my schedule changed. So I called up Raj and asked him, ‘What are you doing next month?’ He said nothing, so I said ‘chalo let’s shoot this.’
BOI: As a director, what did the story unlock in you?
VM: Just the fact that no one had done something like this before. It’s an exciting story, a guy stuck in an apartment, in a highrise building in Mumbai, without food, water or electricity. It’s a subject which can only be made now. Here, now and just now… this story couldn’t be made five years later because this building will be full of people, and we couldn’t have made it five years ago because the building did not exist then!
It’s such a here-and-now subject that the film had to happen now. We scouted for a venue all over the city and eventually ended up shooting in Prabhadevi, bang in the middle of the city, the heart of the city. It was a 35-floor building caught up in a typical court case. There is no OC (Occupational certificate) over there and someone is scamming somebody else over there. It’s a classic case and the guy gets inside and then some crazy stuff happens. Such a cool idea, it is so topical.
BOI: As an actor, what did the film unlock in you?
RR: I think just the fact that we were doing something like this was quite a high. As an actor, I always look for exciting work and scripts. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Trapped is all about this one guy who is stuck in an apartment for three weeks, without food or electricity. It’s a very performance-driven role, a challenging part, and as I said, just to have him (Vikramaditya) as a director, it was a double celebration for me.