As Tanu Wed Manu Returns released, it wasn’t only Kangana Ranaut and R Madhavan who attracted audience interest but there were few supporting actors that managed to impress. Rajesh Sharma (Datto’s brother) was one of the few supporting actors who caught our attention, we spoke to the actor about his experience.
On Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Aanand L Rai had offered me Raanjhanaa but I was shooting for Ghanchakkar so I couldn’t adjust my dates. Hence, I had to opt out of Raanjhanaa for Ghanchakkar. But Aanand is one of my favourite directors and he then offered me Tanu Weds Manu Returns.
On accepting Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Initially I was sceptical because after Ghanchakkar, I didn’t want to do insignificant roles. I asked Aanand what he thought…whether I should do the film or not. After he thought about it, he told me I should do it. I agreed without even listening to the script because I had immense faith in him. Then he told me I had only a few scenes to do but would get noticed depending on how I delivered those scenes.
On getting into the character
I played a Jat who is settled in Delhi. He is a progressive man who had an inter-cast marriage and supports his family. He even supports his sister in her career and life. He works in an electrical department. It was a small role but I did intense research for the character as I did not want it to be a blink-and-miss role. So I observed electricians and researched my character. Also, Himanshu is a very experienced writer and I used to consult him on the sets.
On Aanand L Rai
Aanand is the kind of director who sketches each character in detail. He is an emotional man and you can see that in his characters too. None of his characters have a dark side; some have grey shades but the rest are soft. His strong point is human relationships, which he shows with ease in his film. Like my line when I ask Manu, when he refuses to sit on the horse, ‘Tumhari dusri hogi, humari behan ki toh peheli hain.’ That line drew so much applause. It could have become a negative remark but the way my character was carved out, the line came across as innocent. Aanand concentrates on every character and it’s just not Kangana or Jimmy (Sheirgill) that he focuses on. Like the rickshawala… he had a past with Tanu and had just two scenes but these were strong scenes. So even if his characters have a brief presence on screen, they leave a big impact.
On his favorite scene
One of my favorite scenes from the film is where my character goes back to his village and finds out that Datto has been locked and Manu is about to be killed. Aanand just told me that the scene required me to deliver a short monologue and then he gave me the liberty to approach the sequence the way I wanted to.
The response has been outstanding. Everyone is talking about my speech scene and I am overwhelmed and grateful to Aanand for giving me this opportunity.