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his choice of Rajput for the role. “Sushant has that very exciting mix of vulnerability and intensity which I think will add a lot to my Byomkesh —who is fresh out of college and on his first case — and fighting all the issues that a man of 23 faces when he comes out in the world.”
Currently being managed by YRF’s talent management arm, Rajput has also been ensured of being “projected right”. “Sushant is someone who appeals to a cross-section of people. The youth love him for his dance skills that he displayed on reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, and housewives took to him back in his Pavitra Rishta days,” says Ashish Patil, vice president (business & creative), YRF.
Although his dancing skills — which Rajput is confident of — are not being used in any of his current projects, his versatility, Patil believes, is on display in his new release, Maneesh Sharma-directed Shuddh Desi Romance. “I play a confused but earnest Raghu who is trying to differentiate between love and infatuation, the signs of which are often interchangeable,” he explains. The film, he says, explores the modern Indian youth’s take on relationships and the confusion between attraction and love.
While Rajput knows that it may not strike a chord with his fans from his television stint, who saw him as the aspirational hero, he isn’t willing to choose projects based on box-office returns. “I am supposed to lose up to eight kilos for my role as Byomkesh, apart from trying to understand the character — a thought that has me excited. If I have to lose out on this excitement, there’s nothing left to being an actor for me. I could have continued to play Manav and earned good money anyway.”