'Secret Superstar' actor Raj Arjun raves about his 5 most applauded short films

Actor Raj Arjun of Secret Superstar fame is currently winning praises for his short films on social issues which are gaining accolades and are being showcased in prestigious film festivals

'Secret Superstar' actor Raj Arjun raves about his 5 most applauded short films
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Kumar Raviraj Sinha

What prompted you to take up the role in Pilibhit? Was it a conscious plan of something?

No, I don't make plans, it just happens. Pilibhit directors Ashu and Pankaj are brilliant directors as newcomers. I came to know that they have left their regular job and coming up with this idea of making films. I like this kind of inspiring stories and when I see these people who have so much of enthusiasm and fire in them for cinema I really like working with them. That particular moment I thought that if their story is worth I'll definitely do it. The moment I heard the story of Pilibhit, it really attracted me and I said yes. What a fantastic story it is! People will be surprised to see that someone can come up with such content.

What prompts you to work with such film makers and act in short films?

The main reason behind doing and supporting such films is that I really liked the approach of the directors and their story. Sometimes it depends on how hard you want and how much dedication and passion you have. When we see it, we should just come forward and do this kind of content to support such filmmakers who are filled with enthusiasm and spark. Also help everybody to grow in a way because they are the future of film making and we should not forget that everybody has started like this.

How was the experience of shooting these films and when you think about Natkhat what memories come to your mind ?

Well, shooting these films was really a wonderful and satisfying experience. It is always a great excitement to work for such content driven films. About the moments in Natkhat, I met Atul ji (Atul Tiwari) after a long time who was playing the role of my father, I remember long back in 1999 by the reference of my Guru Habeeb Tanveer Sahab, I had gone to meet Atul ji and I still remember how kindly he offered me a cup of tea and talked to me. When some one comes to Mumbai for work 'Aap usko sun lo utna Kaafi Hota hai'. It works as a tonic. So it was kind of nostalgic to go back to that memory.

How was your working experience with Vidya Balan and others?

It was a great experience working with her and she is very natural and kind. Also on the set of Natkhat, I don't actually remember but yes I do remember an old incident where she met me after watching Secret Superstar and wanted to break my nose (laughs).

Also this film deals with sensitive issue of how upbringing plays a significant role in making what you are as a person. What are your views and how do you treat your kids?

Well, most of the time I am their friend and in some situations I am a strict parent. All I want to say is that if you are truly concerned about your kids you just need to create an atmosphere of joy and happiness around them where they can connect with you and share things with you. You don't have to make them feel that their life is a race, let them enjoy it sometimes and teach them that they don't have to worry a lot and make lots of plan as someone out there has already thought about everyone.

How was your working experience in The Miniaturist of Junagarh?

Working experience with Rasika was really fantastic as she is a sweetheart to work with. She is simple girl who focuses on the portrayal of her character and on doing justice to her character on set with her profession. It was really great experience. I connect with all of them because we are all from theatre. So it helps us to connect faster when we are from same background.

Any anecdotes from the set with Naseeruddin Shah?

Naseeruddin Sahab is a legend of cinema and it's a pleasure observing and watching him. The most important reason of saying yes to the short film The Miniaturist of Junagarh was Naseeruddin Sahab. I felt that since he has said yes to a film then that must be a sensible film. I was just observing him like a painting to see how he works on minute details and how he develops his craft and his approach towards it. I was not surprised to see that even at this age his approach is very sincere and dedicated. He was totally engrossed in it.

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