Rajkummar Rao

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Rajkummar Rao (Actor)

Rajkummar Rao, originally Raj Kumar Yadav, is a distinguished figure in the realm of Indian cinema, renowned for his compelling performances in Hindi films. With a career spanning over a decade, he has left an indelible mark, captivating audiences with his versatility and depth as an actor. Rao’s journey in the film industry has been adorned with numerous accolades, including a prestigious National Film Award, four esteemed Filmfare Awards, and recognition at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. His prominence in the industry was further solidified when he graced Forbes India’s esteemed Celebrity 100 list in 2017.

Embarking on his artistic voyage after honing his skills at the esteemed Film and Television Institute of India, Rajkummar Rao made his cinematic debut in the anthology film “Love Sex Aur Dhokha” (2010). He initially ventured into the cinematic landscape through supporting roles in acclaimed films like “Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2” and “Talaash: The Answer Lies Within” (both 2012). However, it was in 2013 that he truly etched his name in the annals of Indian cinema with his remarkable portrayals in the dramas “Kai Po Che!” and “Shahid.” His riveting depiction of lawyer Shahid Azmi in the latter not only garnered him the National Film Award for Best Actor but also earned him accolades at the Filmfare Critics Awards.

Rajkummar Rao cinematic journey witnessed a steady ascent as he embraced diverse roles in films like “Queen” (2014), “Aligarh” (2015), and “Bareilly Ki Barfi” (2017), where his performances were lauded by both critics and audiences alike. Noteworthy mentions include his lead roles in the captivating independent films “Trapped” (2016) and “Newton” (2017), which showcased his prowess as an actor and garnered him critical acclaim and awards, including the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor.

The pinnacle of Rajkummar Rao career saw him soar to new heights with his portrayal in the horror comedy “Stree” (2018), which emerged as his highest-grossing release at the box office. He further expanded his horizon by venturing into English-language cinema with his role in the satirical film “The White Tiger” (2021). Rajkummar Rao recent endeavors have continued to garner acclaim, with notable performances in films like “Ludo” (2020), “Monica, O My Darling” (2022), and “Bheed” (2023). His portrayal of a closeted gay man in “Badhaai Do” (2022) earned him yet another Filmfare Award for Best Actor, further cementing his stature as one of the most compelling actors of contemporary Indian cinema.

Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Rajkummar Rao
NameRaj Kumar Yadav
Date of Birth31 August 1984
Birth PlaceGurgaon, Haryana, India
University  Film and Television Institute of India
ProfessionActor
Career2010–present
SpousePatralekha Paul
Reltionshipm. 2021
Height1.7 m

Early Life : Rajkummar Rao

Rajkummar Rao, originally named Raj Kumar Yadav, was born on August 31, 1984, in Prem Nagar, Gurgaon, Haryana, India. Raised in a close-knit family, he shared his childhood with two older siblings and three cousins. His father, Satya Prakash Yadav, served as a government employee in the Haryana revenue department, while his mother, Kamlesh Yadav, dedicated herself to homemaking. The family faced profound loss with the passing of Rajkummar Rao’s mother in 2016 and his father in 2019. Rao’s educational journey led him through S.N. Sidheshwar Senior Secondary Public School, where he discovered his passion for acting through participation in school plays. He further pursued his academic endeavors at The Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College, University of Delhi, while simultaneously nurturing his love for theater with the Kshitij Theatre Group and the Shri Ram Centre in Delhi.

Rajkummar Rao’s aspiration to pursue acting was sparked by witnessing the talent of acclaimed actor Manoj Bajpayee, a source of profound inspiration. In 2008, he took a significant step towards his dream by enrolling in a two-year acting course at the esteemed Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, subsequently relocating to Mumbai to embark on his cinematic journey. Beyond his artistic pursuits, Rajkummar Rao adheres to a vegetarian lifestyle and holds a formal training background in taekwondo. In a gesture honoring his familial ties and his mother’s belief in numerology, he adopted the surname Rao from Yadav in 2014, additionally incorporating an extra ‘m’ into his first name.

In matters of the heart, Rajkummar Rao’s personal life intertwines with his professional journey. He embarked on a romantic journey with actress Patralekha Paul in 2010, a relationship that blossomed over the years. The culmination of their love story unfolded on November 15, 2021, as they exchanged vows in a heartfelt ceremony in Chandigarh, marking a new chapter in their lives.

Career

Following his graduation from the FTII in 2008, Rajkummar Rao embarked on a journey to pursue his acting dreams. Spending the ensuing year navigating studios and engaging with casting directors, he embarked on his cinematic voyage with a modest, uncredited appearance as a news reader in Ram Gopal Varma’s 2010 political thriller “Rann.” However, it was an opportune newspaper advertisement that led him to his breakthrough, catching the attention of director Dibakar Banerjee for his found footage anthology film “Love Sex Aur Dhokha” (2010). Rajkummar Rao portrayal of Adarsh, a cunning supermarket supervisor, captivated audiences and critics alike, marking the inception of his ascent in the Indian film industry.

Despite his early success, Rajkummar Rao remained discerning in his choice of roles. Producer Ekta Kapoor’s offer for the lead role in the found footage horror film “Ragini MMS” (2011) initially gave him pause, but casting director Atul Mongia’s persuasion convinced him otherwise. Rajkummar Rao’s versatility shone through as he delved into diverse characters, from a slimy police officer in Bejoy Nambiar’s crime thriller “Shaitan” (2011) to the supporting role of Shamshad Alam in Anurag Kashyap’s acclaimed crime saga “Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2” (2012).

His commitment to authenticity and depth of character portrayal garnered praise, notably in his portrayal of independence activist Lokenath Bal in Bedabrata Pain’s historical drama “Chittagong” (2012). Rajkummar Rao’s career trajectory soared with his compelling portrayal of lawyer Shahid Azmi in Hansal Mehta’s biographical drama “Shahid” (2013), a performance that earned him widespread acclaim and his first National Film Award for Best Actor.

In subsequent years, Rajkummar Rao continued to captivate audiences with his nuanced performances, ranging from the manipulative fiancé in the comedy-drama “Queen” (2013) to the role of an inquisitive journalist in Mehta’s biographical drama “Aligarh” (2015). His dedication to his craft was evident in his portrayal of Shaurya in Vikramaditya Motwane’s survival drama “Trapped” (2016), for which he underwent a rigorous physical transformation and garnered his second Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics).

Rajkummar Rao’s cinematic journey is not merely a testament to his acting prowess but also a narrative of dedication, versatility, and unwavering commitment to his craft.

Commercial success

In 2017, Rajkummar Rao embarked on a cinematic journey filled with diverse roles and compelling performances. His first offering, the romantic comedy “Behen Hogi Teri” alongside Shruti Haasan, received a lukewarm critical reception, yet Rajkummar Rao portrayal garnered praise for its depth and sincerity. Undeterred, he swiftly transitioned to the heartwarming romantic comedy “Bareilly Ki Barfi,” directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, where his chameleon-like portrayal earned widespread acclaim. Critics hailed his ability to seamlessly transition between characters, noting his impeccable comic timing and versatility. The film’s success at the box office marked a significant milestone in Rajkummar Rao career, culminating in his maiden Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Amit V. Masurkar’s black comedy “Newton” provided Rajkummar Rao with yet another opportunity to showcase his acting prowess. His portrayal of an upright government clerk navigating the complexities of election duty in a Naxal-controlled town was lauded for its authenticity and depth. Rajkummar Rao’s dedication to his craft shone through as he immersed himself in the character, earning accolades from critics and audiences alike. The film’s premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival further solidified Rajkummar Rao status as a versatile and accomplished actor.

In the digital realm, Rajkummar Rao made a compelling debut with ALTBalaji’s historical biographical web series “Bose: Dead/Alive,” portraying nationalist leader Subhash Chandra Bose. His transformative performance, coupled with meticulous attention to detail, garnered attention and acclaim. Despite facing mixed critical responses for his theatrical release “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana” alongside Kriti Kharbanda, Rajkummar Rao continued to push boundaries with his portrayal of complex characters.

Rajkummar Rao collaboration with Hansal Mehta for the biographical crime film “Omerta” proved to be yet another milestone in his career. Portraying the role of terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, Rajkummar Rao delved deep into the psyche of his character, delivering a performance that was both chilling and captivating. The film’s critical acclaim further underscored Rao’s versatility and commitment to his craft.

As the year progressed, Rajkummar Rao showcased his range with diverse roles in films like “Fanney Khan” alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anil Kapoor, and the horror comedy “Stree” opposite Shraddha Kapoor. Despite facing commercial setbacks, Rajkummar Rao performances continued to resonate with audiences and critics alike, reaffirming his position as one of the most talented actors in contemporary Indian cinema.

2019 To Present

In 2019, Rajkummar Rao embarked on a diverse array of cinematic endeavors, each showcasing his versatility and commitment to storytelling. His journey commenced with “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga,” a poignant exploration of love and acceptance within the LGBTQ+ community. Despite critical acclaim for its positive portrayal of homosexuality, the film struggled to find commercial success. Undeterred, Rajkummar Rao delivered a compelling performance alongside Kangana Ranaut in the black comedy “Judgementall Hai Kya,” earning him accolades and his fourth nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics).

His comedic prowess shone through in “Made in China,” where he portrayed a Gujarati businessman navigating the intricacies of marketing a Chinese aphrodisiac in India. While the film received mixed critical responses, Rajkummar’s performance was hailed as a standout amidst the narrative. Continuing his cinematic journey, Rajkummar Rao ventured into the romantic comedy “Shimla Mirchi” and the anthology film “Ludo,” the latter marking his digital debut on Netflix. His portrayal in “Ludo” earned him praise for his portrayal of emotional depth and longing, garnering him nominations for both the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and Best Actor (Critics).

In 2021, Rajkummar Raoventured onto the international stage with his Hollywood debut in “The White Tiger,” captivating audiences with his nuanced portrayal alongside Priyanka Chopra and Adarsh Gourav. The film, based on Aravind Adiga’s novel, received widespread acclaim, further solidifying Rajkummar Rao reputation as a versatile actor with global appeal. Returning to his roots in Indian cinema, Rao delighted audiences with his performances in the horror-comedy “Roohi” and the spiritual sequel “Badhaai Do,” earning him accolades, including the prestigious Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

As Rajkummar Rao continues to captivate audiences with his unparalleled talent, he remains committed to pushing the boundaries of storytelling. With projects like the Hindi remake of the Telugu thriller “HIT: The First Case” and the comedy-drama “Hum Do Hamare Do” alongside Kriti Sanon, Rajkummar Rao cinematic journey promises to be filled with excitement, innovation, and captivating performances.

Public View

Rajkummar Rao’s influence extends beyond the silver screen, earning him recognition and accolades for his contributions beyond acting. His inclusion in Forbes India’s 30 Under 30 list of 2014 underscored his rising prominence in the entertainment industry. Additionally, his commitment to ethical living led People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to honor him as India’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2017, further solidifying his impact beyond his craft.

In the same year, Rajkummar Rao’s influence reverberated across various platforms as he secured a spot on Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list and GQ magazine’s esteemed list of 50 Most Influential Young Indians. His ability to resonate with audiences transcended cinema, as evidenced by his role as a brand ambassador for Actimaxx, Seventh Street, and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s eat-right movement.

Moreover, Rajkummar Rao’s philanthropic endeavors exemplify his commitment to social responsibility. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact in India, he generously donated to the PM CARES Fund, the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, and Zomato’s Feeding India initiative, providing vital support to families in need during these challenging times. Through his multifaceted contributions, Rajkummar Rao continues to inspire and uplift communities, embodying the essence of a true humanitarian.

Personal Life

Rajkummar Rao’s personal life, while relatively private, reflects aspects of his character that extend beyond the spotlight. Born Raj Kumar Yadav on August 31, 1984, in Prem Nagar, Gurgaon, Haryana, India, he grew up in a close-knit family with two older siblings and three cousins. His father, Satya Prakash Yadav, served as a government employee in the Haryana revenue department, while his mother, Kamlesh Yadav, dedicated herself to homemaking. The passing of his parents in 2016 and 2019 respectively marked profound moments of loss in his life.

Rajkummar Rao educational journey led him through S.N. Sidheshwar Senior Secondary Public School, where his early forays into acting sparked a passion that would shape his future. He continued to nurture this passion at The Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College, University of Delhi, while also immersing himself in theater with the Kshitij Theatre Group and the Shri Ram Centre in Delhi.

In matters of the heart, Rajkummar Rao romantic journey intertwined with his professional pursuits. He embarked on a relationship with actress Patralekha Paul in 2010, a connection that blossomed over the years, culminating in their marriage on November 15, 2021, in Chandigarh. Their union reflects a partnership built on mutual respect and shared aspirations, echoing the commitment and dedication that define Rao’s approach to both his personal and professional life.

Summary

Rajkummar Rao’s personal life reflects a blend of familial bonds, educational pursuits, and romantic commitment. Born Raj Kumar Yadav in 1984, he grew up in Gurgaon, Haryana, experiencing the love and loss within his close-knit family. His academic journey led him to The Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College, where he cultivated his passion for acting alongside his studies. Amidst his professional endeavors, Rajkummar Rao found love with actress Patralekha Paul, culminating in their marriage in 2021, highlighting a partnership founded on shared values and mutual support.

Beyond the spotlight, Rajkummar Rao philanthropic gestures and dedication to ethical living further define his persona. Recognized as India’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity by PETA, and featured in Forbes India’s prestigious lists, he extends his influence beyond cinema. His contributions to various causes, including donations to aid COVID-19 relief efforts, underscore his commitment to social responsibility, exemplifying a multifaceted individual whose impact transcends the silver screen.

Filmography

YearTitleRoleRef.
2010RannNewsreader 
2010Love Sex Aur DhokhaAdarsh Sachdev 
2011Ragini MMSUday Singh 
2011ShaitanInspector Devraj/Pintyalabhan (Malwankar) 
2012Gangs of Wasseypur 2Shamshad Alam 
2012TalaashDevrath Kulkarni 
2012ShahidShahid Azmi 
2013Kai Po Che!Govind Patel 
2013Boyss Toh Boyss HainAbhishek 
2013QueenVijay Dhingra 
2014CityLightsDeepak Sharma 
2015Dolly Ki DoliSonu Sherawat 
2015Hamari Adhuri KahaniHari Prasad 
2015AligarhDeepu Sebastian 
2016TrappedShaurya Gusrath 
2017Behen Hogi TeriShiv “Gattu” Nautiyal 
2017Bareilly Ki BarfiPritam Vidrohi 
2017NewtonNewton Kumar 
2017OmertaAhmed Omar Saeed Sheikh / Omerta 
2017Shaadi Mein Zaroor AanaIAS Satyendra Mishra 
2018Fanney KhanAdhir Bagchi 
2018StreeVikrant “Vicky” Parashar 
2018Love SoniaManish 
20185 WeddingsHarbhajan Singh 
2019Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa LagaSahil Mirza 
2019Judgementall Hai KyaKeshav 
2019Made in ChinaRaghubir Mehta 
2020Shimla MirchiAvinash Singhal 
2020LudoAlok Kumar Gupta 
2020ChhalaangMahendra Hooda 
2021The White TigerAshok Batra 
2021RoohiBhawra Pandey 
2021Hum Do Hamare DoDhruv 
2022Badhaai DoShardul Thakur 
2022HIT: The First CaseInspector Vikram Rao 
2022Monica, O My DarlingJayant Arkhedkar 
2022BhediyaVikrant “Vicky” Parashar 
2023BheedACP Surya Kumar Singh Tikas 
2024SrikanthSrikanth Bolla 
2024Mr And Mrs MahiMahendra Agarwal 
2024Stree 2Vikrant “Vicky” Parashar 
2024Vicky Vidya Ka Woh Wala Video TBA 

 

Television

YearTitleRoleRef.
2017Bose: Dead/AliveNetaji Subhas  
2023Guns & GulaabsTiger Tipu

 

Music Video

YearTitleSinger(s)Ref.
2023“Achha Sila Diya”B Praak 

 

Awards

YearNominated workCategoryResult
2018NewtonBest ActorNominated
2017NewtonBest Performance by an ActorWon
2017EntertainmentWon
2014ShahidBest Actor (Critics)Won
2014Kai Po Che!Best Supporting ActorNominated
2017AligarhNominatedNominated
2018Bareilly Ki BarfiWonWon
2018NewtonBest Actor (Critics)Nominated
2018TrappedWonWon
2019StreeBest ActorNominated
2020Judgementall Hai KyaBest Actor (Critics)Nominated
2021LudoNominatedNominated
2021Best ActorNominatedNominated
2023Badhaai DoWonWon
2023Best Actor (Critics)NominatedNominated
2024BheedNominatedNominated
2017TrappedBest Actor (Special Mention)Won
2017AligarhBest Supporting ActorNominated
2018Bareilly Ki BarfiNominatedNominated
2018NewtonBest ActorNominated
2019StreeNominatedNominated
2013ShahidBest ActorWon
2017Hottest VegetarianWon
2014ShahidBest Actor in a Leading RoleNominated
2015Citylights  
2014Kai Po Che!Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)Nominated
2015Queen  
2017Bareilly Ki BarfiWonWon
2018NewtonBest Actor (Critics)Nominated
2018StreeBest Actor (Male)Won
2014Kai Po Che!Best Supporting ActorWon
2017AligarhNominatedNominated
2018Bareilly Ki Barfi  
2018NewtonBest Actor – Male (Jury’s Choice) 
2018Extraordinary Impact Award (Male)Won

 

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