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Aarya director Vinod Rawat on Sushmita Sen, Hrithik Roshan, Rajkummar Rao | Bollywood


Vinod Rawat has acted in many films, worked as a casting director, and an acting coach; and has also directed Sushmita Sen’s digital debut Aarya. Vinod co-directed the first and second seasons of the show with Sandeep Modi. In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, Vinod talks about Pushtaini,which was screened at the recently held MAMI film festival, working with Hrithik Roshan, and Sushmita as their acting coach and much more. (Also read| Aarya Season 3 review: Sushmita Sen, Ram Madhvani don’t skip a beat)

Vinod Rawat in his film Pushtaini which also features a cameo by his friend Rajkummar Rao.

Directing Aarya

About not being associated with the show in the third season, Vinod said he was busy with other projects, which he had taken up to sustain himself, and therefore could not work on Aarya 3. Recalling the time he worked on the first season, he said, “I always feel I earn money to learn things. Aarya was my first series and I was exploring. I enjoyed so much. Technically, I learned how to shoot and weave large scale shots, scenes and narratives when I visited film sets while working with with Hrithik Roshan as his acting coach. With Ram Madhavani, I learned how you capture everything. My strength was to make scenes interesting and finding new ways of shooting the scene. I contributed some, learnt some.”

Sushmita’s discipline

Vinod called Sushmita one of the most disciplined people in the world. He said, “Sushmita Sen you can learn about life from her. She is a real star. As a human being, her values and self-respect; and not just acting that you may learn life from her. I am trying (to follow her), but she is so disciplined! She respects time so much. I do not think anyone else respects time as much as that woman does. She is so focused, and so disciplined. With me, she had a lot of fun. It was so good to talk to her. Season one and two were shot in that fun, without corrupting the discipline. That is her best part.”

Working as Hrithik’s acting coach

Vinod informs that he has been working as Hrithik”s coach since he worked on Kaabil – it has been eight years. “I have been working with Hrithik since Kaabil … for eight years. It is not just fate because of which he is where he is. I know how focussed he is. The passion he has, and not just acting, but filmmaking in general. He is not just blessed, you know, he does not just wake up everyday and people say ‘wow’. He plans, executes those, and works so hard. He is so inspiring. With each film he says there is so much more that is left to learn. He is really focussed and very passionate,” he said.

Pushtaini and Vinod’s life

Vinod shot the film Pushtaini in his ancestral village in Uttrakhand, and even featured his immediate family members in the film. Asked about the story’s connection with his own life, Vinod said, “Migration comes from my real life. (Father migrated from Uttrakhand to Delhi, and Vinod migrated from Delhi to Mumbai). About the sexual abuse and child abuse part in the film, I lived in Kidwai Nagar (Delhi) where we would often hear such stories., Of course, no one talked openly, but we knew the people involved. Thirdly, most boys have a phase between the age of 19 and 25 when they believe their father is their biggest enemy. After that age, you feel like can do anything for the father. That happened with me as well, and I picked that emotion from my own experience.”

He added that the people who appear as his sister, bua and brother-in-law in the film are his real-life sister, bua, and brother-in-law. “My bua does not even know Hindi, we used to teach her.”

Rajkummar’s fees for Pushtaini

Vinod did theatre with Rajkummar Rao during their younger days in Delhi. Asked if Rajkummar charged any fee for his appearance in Pushtaini, Vinod said, “Fees? Li na, bola 2-3 hug kar de bade bade (He sure did. He asked me for two-three huge hugs).”

Asked if he saw the film releasing in theatres, Vinod said, “I do not think. I may wish but I do not feel it will happen. OTT is a better space for this film. Otherwise, iif people do not turn up for the film, my debut will be tagged as a flop film.”

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