Remembering Sushant On His Death Anniversary: A Great Scholar Turned Actor

by Shatakshi Gupta

Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput was one of the few actors who gained popularity in Bollywood despite being a TV star. In an interview, he had revealed that he wanted to become an astronaut. But he had to do engineering because of his family members, but in the last year of engineering, he left his studies and went to Mumbai to fulfil his dream of becoming actor.

His family was proud of him

 Sushant said, “It was 2006, my final year in college, when I dropped this bomb at home. Everyone was shocked! They were so shocked that they could not say anything and I accepted their silence with their consent. It was difficult at the time, but now it’s different. My dad loves it when he goes on walks and people call him, and also shows me with some of my clippings. He really loves me  But even today, almost everything we talk about ends here, ‘Beta, degree le leta’.”

Sushant aspired to become an astronaut

 Sushant said, “Engineering was not my choice. I wanted to be an astronaut, and later, an Air Force pilot. I remember tearing up the poster of ‘Top Gun’ when my parents told me that  It’s not going to happen. Obviously, I was going to be an engineer. Maybe the drama that I did that day gave a clue to everyone. But actually, I was disappointed.”

The actor got a scholarship from Stanford University

 Sushant had received a scholarship from Stanford University, but he decided to choose path of acting. Sharing this, he said, “Instead of going to Stanford University, I dropped out of college and landed at 1RK in Versova, which I shared with six more people.”

His first breakthrough

While working at Prithvi Theatre, the casting team of Balaji Telefilms caught sight of Sushant, where he got an offer to audition.  Astonished with the performance, Sushant was given the second lead role of Preet Singh Juneja in the show ‘Kis Desh Mein Hai MeraDil’. This show was telecasted in the year 2008 in which Harshad Chopra and Aditi Gupta were also in lead roles. Sushant’s character was removed from the show after a few episodes, but due to popularity, the makers called him again.

His role Impressed, Ekta Kapoor. Which landed him on lead role in Pavitra Rishta. Producer Ekta Kapoor was delighted to see Sushant’s performance in the show ‘Kis Desh Mein Hai MeraDil’.  Ekta suggested Sushant’s name to her creative team for the lead actor in the show Pavitra Rishta, but the team refused, the team later agreed. In this show, Sushant gained a lot of popularity by playing the role of Manav Deshmukh. It was during the shooting of the show that the closeness of Sushant and Ankita Lokhande started growing and both ended up into relationship.

From TV to Bollywood

 After being a part of the show for about two and a half years, Sushant decided to leave the show to pursue a course in film making in the US. During the time he also worked as an assistant director in the film ‘Raaz 2’.

 In the year 2011, casting director Mukesh Chhabra caught sight of the actor and he called him for an audition. After giving the audition, Sushant got a role in the film Kai Po Che. At this time the actor was about to enroll in Stanford University, however after getting the offer of a Bollywood film, he decided to stay here. The film, based on ChetanBhagat’s book ‘3 Mistakes of My Life’, proved to be a hit. He also signed RajkumarHirani’s film ‘PK’ during the shooting of Kai Po Che, which became his third film.

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 After appearing in hit films, Sushant signed a contract with Yash Raj Films, due to which he appeared in ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ (2013) and ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshi’ (2015). After this, Sushant was going to be seen in ShekharKapur’s film ‘Pani’ being produced in co-production of Yash Raj Films, but the film was stopped due to back-out of production. After a few months, Sushant terminated his contract with Yash Raj Films.

 The film Chhichhore, released in the year 2018, proved to be one of the best films of Sushant’s acting career. The film, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, has also won the National Film Award. This is Sushant’s third film to collect more than Rs 100 crore at the box office after PK and MS Dhoni. The film ‘PK’ collected Rs 854 crore, ‘MS’ Dhoni collected Rs 216 crore and ‘Chhichhore’ collected Rs 215 crore.