Rajkummar Rao

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Rajkummar Rao
Rajkummar Rao World Premiere Newton Zoopalast Berlinale 2017 02.jpg
Rao at Berlin Film Festival in 2017
Born 31 August 1984 Edit this on Wikidata (age 32)
Gurgaon Edit this on Wikidata
Alma mater
Occupation Actor Edit this on Wikidata

Rajkummar Rao Yadav (born 31 August 1984) is an Indian actor who appears in Hindi films. Rao has established a career in Hindi cinema and is the recipient of a National Film Award and a Filmfare Award from three nominations.

Born and raised in Gurgaon, Rao graduated in arts from the University of Delhi and later studied method acting at the Film and Television Institute of India. After graduating, he moved to Mumbai for a film career and made his film debut with the 2010 experimental anthology film Love Sex Aur Dhokha. After starring in brief roles in several of the highly successful Hindi films of the following two years, he achieved success for his breakout role in 2013 with the drama film Kai Po Che!, for which he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award at Filmfare. That same year, he was awarded the Filmfare and the National Film Award for Best Actor and Critics Best Actor for his portrayal of Shahid Azmi in the biographical drama Shahid. In 2014, Rao played the leading man in the successful romantic comedy Queen and the drama CityLights. Rao received critical acclaim for portraying a journalist in the biographical drama Aligarh, which earned him a second nomination for Best Supporting Actor at Filmfare.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Rajkummar Rao was born into Yadav family in Gurgaon, India.[4] He finished his schooling in Gurgaon at Blue Bells Model School and graduated in Arts from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College (ARSD)–University of Delhi. He was simultaneously doing theatre with Kshitij Repertory and Shri Ram Centre (SRC) in Delhi. In 2008, Rajkummar graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and shifted to Mumbai for a film career.[5]


2010–2015: Debut and early work[edit]

After graduating from FTII, Rao spent the next year visiting studios and meeting casting directors. In 2010, he got his big break when he was cast in Love Sex Aur Dhokha, after responding to an ad that mentioned Dibakar Banerjee was looking for newcomers.[5][6]

Rao next signed Ekta Kapoor’s Ragini MMS where he played a negative role. Both Love Sex Aur Dhokha and Ragini MMS succeeded, and his performances in both films were appreciated. He also appeared in Bejoy Nambiar's Shaitan. Raja Sen of Rediff, while criticizing the film, singled out his performance as "reliably terrific".[7]

In 2012, Rao performed a series of small, but significant roles in films like Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2, Chittagong and Talaash. Anurag Kashyap selected Rao for Gangs Of Wasseypur, after watching his performance in Love Sex aur Dhokha. For the role of Shamshad Alam, he visited Wasseypur to perfect his character and accent. However, his character's screen time was considerably reduced in the final script. Rao who was eager to work with Anurag Kashyap, went ahead with the movie anyway.[5] In the critically acclaimed Chittagong, he portrayed the role of freedom fighter, Lokenath Bal. In Talaash, he played the role of a junior officer to Aamir Khan's character. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN commented, "...it takes Rajkumar Yadav just one scene - in which he's merely a spectator with a single line of dialogue - to show what a good actor can bring even to a small part."[8]

2013–present: Critical acclaim[edit]

In 2013, Rao played the role of Govind in the film Kai Po Che!, Abhishek Kapoor's adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's novel The 3 Mistakes of My Life. The movie was a commercial and critical success, and earned praise for the lead performances. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV remarked, "No praise would be enough for Raj Kumar Rao. Delivering a measured performance as the self-effacing man lost in “the magic of numbers”, he is a consummate scene-stealer."[9] He followed Kai Po Che! with a leading role in the biopic Shahid, based on the life of the slain lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi. It earned praise from the critics with Anupama Chopra writing: "Shahid is Raj Kumar’s triumph. His Shahid has strength, anguish and a controlled anger, but also real charm. His smile lights up the frame. See Shahid for him."[10] The role earned him a National Film Award for Best Actor (shared with Suraj Venjaramoodu for Perariyathavar) and a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.[11][12]

Rao then starred in the coming-of-age dramedy Queen (2014) opposite Kangana Ranaut. He played Vijay, a man who calls off his wedding with his fiancée. Rao's performance was well received; Saibal Chatterjee wrote that "He brings remarkable restraint to bear upon his interpretation of the disgustingly conservative city slicker who cannot see beyond his nose. Rarely has an object of derision stood his ground with as much firm intent as he does."[13] The film received critical acclaim and was financially successful.[14][15][16]

Rao next starred in Hansal Mehta's drama City Lights (2014). In 2015, he appeared alongside Sonam Kapoor and Pulkit Samrat in the romantic comedy Dolly Ki Doli (2015).[17][18] In April 2015, Rao featured with Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan in Hamari Adhuri Kahani. Both Dolly Ki Doli and Hamari Adhuri Kahani were box-office flops.[19][20]

Another critically acclaimed movie Aligarh featuring Rao in a lead role was released in February 2016 earning him a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination.He has been honored with life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television by Sandeep Marwah.

Rajkummar Rao to play Bose in Ekta Kapoor-Hansal Mehta’s web series. [1]


Film yet to release Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Notes
2010 Bombay Mirror Short film
2010 Love Sex Aur Dhokha Adarsh
2011 Ragini MMS Uday
Shaitan Malwankar Pintya
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2 Shamshad Alam
Chittagong Lokenath Bal
Talaash: The Answer Lies Within Devrath Kulkarni
2013 Kai Po Che! Govind Patel Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
D-Day Moin (voice) Cameo appearance
Shahid Shahid Azmi National Film Award for Best Actor
Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor
2014 Queen Vijay
CityLights Deepak Singh
2015 Dolly Ki Doli Sonu Sherawat
Hamari Adhuri Kahani Hari Prasad
2016 Aligarh Deepu Sebastian Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
2017 Trapped Shaurya [21]
Raabta Guest Appearance as a 324 year old man.
Behen Hogi Teri Gattu
Shimla MirchiFilm yet to release TBA [22]
NewtonFilm yet to release TBA [23]
5 WeddingsFilm yet to release Harbhajan Singh Pre-production[24][25]
OmertaFilm yet to release Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh
Ami Saira BanoFilm yet to release TBA Bengali film; Delayed[26]
Bareilly Ki BarfiFilm yet to release TBA Filming[27]
IttefaqFilm yet to release TBA
Love SoniaFilm yet to release TBA
Shaadi Mein Zaroor AanaFilm yet to release TBA


  1. ^ "Rajkummar all set to Romance Hema Malini". www.cinesprint.com. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Rajkumar Yadav is now Rajkummar Rao". NDTV. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "61st National Film Awards For 2013" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  4. ^ "Raj Kumar : Making of an actor". Mint (newspaper). Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c ""I still don’t get car parking in my society" - Raj Kumar Yadav". Filmfare. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  6. ^ "‘I would love to be born as Marlon Brando’". Tehelka. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Shaitan is more SprayTan than Satan". Rediff. Retrieved 10 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "'Talaash' review". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Movie review: Kai Po Che!". NDTV. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Movie Review: Shahid by Anupama Chopra". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "Filmfare Awards 2014: The complete list of winners". IBNLive. Retrieved 25 Jan 2014. 
  12. ^ "Heart slowed down when I heard that I won National Award: Rajkumar Rao". Firstpost. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Chatterjee, Saibal (8 March 2014). "Queen movie review". NDTV. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Mehta, Ankita (6 March 2014). "‘Queen’ Review Roundup: Watch it for Kangana's Superb Performance". International Business Times. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Box Office: Bewakoofiyaan does below average business". Rediff.com. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Queen Closes In On 60 Crore". Box Office India. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  17. ^ Jha, Subhash K. (17 April 2014). ""It's been a long hard struggle" - Hansal Mehta". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Goyal. Divya (6 April 2014). "Sonam Kapoor shoots 16 hours non stop for ‘Dolly Ki Doli’, despite high fever". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  19. ^ Singh, Apurva (12 April 2014). "Mahesh Bhatt: ‘Humari Adhuri Kahani’ to be completed with Vidya Balan". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "'Hamari Adhuri Kahani' - Movie Review". Mid-Day. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Vikramaditya Motwane's 'Trapped' opens to standing ovation at MAMI". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016. 
  22. ^ "First look: Rajkummar Rao, Rakul Preet Singh, Hema Malini in Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Shimla Mirchi’". The Indian Express. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "Rajkummar Rao next is a black comedy titled ‘Newton’". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 Sep 2015. 
  24. ^ TOI: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/First-look-Nargis-Fakhri-and-Rajkummar-Rao-look-jaw-dropping-impressive-in-the-5-Weddings/articleshow/55560406.cms
  25. ^ "Omerta: Rajkummar Rao’s film hints at a terror angle, see pic". The Indian Express. Retrieved 10 Nov 2016. 
  26. ^ "Raj Kummar Rao is playing a transgender and Anurag Kashyap wants to take him for a date". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 Sep 2016. 
  27. ^ "Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Kriti Sanon team up for ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi'". The Indian Express. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 

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