Updated December 27th, 2023 at 13:15 IST

When Raj Kummar Rao’s dancing skills inspired Ludo director Anurag Basu to rewrite his script

Anurag Basu's directorial Ludo, which released in the midst of CoVID lockdown, received a lot of praise for its multi-track narrative and complex characters.

Rajkummar Rao | Image:Pinterest
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Raj Kummar Rao, who made his film debut in 2010 with movies like Rann and Love Sex aur Dhokha, has emerged as one of the most talented and versatile actors of Hindi cinema in the last decade. He had received a lot of appreciation for his performance as well as his character in the 2020 film Ludo, which had released amidst CoVID lockdown, and ended up getting a lot of attention and eventual praise. However, there is an interesting story to Rajkummar Rao’s lovable character came into into final shape.

A still from Ludo | Image: IMDb

Rajkummar Rao arrived with a boombox on Ludo sets on day 1

In an older interview with Mashable India, Rajkummar Rao had opened up about how both he and director Anurag Basu were trying out various wig extensions for Alok, Rao’s character in the film. And when Rajkummar Rao put on one of the longer hair wigs, Basu told him, “oh you are looking like Mithun Chakraborty.”

Thats when Raj Kummar Rao came up with the idea of modelling his character on Mithun Chakraborty, and Basu immediately lapped on the idea. Rao recalled further, “The real challenge there was to make this small-town character stand out among the horde of protagonists in stories set in similar universes.”

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Rajkummar Rao elaborated on how, for the next few days, he completely immersed himself into this zone where he was watching only Mithun Chakraborty movies, listening to his songs etc. Rao added, “A few days later, when it was the time to begin shoot for shoot to begin, I remember arriving on the sets with a boombox on my shoulder blasting Mithun Chakraborty songs, dancing and grooving away with a care in the world.”

Rajkummar Rao was passionate about dancing since school days

Anurag Basu instantly decided to incorporate this element into Raj Kummar Rao’s character. However, the Barfi director Rao told about his decision much later, “That’s when I had decided that this character is a Mithun fan, and loves to dance. So whenever he feels extremely happy or sad, his first instinct is to dance.” Nonetheless, This particular facet of Rajkummar Rao’s character in the film became a huge draw for the viewers, who felt the character’s vulnerability through his uncontrollable outburst through his dance moves. 

During the same interview, Raj Kummar also recalled coming to audition for the popular dance talent hunt show Boogie Woogie back when he was 15 years old. Rao further talked about always having a flair for dance, which eventually came handy to him at various occasions - and his character design in Ludo was clearly one of the most significant ones.

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Published December 26th, 2023 at 23:55 IST