Playing a 324-year-old man in the 2017 romantic drama Raabta
or a lawyer and human rights activist in Shahid
, Rajkummar Rao has proved to be one of the most bankable actors in his generation of actors. Despite playing supporting roles in movies Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2
, and Aligarh
, the National Film Award-winning actor has always made an impact on screen with his performance.
Born in Gurgaon, Delhi on the 31st of August, 1984, Rajkummar belongs to an Ahir family, who go by the last name of Yadav. He studied at the Blue Bells Model School in Gurgaon, where he started taking part in school plays, sparking his interest in acting. He then graduated from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College, Delhi University with a degree in arts. While studying in college, he was performing theatre with Kshitij Repertory, and Shri Ram Centre in Delhi. Upon graduating, Rajkummar enrolled himself at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune to pursue his career in acting and movies.
Rajkummar met Anwita Paul, a fellow FTTI graduate and Bollywood actress who is known by her stage name, Patralekha
, while filming his debut movie Love Sex Aur Dhokha
in 2010. The two started dating in 2012 and have been dating since.
A polished theater artist, Rajkummar stepped into the movie business with Dibakar Banerjee
`s experimental anthology Love Sex Aur Dhokha
in 2010. In the three-part anthology, Rajkummar appeared in the one titled `Paap Ki Dukaan` paired opposite Neha Chauhan
. The movie opened to critical acclaim and was declared a commercial success. Next, he was seen inEkta Kapoor
`s 2011 found footage horror Ragini MMS
. The movie opened to mixed yet mainly positive reviews and was a box office hit. He then went on to appear in small yet significant roles in movies such as the 2011 crime-thriller Shaitan
, Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2, Chittagong and the psychological horror thriller Talaash: The Answer Lies Within
before getting his big break.
In 2013, Rajkummar finally was seen playing one of the lead actors in Abhishek Kapoor
`s 2013 buddy drama Kai Po Che!
, which co-starred Amit Sadh
and Sushant Singh Rajput
. His portrayal of Govind in the movie won him immense praise and he also won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Following the commercial and critical success of his previous project, Rajkummar was seen playing the titular role in Hansal Mehta
`s biographical film Shahid
, which not only won Rajkummar a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor but also a National Film Award for Best Actor.
He then appeared in Vikas Bahl
`s comedy drama Queen
, which starredKangana Ranaut
in the lead. The movie went on to become one of the most successful Bollywood movies of the year. Reuniting with Hansal Mehta
, Rajkummar was paired opposite his girlfriend Patralekha
in her debut movie Citylights. The hard-hitting movie, although received to a low box office opening, went on to become a commercial success and was also acclaimed critically.
Next, Rajkummar was cast alongside Manoj Bajpayee
in the biographical film Aligarh
, reuniting with Hansal Mehta
for the third time. The movie premiered at the 20th Busan International Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation.
The year 2017 is considered one of the landmark years in Rajkumar`s career. The actor was first seen in Vikramaditya Motwane
. His performance in the survival drama film was unanimously praised by all. In Raabta
, he appears in a cameo role, where he played the role of a 324-year-old man. His next outing was a romantic drama Behen Hogi Teri alongside Shruti Haasan
. Though the film tanked, he left an impact in this forgettable potboiler. After that, he was seen in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
`s romantic comedy Bareilly Ki Barfi
. The film was a sleeper hit and completed a glorious 50 days run in some screens all over India. Rajkumar also won the Best Supporting Actor Filmfare award for the same. His next, Newton
was selected as the Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards. The film also won several other accolades, including National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. His last outing of the year Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana doomed at the box office.
The first half of 2018 saw him appearing in Omerta
, a biographical crime drama based on the life of terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. The film opened to high critical acclaim, but financially, it didn`t do well. His other notable projects include Fanney Khan
, Love Sonia
, 5 Weddings
, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
and Judgemental Hai Kya and Made In China
. His 2020 releases include Shimla Mirchi, Ludo and Chhalaang. His 2021 releases include The White Tiger, Roohi and Hum Do Hamare Do. His other notable works include Badhaai Do
(2022), Hit: The First Case
(2022), Bheed (2022), Monica, O My Darling (2023) and Mr And Mrs Mahi (2023).