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Rajkummar Rao plays a cameo in Vinod Rawat’s debut feature, Pushtaini

Pushtaini will be making its South Asia premiere at Jio MAMI 2023

Rajkummar Rao plays a cameo in Vinod Rawat’s debut feature, Pushtaini
Rajkummar and Vinod

Last Updated: 09.18 PM, Oct 21, 2023


Rajkummar Rao plays a cameo role in Vinod Rawat’s debut feature Pushtaini which will be making its South Asia premiere at Jio MAMI 2023. Shot in Vinod’s ancestral village in Uttrakhand, Pushtaini marks his feature debut as an actor-director-writer and features non-professional actors including his own family members. The festival will be held between October 27 and November 5. 

Vinod and Rajkummar have known each other since their Delhi days when they did theatre together and later went to study acting in FTII. 

Pushtaini is about Bhuppi, a struggling actor who finds himself caught in an embarrassing scandal and is desperate to secure his last chance at stardom. Forced to return to his home and face his past, Bhuppi travels through the mountains and shares adventures with strangers, unaware of what the journey has in store for him.

 The film produced by Lotus Dust Pictures and VinRaw Films marks Vinod’s feature debut as an actor-director-writer-producer. The film is co-written by Rita Heer who also plays a prominent character in the film. 

Talking about collaborating with Vinod, Rajkummar said, “Vinod is one of my closest friends. We started our journey together in Delhi where we used to work together in a theater group. As an actor, I often pick my roles based on characters and the bigger narrative they contribute to. This is where Pushtaini fitted in so well. Discussing it with Vinod, I was hooked on the idea of its protagonist Bhuppi who hails from a rural hillock showing his chance to work with me at the peak of his career. Bhuppi represents many young people whose values and ambitions are challenged almost every day in cities like Mumbai and through this film, I wanted to reach out to them with a message of hope. The scene that I had with Vinod’s character Bhuppi is one of the important events in Bhuppi’s life and when Vinod approached me with the scene, I was more than happy to be a part of it as I’ve immense faith in Vinod’s talent both as an actor and as a director and I wanted to be a part of his wonderful process.”

Writer-director Vinod said, “Raj and I both studied in FTII and I have always valued his creative opinions on acting and cinema in general and so he was one of the first that I narrated Pushatini for advice. Fortunately, Raj instantly recognised the nuances in the scene and offered to act in the film. He features in the very first scene and plays an important part in the main character's life at that point. I wanted to show the main character in a vulnerable place on a film set in front of a big star. Yet this big star (Raj) embodies ease and grace while navigating the chaotic and tense environment of a film set and showing empathy for the main character.”

Talking about Rajkummar’s skills, the director further added, “Rajkummar is a talent powerhouse and represents the kind of films where stars are much more relatable to the life around you. That’s the kind of film Pushtaini is and hence Rajkummar just naturally fitted the role for me. Also, he is my dearest friend and he was more than happy to do this guest appearance in my debut film. When I narrated Pushtaini to him, he instantly recognized how he could be a role model for the film's protagonist Bhuppi and many others like him who dream of making it big one day in Bollywood.”

Vinod shot to fame with the International Emmy Awards nominated series Aarya which he co-directed with Ram Madhvani. He also wrote and directed an award-winning short film MAD. Alumni from FTII, Vinod is also a leading acting coach and has coached stars like Hrithik Roshan, Sushmita Sen, and Sonam Kapoor among others.

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