Rajkummar Rao on Dinesh Vijan’s horror-comedy universe: Roohi’s Bhawra and Stree’s Vicky might come together

After the OTT release of Ludo, Chhalaang and The White Tiger, Rajkummar Rao is returning to the silver screen with horror-comedy Roohi.

After many of his films took the OTT route in the past year, Rajkummar Rao is excited to be back on the silver screen with Roohi. Also starring Varun Sharma and Janhvi Kapoor, Roohi is set to release in theatres on March 11. Here, Rao plays a village simpleton named Bhawra who falls in love with a woman possessed by a spirit. Rao has earlier had success with this genre in 2018’s Stree and hopes to strike gold one more time.

In a conversation with indianexpress.com, Rao spoke about Dinesh Vijan’s horror-comedy universe that started with Stree, working with Janhvi Kapoor and the global success of The White Tiger.

Raj shared how he made sure that Bhawra and Vicky (Stree) did not appear similar. “It was fun working on Stree back then, a horror-comedy, first of its kind, and then to get back to that world and play a different character. For me, I wanted to play Bhawra in a way that he doesn’t remind the audience of Vicky from Stree. That’s why it was a challenge for me on how to make it look and feel different. I had to keep a different speech pattern, I coloured my hair, my styling is very different from Stree,” he shared.

The Trapped actor shared that producer Dinesh Vijan wants to create a horror-comedy universe and with Roohi, he is starting to build on the same. Since these films belong to the same universe, it is possible that both of Rao’s characters could appear together in a film someday. Teasing that possibility, the Newton actor said, “Dinesh has a bigger plan to make this into a universe where you’ll see Bhawra meeting Vicky, that would be exciting to see. They might also come back together in the same film.” However, Raj stayed mum on his probable appearance in Varun Dhawan’s Bhediya, which also seems to be a part of Dinesh Vijan’s horror-comedy universe.

Roohi also stars Janhvi Kapoor and like many star-kids, she too has been facing accusations about nepotism ever since her debut in Dhadak. Talking about his talented co-star, Rao said, “Janhvi is a very talented actor, we have seen her grow in every film, from Dhadak to Roohi. She genuinely loves what she does. From the comments we are getting online, I think people want to see talent on screen, the response we are getting is great, so I don’t see a problem there.”

With the films releasing in theatres again, the pressure of box office numbers is bound to be back. But Raj believes that people “want to invest their money in the right film, they want to go and have a good experience.” He added, “if the film is good, people will go and watch it.”

The White Tiger, where Rao played a pivotal role, has just received two nominations at BAFTA 2021. Talking about the global success of the Netflix film, the Omerta actor said, “It is great! We all knew that we were making something special, I was very excited to work on The White Tiger, just to get an opportunity to work with someone like Ramin (Bahrani), I have been a big admirer of his work. And now, the kind of response it has got from the global audience is phenomenal, it is overwhelming

Rajkummar Rao recently wrapped up Badhaai Do with Bhumi Pednekar and also has Hum Do Humare Do in his kitty. Roohi will release in theatres on Thursday, March 11.

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