Rahul Roy, who became a household name with Aashiqui, could not recreate the same success in his later films. A few years later, he disappeared from the scene, only to reappear as a participant in the popular reality show Bigg Boss and win its first season.
In an interview with Pinkvilla, Rahul opened up about being away from the spotlight. “I walked away and that was my choice. Industry ka kuch lena dena nahi tha (The industry had nothing to do with it). Whether it is a privilege or whether it is a curse, I came into the industry not because I was seeking to be a star or an actor,” he said, adding that he was approached for Aashiqui after Mahesh Bhatt met his mother for a completely different reason.
Talking about why he chose to stay away from Bollywood, Rahul said that after he turned 30, he wanted to get married. “Being an actor, it is very difficult…I applaud those that can…but it is very difficult to do cinema as well as fulfil family responsibilities. Because cinema takes a lot out of you. When I got married (to model Rajlaxmi Khanvilkar) in 2000, I said, ‘Let’s take a break. Let me work on my personal relationship,’” he said.
Rahul also admitted that his films at the time were not doing very well and though he was getting offers, they did not excite him. “My growth as an actor had stagnated. You’re doing the same role again and again, and in that time, everybody’s perception is ki isko yehi karte raho (make him do the same thing). It was a combination of a lot of things,” he said.
Rahul’s year-long sabbatical became longer, when Rajlaxmi wanted to move abroad. After moving to Australia, it became difficult for him to continue with a career in Bollywood. He said that though he tried to approach and meet a lot of people, nothing worked out. He also said that he could never understand the new ‘agency’ culture.
In 2005, Rahul was in an ‘insecure’ place and gladly took up the Bigg Boss offer. When he won the first season, he was convinced that the audience still wanted to watch him. He eventually went on to sign a few films that took a lot of time to make because they were not big-budget films. However, he said that he was ‘proud’ of them.
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