Rajkummar Rao was one of the many actors who had a small but significant part in the cult classic Gangs of Wasseypur. Rajkummar played Shamshad Alam, a small role in the film that bareky got him noticed in the sea of talent that the film had. However, the actor recently revealed that initially, when he was first approached for the film, he was supposed to play one of the leads. Also read: Anurag Kashyap wasn’t sure about casting Pankaj Tripathi in Gangs of Wasseypur
Gangs of Wasseypur is a two-part film directed by Anurag Kashyap. Both parts released within months of each other in 2012 to widespread critical acclaim. The films starred Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Sidddiqui, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Richa Chaddha, Huma Qureshi, and Piyush Mishra in lead roles. A number of actors had small roles in the film. Apart from Rajkummar, the film also featured Jaideep Ahlawat, Pankaj Tripathi, Vineet Kumar Singh, Reema Sen, Jameel Khan, Vipin Sharma, and Zeishan Quadri.
In a video shared by Netflix India, Rajkummar was interviewed by comedian Zakir Khan where they spoke about Gangs of Wasseypur among other things. Rajkummar said, “After watching LSD (Love Se Aur Dhokha), Anurag sir called me and said I am making a film and come and meet me. So when I met him, there was just a story, rather a structure of a story. And at that time, the film he narrated was Faisal Khan (Nawazuddin) vs Shamshad Alam (Rajkummar). Nawaz and I went to Wasseypur and I had a small tape recorder, which I used to record people there.”
Eventually, Anurag told Rajkummar that he was beginning writing the formal script for the film. “After writing finished 3-4 months later,” Rajkummar recalled, “Anurag sir met me again and told me that my role had become much shorter. But I said no worries sir. He asked me would you still do it and I said of course. I am getting a chance to work with you. And I am glad I did actually.”
Rajkummar’s small role in Wasseypur did get him noticed by one person though. Hansal Mehta cast him in Shahid based on that, which fetched Rajkummar his National Award. From there on, the actor saw commercial success as well in films like Kai Po Che, Bareilly Ki Barfi, and Stree. His latest film Monica, O My Darling released on Netflix this Friday.