Did Bollywood bigwigs distanced themselves from Sushant Singh Rajput?

Rajput’s suicide trigger rumours of the actor struggling to get work, his publicist denies it claiming that the actor had projects in the pipeline

By Mayur Lookhar

Source: Sushant Singh Rajout Instagram

The film industry is still to come to grips with the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput (34). A suicide though inevitably raises the all important question – Why? It didn’t take long for theories to float in. Depression is the most common cause of a person taking his/her life, that ain’t no rocket science. However, the one concerning us was the rumoured professional struggles.

Without naming Rajput, a dubious online media made some bizarre claims in their tweets.

“This young actor who was hailed for his superlative acting finesse has gone completely off the rails in his personal & professional life. His arrogance & irrational behaviour has rubbed many producers the wrong way. From demanding exorbitant fee to insistence on casting his gf,” tweeted Bollywood Insider.

“The situation is so bad that even after delivering few hits, he doesn’t have any big movie in his kitty. Most of his staff members hv left because of him temper & tantrums. Now he’s been asked to vacate his flat because society ppl hv problem with his hugely debauched lifestyle.”

Often such claims would simply be written off as yellow journalism, but producer Karan Johar’s apologetic Instagram post saw trolls slamming the Dharma Productions head honho and the legacy studios for perhaps leaving Rajput out in the cold.

“I blame myself for not being in touch with you for the past year….. I have felt at times like you may have needed people to share your life with…but somehow I never followed up on that feeling…will never make that mistake again…we live in very energetic and noisy but still very isolated times …some of us succumb to these silences and go within…we need to not just make relationships but also constantly nurture them….Sushant’s unfortunate demise has been a huge wake up call to me …to my level of compassion and to my ability to foster and protect my equations…..I hope this resonates with all of you as well….will miss your infectious smile and your bear hug ….”, posted Johar.

Johar had produced Rajput’s last film Drive [2019] that was released on Netflix. The film garnered negative reviews.

There were rumours of Rajput being hurt by Dharma Productions’ decision to release Drive on Netflix. “Sushant was upset as he wasn’t informed by Johar of taking Drive straight to Netflix. He supposedly had a falling out with Johar over this. An upset Johar then allegedly spread the word among fellow producers that Rajput had perhaps become too big for his own boots,” said a source.

Johar’s post does raise the question, did Bollywood bigwigs distanced themselves from Rajput?

Actor, producer Anushka Sharma, who worked with Rajput in PK (2014), felt sorry for not being there for Rajput.

“Sushant, you were too young and brilliant to have gone so soon. I’m so sad and upset knowing that we lived in an environment that could not help you through any troubles you may have had. May your soul rest in peace,”

Sharma, though is an outsider, It’s the legacy studios and the big banners that are cropping criticism.

Rajput’s next release is casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s directorial debut Dil Bechara, produced by Fox Star Studios. Homi Adajania’s Takadum and Abundantia Entertainment’s Rifleman were announced but nothing happened thereafter. Rifleman was mired into legal issues, while in 2017, Adajania had claimed Taakdum isn’t shelved. Earlier, Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan’s Chanda Mama Door Ke was put on the back burner. Besides, Rajput was to play 12-iconic characters in a digital series, but that project failed to get going.

As per various media reports, Rajput is said to have been suffering from depression from the start of the year. According an ABP News report, one of Rajput’s sister, who lives in Goregaon, Mumbai, had stayed with him for a couple of days recently.

Six days ago, Rajput’s former manager Disha Salian had committed suicide. We spoke to his current publicist to check whether the actor was struggling to get work?

“No, this is completely not true. I think everyone should just let Sushant rest in peace now rather talk all these things. There was Dil Bechara which is ready for release. There were things in pipeline but it is wrong on our behalf to comment on them,” said the PR manager.

Screenwriter, director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, too, ruled out Rajput going out of work.

“Sushant was very much in demand. He had many offers but I reckon it was his choice to stay away. He’s d reached a stage in his career where it wasn’t possible for him to not get work. There were one or two films that didn’t take off. Besides, the whole industry has come to a standstill because of Covid-19,” Chauhan told BeyondBollywood.co.in.

An industry insider though had a different story. to tell.

“I can’t say that he didn’t have any offers but he wasn’t having any offer from the big banner studios. He often had creative differences with his directors. There were talks that during Kedarnath, he told Abhishek Kapoor that he wasn’t good enough to be a director. He was someone who wanted to take control of his film,” the industry insider says, “While you understand the point of view, but the big directors, producers don’t like such artistes. There was also talk that he was upset with Drive and now Dil Bechara’s rumoured release on OTT platform. Maybe, he feared that having an OTT release might make producers think that he is not box office material anymore.”

Controversial critic and actor Kamaal Rashid Khan posted his tribute to Rajput on his YouTube Channel. In the video, KRK claimed that Rajput was different from all, one who didn’t hesitate in speaking in his mind.

“Rajput was once called by Aditya Chopra. He asked Chopra for the script. Aditya gave him the script and half an later, Sushant didn’t like it and so he refused it. Aditya Chopra must have been shocked but that is how Rajput was, He used to often say that he wants to do that kind of work that the world will remember forever,” said Khan.

Despite Rajput turning down a script, it must be noted that he did feature in two YRF Films – Shuddh Desi Romance [2013] and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy [2015].

After enjoying back to back hits in Kedarnath [2018] and Chhichhore [2019], it is indeed illogical to believe that the actor would have dearth of offers. All talk of Rajput perhaps being ignored by the legacy studios is also not true. Remember, he had worked with YRF, Abhishek Kapoor, Fox Star Studios, Vidhu Vinod Chopra productions before.

With the man gone, all this professional highs or alleged lows are nothing but hollow conversations. The film industry will dearly miss Sushant Singh Rajput. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace.

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