Actor Gajraj Rao catapulted to recognition with Amit Sharma's Badhaai Ho (2018) in which he played Ayushmann Khurrana's on-screen father.
In a recent interview with Rajeev Masand, Rao revealed that he had almost said no to Badhaai Ho. He went on to add that the director was persistent to cast him for the role and this moved the actor very much.
"I was apprehensive because first of all, it was such a big role. My middle-class values and ethics came into play that the person (Badhaai Ho director Amit Sharma) should not suffer a loss because of me. I told him, ‘You can get a big star. The script is powerful.’ He said, ‘Gajraj Ji, you are a big actor for me.’ I told him that I will not be able to dance because I have Ankylosing spondylitis and I cannot control my body language myself, let alone follow the directions of a choreographer."
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of arthritis that affects a person's spine and joints, often causing extreme pain and discomfort. Rao's role in Badhaai Ho won him massive appreciation which he claimed he had not expected. In the film, he played actor Ayushmann Khurrana's father with Neena Gupta playing the mother.
The trio will be reunited in the upcoming film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta will be playing a couple again. Rao will be seen as the homophobic father of Ayushmann Khurrana's love interest played by Jitendra Kumar. The film is slated to release on February 21.
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