Raj Kumar Yadav, known professionally as Rajkummar Rao, is an Indian actor known for his work in Hindi films. Born on August 31, 1984, Rao graduated from the University of Delhi and went on to study acting at the Film and Television Institute of India. He then moved to Mumbai and spent a year visiting studios and meeting casting directors. He did a small appearance as a news reader in Ram Gopal Varma’s 2010 political thriller Rann, for which he was not credited. After reading in a newspaper advertisement that mentioned Dibakar Banarjee was looking for newcomers for his film Love Sex Aur Dhoka, he auditioned and his role was finalised. This film and Rao’s performance met with acclaim from critics. It also turned out to be a profitable box-office venture. Subsequently after the success of his debut film, Rao was offered the lead role by producer Ekta Kapoor in the horror film Ragini MMS. Despite unfavourable critical response, the film was a box-office success. His next release was the crime thriller Shaitan. HIs next major role came after Director Anurag Kashyap had liked Rao’s performance in Love Sex Aur Dhoka and decided to cast him in Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2,. This film went on to become a critical and financial success. His next most popular film was Abhishek Kapoor’s buddy drama film Kai Po Che! Costarring Amit Sadh and the late Sushant Singh Rajput, the film was based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2008 novel The 3 Mistakes of My Life. The film was also met with acclaim from critics and the lead performances were praised very much. This film got Rao nominated for his first Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Then, the year 2013 proved to be a turning point for Rao with the Hansal Mehta-directed biographical film Shahid. The film met with critical acclaim upon release, so did his performance. Anupama Chopra called the film Rao’s “triumph”, “His Shahid has strength, anguish and a controlled anger, but also real charm.”The film was also a box-office success; Rao received the National Film Award for Best Actor at the 61st National Film Awards ceremony and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor at the 59th Filmfare Awards. His other release was the comedy film Boyss Toh Boyss Hain. Later, in 2013, Rao essayed the supporting role of a manipulative fiance in the comedy drama Queen. The film had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and was released theatrically in India on 7 March, 2014 It was a critical and commercial success, grossing ₹970 million (US$14 million) worldwide. 2017 proved to be a major year for Rao. His first release was the romantic comedy Behen Hogi Teri along with Shruti Haasan; it met with unfavorable critical response who praised his performance. It was followed by another romantic comedy titled Bareilly Ki Barfi, directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and co-starring Kriti Sanon and Ayushmann Khurrana . The film and Rao’s performance met with mostly positive reviews. Namrata Joshi wrote: “Rao is a hoot and brings the house down with his chameleon turn and comic timing — simpering simpleton one minute, full of swagger the next; a role that could have become a caricature in the hands of a lesser actor.” The film was also a commercial success. Throughout his career, Rao has achieved a number of theatrical successes and received several awards to acknowledge these achievements. Some of them include, the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor, Nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Actor, Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor, etc.
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