Bet you didn't know this. But Sushan Singh Rajput, currently basking in the wah-wahs for his performance as a cricketing coach in Kai Po Che modelled his character and his performance on his sister Mitu Singh, a
state-level cricket player.
Says Sushant, `I haven't told this to anyone. But it was my sister who inspired my character. I've played a male version of Mitu Didi. She was a state-level cricketer and as hot-headed and impulsive as my character
The minute Sushant read the script he knew it was his sister he would model his character on.
Says the actor, `I couldn't dream of playing any other character. I could immediately identify with Ishaan's passion for cricket, his constant struggle to make himself understood by family friends and society and his
struggle to understand himself. It was my sister Mitu I was looking at in the script. `
Ishaan kept the reference/source for his character a secret from the entire team.
`The first person I wanted to know about my role-model was my sister. On Friday evening she went to see Kai Po Che. I told her to spot herself in the film. And she did. When Didi told me, 'Arrey, tune toh mujhe daal
diya apne kirdaar mein, ' it was my moment of greatest victory. ` says Sushant emotionally.
The other compliment that he cherishes the most for his performance in Kai Po Che came from his soul-mate Ankita Lokhande.
Says Sushan shyly, `Ankita who is my biggest critic told me that for two years she knew me as Maanav the character I played with her in the serial Pavitra Rishta. But now she sees me as Ishaan from Kai Po Che. I
want her to feel the same way when my next film releases. `
Sushant's 6-year old niece Mallika couldn't stop crying after she saw her 'Sushant Mama' die at the end of the film.
`She was sobbing inconsolably. I had to repeatedly assure her that I was fine. But she wasn't convinced, ` says Sushant.
Kai Po Che has opened to huge ovation. Sailing on Cloud 9 on the wings of the rave reviews Sushant says, `I am no stranger to attention. I had a certain following on television. But what I am experiencing now is
entirely different. `
Being hailed as the new star on the block Sushant is moving very cautiously. `I don't want to make any wrong move. The reviews have all been very kind. But it doesn't take long for actors to turn into one-film wonders.
Luckily for me my next release is a Yashraj film, so I am ensured a certain strategic advantage. But beyond that I've to make sure I keep surprising myself before I surprise the audience. `
Though Sushant is not allowed to talk about his role in the Yashraj film opposite Parineeti Chopra directed by Maneesh Sharma, the actor apparently plays a role totally antithetical to his part in Kai Po Che.
Says Sushant, `All I'll say is, those who see me in Kai Po Che won't recognize me in Maneesh's film. I play a completely different character. `