Sushant Sing Rajput’s sudden demise has left everyone in a state of shock. The actor died by suicide on June 14, 2020, and it sent shockwaves across Bollywood. Despite a prolific body of work with films like Kedarnath, MS Dhoni: The Untold story and more, it was reported that the actor was struggling with depression for the past 6 months. Now, in an interview, Sushant’s Kedarnath director Abhishek Kapoor has opened up about the actor’s mindset post the release of his 2018 film co-starring Sara Ali Khan.
In an interview with Enquiry, Abhishek remembered how Sushant was ‘lost’ post Kedarnath’s release and how he tried to get in touch with him to celebrate the success of the film. Recalling the hard work that Sushant put in during the shoot of the film, Abhishek said that he threw no tantrums and every day would carry Sara in the basket on his back in chilly weather without any complaints. Admitting that he could not spend that much time with Sushant as he did with Sara while prepping for the film, Abhishek mentioned that he somewhere knew that they would be able to reconnect. He mentioned that when they started filming Kedarnath, Sushant had lot of load on his shoulders as a lot was being written about him in the media.
Further, talking about the time when Kedarnath released, Abhishek said, “I had not spoken to him (Sushant) for a year and half. He changed his number 50 times. I remember when Kedarnath had come out, the media just slammed him (Sushant). And I don’t know what happened. Sushant could see that he was not getting the kind of love because everything was being said about Sara. He was not talking to me. Sushant was kind of lost. Then I sent him a few messages. Then the film released and it did really well. Again I sent him a message. This is the last exchange I had with him. ‘Bro I have been trying to reach you. I’m not sure if you’re upset, busy or what. But call me soon to chat, we made a superb film again. If we’re not going to celebrate it, who the hell is going to celebrate. What the hell are we gonna celebrate in life.’ Then I sent him messages again in January. He did not respond on his birthday. I just let him be. I was like koi nahi, Yeh gaya hai, aayega yeh. I could see he is not in a good place. But, you can’t cross a line. You have to reach out halfway. But if you over extend and give unsolicited advice, it loses its value. I can only reach the halfway mark and wait ke yeh ayega.”
In the same chat, Abhishek also called out the industry for ‘systematic dismantling of a fragile mind.’ He mentioned that Sushant was brilliant and hence, the industry could not put him a box of stereotypes. So, he mentioned that they called him ‘off.’ Talking about it, Abhishek said, “There’s this thing that if you’re not like us then you can’t be with us. There are so many camps that if you’re not part of a camp, even if you’re in the middle of a room, you will be ignored. It is true, especially for actors. I, as a filmmaker, can isolate myself. I can warn a young actor but he cannot see it at the time because the lights are so bright. You lose yourself.”
Sushant had done his first Bollywood film, Kai Po Che with Abhishek Kapoor as well and in the interview, the director also addressed that the actor was a different person when he met him while filming Kedarnath and had a lot of burden on his shoulders. Kedarnath came out in 2018 and it starred Sushant and was the debut for Sara in Bollywood.