I didn't want a chocolate hero debut: model Rajneesh Duggal
New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Its been nearly five years since Rajneesh Duggal won the Grasim Mr. International title and he's finally set to enter Bollywood now with Vikram Bhatt's "1920". The popular model says he couldn't have got a better debut.
"I was offered many movies earlier but all of them were the chocolate boy hero types. I wasn't interested in any of that," Rajneesh told IANS over telephone from Mumbai.
His main criteria to choose a film were its script and director.
He said: "What I looked for in a movie was a good script and a competent director. '1920' is a combination of both these aspects and I'm glad that I got this platform to prove myself as an actor."
In "1920", Rajneesh has been paired opposite newcomer Adah Sharma. The plot revolves around a love story between a Hindu boy and an Anglo-Indian girl. The story takes a supernatural turn when the two get married despite opposition from their families.
Rajneesh has been an active model on the ramp, print and TV commercials, but he is slightly nervous about his silver screen debut.
"I am excited and nervous at the same time because walking on the ramp and playing a lead in a movie are two different things. Even in a TV commercial or in a music video, one does not get much scope to perform, so this is a completely new experience and a refreshing career choice for me," he said.
Rajneesh discovered his love for acting during his ad shoots. Before shifting base to Mumbai, he took up professional acting classes.
However, on a personal note, he believes that acting is more to do with "on the job training". "The more you work, the more you learn," he said.
In "1920", the actor plays an architect named Arjun Singh Rathore. Rajneesh says he had to work hard to get under the skin of his character.
Rajneesh was earlier seen shaking a leg in the music video of remix song "Chhod Do Aanchal", but his debut film doesn't require him to dance.
"The story demands more of my acting skills than my dancing skills. I am comfortable with dancing too. But as of now I am serious about my acting."
"1920" is not the only film he has in hand. His next is "Janam", also with the Bhatt camp.
So will modelling take a back seat now?
"I will be endorsing few more brands and I'm still associated with Raymond suiting. But yes, I will cut down on my ramp shows as it will be too difficult to manage everything at the same time," Rajneesh said.
Apart from being the face of many brands and being a state-level judo champion, Rajneesh is an activist with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
He was nominated as one of the "Hottest Vegetarians Alive" in a PETA India web poll earlier this year.