Sushant Singh Rajput's death came as a huge shock to Bollywood. The actor’s death was another wake-up call to the underrated issue of mental health

This morning, pandemonium broke out on Twitter, with people calling out Bollywood for double standards and hypocrisy. Primarily, Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt are being targeted for nepotism.

Famous journalist Mark Manuel, who is the former editor of Bombay Times, shared his experience when he met Sushant Singh Rajput for interviews and chats. He said, “Sushant was an unhappy person with attitude. A supremely talented actor with the arrogance to match. Also, many people didn’t like him.

 

Sushant Singh Rajput – at heart an unhappy, insecure, unloved teen… I regret I never liked #SushantSinghRajput. I met...

Posted by Mark Manuel on Monday, June 15, 2020

 

Here is what he said:

Sushant Singh Rajput – at heart an unhappy, insecure, unloved teen…

I regret I never liked #SushantSinghRajput. I met him first in 2013. When he was making his Bollywood debut with #KaiPoChe. He gave attitude. Which he had no reason to. He was a TV star. Going from the small screen to the big. He wasn’t yet Bollywood’s next big thing. But that’s how he acted. A supremely talented actor with the arrogance to match. A lot of people didn’t like him.

Three years and three films later, Sushant hadn’t changed. I interviewed him for #MSDhoniTheUntoldStory in 2016. He was still unfriendly and unsmiling. A lot more. I wondered why. The great Mahendra Singh Dhoni carried his fame more lightly. And Dhoni was the wicket keeping-captain winning World Cups for India. Sushant I think unintentionally rubbed people the wrong way.

But, oh my, what a talented actor he was. All unfair comparisons to Dhoni, he hit out of the stadium with a performance that no other actor would have justified. He got Dhoni’s gait, demeanour, attitude and gaze right, even his walk. And the heroic cricketer’s signature Helicopter Shot too. To think filmmaker Neeraj Pandey picked Sushant who was three films old for this role in 15 minutes flat.
His suicide shocked me. The horror of somebody taking their lives is beyond me. What could have gone so terribly wrong in Sushant’s life or career that in sheer hopelessness and despair he decided to end it? I had heard all the stories of his depression and drug abuse, how his attitude was costing him films, but people have crawled out of deeper and darker holes to survive and succeed.

I think he didn’t care about himself anymore. Outside the image of vitality, of cheerfulness and positivity and strength that he portrayed as a Bollywood poster boy, was a forlorn Patna lad who could not accept his fame and heart-achingly missed his mother who passed away when he was 16. Beneath the matinee idol was an insecure, unhappy, unloved teenager. Sushant never grew up.

The pity is he killed himself just when Disney +Hotstar was to announce the web release of his last film #DilBechara tomorrow. There won’t be media interviews. But even had there been, I would not have gone. I passed up the opportunity to interview Sushant for #Kedarnath in 2018 and talked to the film’s debutante actress #SaraAliKhan instead. I don’t think he cared. But today I do. RIP. (SIC)