Despite actor Rajiv Surendra’s scene-stealing moments Bad Girls, has been largely absent from Hollywood since the film’s 2004 release. So what happened to the guy who played Kevin Gnapoor? It turns out that Surendra’s journey is quite fascinating.
Surendra is better known these days for his DIY videos on HGTV’s YouTube channel than his acting credits. Part of the reason may be due to the “traumatic” rejection he had to go through Life of Pi. He dropped out of college in hopes of getting the lead role in the 2012 film but it finally went to Indian actor Suraj Sharma.
“I felt dead inside for a long time,” he explained to GQ.
Surendra, who fired Bad Girls during his freshman year of college, he learned the book Life of Pi was being made into a film.
“I was determined to get that part. So I dropped out of college to go to the small town in India where the book is set so I could do some extensive research. I did it for a few months and then I came back and I was just waiting for that they started production. I thought it was going to happen overnight and it didn’t. They lost the director and the project was put on hold, so I went back to college,” he recalled. The project kept getting delayed and suddenly six years went by.
“Life of Pi it has been joined over the years by four different directors, therefore each time a new director [came aboard], I’d go to the library and pull out all the movies they’d made and look up that director. I worked very hard trying to get this part. Eventually they gave it to someone else,” he explained.
Surendra said the refusal “looked like someone had died”.
“I was building this guy who was a character in a book. At the end of those years, that was a real person inside me. Those old Tamil songs I used to listen to as a kid, Pi would listen to those songs. When I got the e- email saying I didn’t get the part, I felt like that person died instantly. It was traumatic. I think I was in shock for a couple of weeks. I felt dead inside for a long time,” he said. continued. .
Surendra hasn’t got another major credit since then Bad Girls. The only merit, according to IMDb, appeared in a short film in 2005. After losing Life of Pihe applied for a regular office job, but working in a cubicle under fluorescent lights “wasn’t for me”.
“I can’t do that. I’d rather not be here on earth,” he said.
“At that time when I felt dead inside and knew I couldn’t work in an office, I marginally heard about this thing called being an au pair, where a young girl would be hired as a nanny for children in Europe. I thought maybe this would be the only thing that would excite me. I also just wanted to quit my life. It seemed like a way to escape and get paid. I applied on a website and got it, so I moved in Munich,” he continued.
In the end, that didn’t work either. “Sorry, you paid four years to graduate and now you’re washing someone’s underwear? What?” she joked.
Surendra decided to start a small business doing calligraphy. He also served an apprenticeship in pottery and has begun to find a following online.
“Overall, I find the ultimate question people need to ask is, what do I want? And they need to find that answer themselves. In a very profound way,” she said. “When you understand that, it’s actually simple to achieve, but it means you have to let go of a lot of things.”
The entrepreneur recognizes that living a little unconventionally means that there is a trade-off.
“I don’t have medical insurance. People always ask, well, aren’t you afraid? And I say, not really. It’s always a trade-off. I know the cost associated with that security. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be miserable every day like this can I have medical insurance,” she said. “To me, it’s like what’s the point? What’s the point in having the security of a job and an apartment and insurance and then every day you come home and hate your life. So you can have three weeks off at the year so we can do something fun?”
So don’t expect to see Surendra inside Bad girls 2, if it ever happens: “Why spoil a good thing?” he said.