Call Answered: Rajesh Bose Interview: Sailing onto Broadway in Life Of PiMar 28, 2023
Rajesh Bose is making his Broadway debut in the five-time Olivier Award winning play Life of Pi. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Rajesh has extensive Off-Broadway & Regional theatre credits at some of the best theatres in the country.
In this interview, Rajesh reveals:
- What he relates to most about playing Santosh, the father
- The boundaries he puts up when performing
- Pre-Show rituals
- How he decompresses after the show
- Best Advice he's received
Life of Pi is an epic tale of adventure & endurance. After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi is left stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors — a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?
Life of Pi plays at Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street). Click here for tickets!
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Rajesh Bose in Life of Pi on Broadway, Photo Credit: Murphy Made
1. You are playing the Father in Life of Pi. What do you relate most to about him? Santosh is a quintessential 1970s father figure -- While I'm not a parent myself, having been a child in the 70s, I'm reminded very much of my own father and the kind of parenting we typically receive from fathers -- like my own Dad, Santosh can be tough and stern, but always acting out of love.
2. What is one characteristic of his you are glad, you yourself do not possess? The way he dresses -- I'd like to think I'm a little more stylish than Santosh.
3. You were in the show's out of town production at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA. Did you discover anything about the Father during the show's run there that is informing the way you portray him on Broadway? I don't know that there was anything specific that I discovered, but having a sizable run in Cambridge was very helpful -- it allowed the text to settle to a level where we could really play with each other -- and for me, to inhabit the part more fully.
Rajesh Bose, Photo Credit: THEGINGERB3ARDMEN
4. I saw an interview with Celine Dion several years ago that when she goes out on tour, she does not speak between shows to help preserve her voice. She writes everything down. What kind of barriers do you put up for yourself when performing? When I was younger, I loved going out after shows -- eating, drinking, and staying out late, sleeping into the afternoon, and then doing it all over again. But I don't do that anymore -- I rarely, if ever, drink alcohol anymore, and the vast majority of nights, after a show I'm going straight home to bed.
5. How do you decompress after a show? I'll usually make myself a quick post show meal, walk my dog, and then fairly quickly to bed.
6. Do you have any pre-show rituals that help you get into character or ready for the show? For this part, I am wearing some padding to give me more of 'dad bod' -- I will say the ritual of putting on that padding is very helpful.
7. What has been your biggest onstage mishap either in Li of Pi or during another show you have been in? Nothing particularly comes to mind -- I've been very lucky I suppose. As complex of a show as Life Of Pi is, we've managed to remain (knock on wood) relatively mishap free.
8. What is the best advice you've ever received that you would give to someone else? Pardon my language -- Show up on time and don't be an asshole.
9. What is something we didn't get to cover in this interview that you'd like my audience to know about you? That I am very proud of this show and that everyone should come see it!
Rajesh Bose, Photo Credit: THEGINGERB3ARDMEN
More on Rajesh Bose:
Rajesh Bose is making his Broadway debut with the production of Life of Pi in the role of Father. The Pittsburgh-born, Emerson College-educated Bose has extensive Off-Broadway & Regional theatre credits at some of the best theatres in the country.
Rajesh’s Off-Broadway favorites include multiple productions with Bedlam Theatre, including Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion, York in National Asian American Theatre Company's Henry VI, as well work with Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club & Ensemble Studio Theatre. His Regional favorites include Lord Burleigh in Folger Theatre’s production of Mary Stuart, Lukesh in Aurora Theatre's world premiere production of This Much I Know, Amir in multiple productions of Disgraced (for which he won a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play), as well as performances with Huntington Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Northern Stage, Hartford Theatreworks, Playmakers Rep, San Jose Rep, Victory Gardens Theatre, Capital Stage, Mixed Blood Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh City Theatre & Quantum Theatre.
Rajesh Film & Television credits include Bull, Elementary, Damages, Nurse Jackie, The Blacklist, Madame Secretary, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, Law & Order: Organized Crime, the series finale of The Sopranos & the Academy Award nominated film Frozen River.