Soon after completing Traffic his first feature film in Hindi, Rajesh Pillai died a sudden and shocking death at age 41. Manoj Bajpayee still can’t believe Pillai was gone so soon. “I am still in shock and disbelief. I just can’t come to terms with the fact that he is gone so suddenly. Rajesh was such a passionate filmmaker. He gave priority to his cinema over everything else, including his health. Now that we are looking at the release of the film I miss him more than ever. God bless his soul.”
The Bengali superstar Prosenjit returns to Hindi films after his much applauded role in Dibakar Bannerjee’s Shanghai.
Says Prosenjit, “It was really sad to see Rajesh Pillai leave us so suddenly. I spoke to him a few months back at the Kerala Film Festival. I accepted the role in Traffic because I really liked the subject. I play a star who turns into a concerned father. Rajesh Pillai directed the Malayalam original and then chose to direct the Hindi version although he was not Hindi-speaking. But he was passionate about the subject and fiercely focused on getting the same tension and emotions from the original Malayalam into Hindi. And such a wonderful human being…He was really sweet to all us actors. We all miss him.”
Divya Dutta who plays the mother of the girl who needs the heart transplant lost the director and her mother at around the same time. “Traffic is a very special film. Rajesh was such a lovely man. He possessed a rare childlike innocence. And he was so engrossed in the making of the film. Wish he was here to see its release.”
Divya enjoyed playing her part. “The actress who played my role in the Malayalam original got a National award. The character left me drained. Traffic is a film straight from the heart.”