Why Mean Girls’ Rajiv Surendra Quit Hollywood

“I worked really really hard to try to get this part,” he recalled. “In the end, they gave it to somebody else.”

Following the casting disappointment, Rajiv decided to take a break from acting, moving to Munich to work as an Au Pair—an experience that proved to be extremely transformative.

“It was a good lesson for me,” he said. “You have to listen to yourself and if there’s something inside telling you ‘I don’t want to do this or I can’t do this,’ then you have to figure out what you actually want to do.”

Rajiv continued, “Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense because sometimes it means you are going to have no money or career wise you’re going backwards. Excuse me, you paid to spend four years to get your degree and now you’re washing someone’s underwear? What? That doesn’t really make sense on paper but that’s what I needed.”

Nowadays, Rajiv is back in front of the camera making DIY videos for HGTV on YouTube. And he’s grateful his journey got him to where he is now.

“Overall I find the ultimate question people need to ask themselves is: ‘What do I want?’ And they need to come up with that answer on their own. In a very deep way,” he noted. “When you figure that out, it actually is simple to achieve it but it means you have to let go of a lot of things.”

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