“It’s not about the number of characters, but how strong those characters are” – Sundeep Kishan

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A new entrant into Hindi cinema is always an exciting event. And when it is someone who’s entering with such a positive buzz about him the excitement is even larger. Such is the case for Sundeep Kishan who is debuting this week in a director duo Raj and Dk’s Shor In The City. Already deemed to be supremely talented with a stellar performance in a one of the most iconic films in recent time for Telugu cinema, Sundeep is all geared up to woo the Hindi audiences too. Bollyspice caught up with the debutant to get all the inside scoop into his entry into films and just the kind of Shor he intends to make! Read on to find out!

Being a Chennai boy you chose to debut in the Telugu films (based in Hyderabad) rather than Tamil, why was that?

Basically when you’re starting your career you don’t choose your work, the work chooses you so it just so happened that Telugu chose me first.

For any Indian family the decision of child going into acting is rather big decision, so how did your family react?

They were very positive in terms of what I wanted to do however were adamant that I complete my education, which I did. I ended up having film training whilst studying as I had worked as an assistant director at the time.

So how has life been post Prasthanam, has things change as you expected?

Basically speaking I didn’t expect anything I’d simply gone with the flow. Shor In The City happened much before Prasthanam release even, I’d even finished shooting for Shor before Prasthanam release. Post Prasthanam I would say its been a slow progression but at the same time whatever I’ve been associated with has been of good quality be it Snehageetham, Prasthanam, Shor or my 7 Up ad campaign. So yes, basically slow but good!

Now coming to your most praised role which was in Prasthanam, you played a rather dark character so would you say it took a toll on you off-screen considering actors have suggested such a repercussion is possible?

I wouldn’t say such a thing happened for me because acting is acting in that sense for me. Especially for the character in Prasthanam which was a very unpredictable one. I didn’t do any homework for him because it required me to be very spontaneous. The only effect the role had on me would be that it made me rather quiet off-screen as oppose to what I normally am which is a very talkative person. Having said that, my dark and ‘bad-boy’ role from Prasthanam has been much more appreciated by my female fans compared to the ‘mamma’s boy’ type of roles that I have done subsequently. So ultimately I think the dark character worked well for me.

Did you worry that a villainous role for a debut would impact on chances of being cast as a mainstream hero?

Interestingly enough I regard my role from Prasthanam to have essayed all the things that an actor usually does in a ‘hero’ role. Such as the opportunity to essay extreme emotions, be loud, perform rather big action sequences and even dance! My character gave me the scope to do it all and as a result I was offered many solo leads in the mainstream commercial caper subsequently, which for various reasons I’d said no to. So judging by that I think Prasthanam was ideal for my debut.

After Prasthanam you landed in a multistarrer quite boldly so would you say you’re not intimidated by role length and it doesn’t affect your choice of films?

I was lucky enough to get the offer of Snehageetham but at the same time I was also given the opportunity to choose my role in the multistarrer. It so happened that there was a character in the script who was struggling to be a director and I found myself instantly relating to him being a new entrant into the industry. In addition, cinema today is no longer about the number of characters in a film but rather about how strong the characters are.

So leaving your Telugu debut behind we come to your Friday release, Shor In The City, your Hindi debut. How did this role happen?

Although I would say luck doesn’t favour me too often, I did meet directors Raj and DK by chance at an audio launch. Raj immediately asked me how good my Hindi was, I said I could work on it and boom! It was so fast! Very much indebted and grateful to the director duo.

How would you summarize you role in Shor?

I play a cricketer who is trying to get into the Mumbai cricket team who’s facing many obstacles due to societal pressures, his passion and his love life. Shor basically follow his story to see what happens when he’s forced to meet so many demands in life arising from various sources. The story is basically about the average Indian who aspires to be the model law abiding citizen but at the same time the story looks at how far that citizen may go when pushed to the core by various things.

As you mentioned the film is directed by duo Raj and DK, did you think having a duo director on board added to the film in anyway?

Frankly speaking I didn’t see the difference because they were so amazing together. It was truly surprising to see two people with such an identical vision. Normally you’d expect at least something to differ in their visions and opinions however with Raj and DK there was never such a moment of quarrel or disagreement.. I’ve worked with a lot of directors as an assistant director and actor and I think I’d go as far to say that they’ve been the best directors I’ve worked with till date. Although it may seem like I’m saying this after having worked with them but I was a big
fan of their work in their earlier film ‘99′. They keep it simple, smart and pull of passion!

Now coming to the producer who’s a powerhouse in herself, Ekta Kapoor, how much did you get to interact with her and how was the experience?

I would say that the experience of working under the Balaji banner has been a great one as they maintain an international standard of professionalism. As for Ekta, she’s always been very warm and welcoming. There was never a feeling of ‘Oh this is THE Ekta Kapoor’ because she so friendly. The same applied to Tushaar who was so down to earth.

Shor is your second film to go into the ‘festival’ circuit, the first being Prasthanam, how does that feel?

Both the films have achieved something very unique, which is, that they cater for the Indian audience however have an international appeal too. Usually we see films that are either meant for commercial success or critical acclaim but with these two films I feel that they are meant for the audience as well as have had the content to please the critics.

Now looking into the future, which we hope is extremely bright for you, any particular genre you’d like to focus on? Or perhaps any particular industry out of the many we have that you’d prefer?

It comes down to why I’m here and that is because I truly enjoy acting. More than the fame or the money I enjoy the opportunity to be someone else. There’s no industry or language I would prefer. In terms of genres, I’d next be interested in doing a funny ‘rom-com’ such as Band Baaja Baaraat. Also perhaps the type of role I did in Prasthanam mostly because a character like that has no boundaries and you can go all out!

Last but not the least, why should BollySpice readers not miss out on Shor?

I think they should rush to see it for the same reason I rush to see any film, which is basically three reasons: the poster designs, the trailers and the idea behind it. We’ve had a direct approach as far as the promotion is concerned and have told you everything you need to know. In addition I deem it to be an honest film that will be a good value for money!

Catch Sundeep’s debut film Shor In The City at a cinema near you this April 28th!

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