‘I don’t want Sundeep Kishan to be a brand’
Tell us a bit about yourself
As self-obsessed as it might sound talking about myself (smiles), I’m a Telegu boy born and brought up in Chennai. I worked as an assistant director there for a year with Mr. Gautam Menon. Then I started off with Telegu films. My first film PRASTHANAM did very well critically. I also got many best debut awards for it. My second one SNEHAGEETHAM made a lot of money. I’m the face of 7 UP for Tamil Nadu for the IPL.
So how popular are you down south?
I can go ahead and tell you that I’m a rocking superstar. I have a niche audience and I’m known as a performer. Both my films have done well and I’m at least known as a credible actor.
How did you bag a role in SHOR IN THE CITY?
It was quite a surprise. Luck has never favoured me, but in this case it seems to have. I saw the movie 99 and was totally in love with it. The directors (Raj and DK) had apparently seen me playing cricket somewhere. They had also seen rushes of my film, PRASTHANAM. I met them at an audio launch film of a Telugu film. I said ‘I loved your film 99. It was a kickass film’. They asked how good my Hindi was. I told them it was very good and I could work on it if required. And the rest is history.
How is it to work with Balaji Productions in your debut film?
Until I came to Mumbai, I didn’t know it was a Balaji production. I did the film only because of Raj and DK. When I came to know that it was a Balaji production, I was double happy.
Tell us a bit about your role in SHOR IN THE CITY.
I play a vey lovable and relatable guy in SHOR. I play a wannabe Tendulkar. I’m sure every 20-year-old middle class boy has a problem with his girlfriend or his ambition. I have trouble with both. I have a girlfriend who I make out with at the Reclamation fly over. I also take to crime due to circumstances.
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I don’t know how you define lead. There are three stories running throughout the film. All have equal screen space. One story is mine. One is of Tusshar, Nikhil and Pitabash and one is of Sendhil.
You are hardly seen in the film’s promo.
A promo is basically for people to come to the film. If I’m in the promo asking people to come and watch the film, how many would want to listen to me? If Tusshar is in it, people will at least listen to what he’s saying. If what he says makes sense, people would come to the theatres. Tusshar’s track has more recognised faces.
How was your experience working with Raj and DK?
They are amazing. I’m not saying this because this is my movie and I’m working with them. I have worked as an Assistant director. But I haven’t seen someone with such vision. They are very chilled out. They are like two kids who are playing and enjoying themselves. I want to be in every film that they direct.
Do you think the Bollywood audience will accept you?
I think they’ll accept my character. As long as they accept my role and my character, I’m accepted. I’m only persistent on my role getting accepted. As an actor I don’t want Sundeep Kishan to be a brand. I want to make the roles that I play work. In the end automatically credibility sells.
Any actresses with whom you would like to work with?
Out of the younger lot, there is a whole bunch of actresses I would want to work with. Anushka Sharma is brilliant. Deepika Padukone is mind-blowing. Neha Dhupia is extremely hot. I want to work with co-stars who help my performance. When they give a good dialogue, I can respond well. All these actresses are hardworking. I want to be in a position when they believe that I will equally respond well to them and help them.
And what about the directors?
As of now, I want to work with directors like Abhishek Kapoor, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anurag Kashyap, Mainsh Sharma and Vishal Bharadwaj. They make stars.