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It can’t be a happy birthday: Sundeep Kishan

Telugu star  Sundeep Kishan who turns  34  on May   7  is  back  with a  new film Gully Rowdy. He tells Subhash  K Jha  about the film and its shooting during the pandemic.

How  did you  celebrate your  birthday?

Yes it’s my birthday  today. But I am very confused. It can’t a happy birthday. Not with what  is going on  around us. This is my second birthday  during the pandemic .  We’ve been thrown into a situation  where we don’t have  a choice. But it’s okay. The whole world  is suffering and  the last thing  I want is  to party. 

Your  fans are excited, though?

Yes, the  wishes are  pouring in. That they have found  the  enthusiasm to wish me even at a time like this, means  a lot to me. The love is  overwhelming.Of course  it’s not like  a normal  birthday . But I am here  with my  family.  Yes I am  feeling  positive about  life.I am going out to lunch with  a few  close friends.

Don’t  you wish  it was  a  normal  birthday?

I am  actually very content , Sir, to have what  I have. There are people out there who have lost family  members. I’ve my family. And I know that  my friends wanted  to be with m on  my birthday.To me it’s the  thought that really counts.

What it like shooting this film during the pandemic?

This  film  we started  shooting in December 2020. We  went into  a straight  unbroken schedule  of  63 days in Vizag. The  story is of a small-time gangster in  Vishakhaptnam.Well..actually he is a reluctant  gangster. The  world  of crime is thrust on him by nepotism.

Sounds amusing?

Yes I hope so. I play  a character whose father is  a gangster, grandfather is a gangster.So they try to make  a rowdy(gangster) out of him too.But his heart is  not in it?

Was it difficult shooting through the pandemic?

Somehow when it comes  to work I’ve the habit of shutting  everything down. Right after the  lockdown  I completed my last  film AI Express.So by the  time  I  came to Gully Rowdy I was used  to shooting through the  pandemic under strict Covid guidelines. We had a start-to-finish outdoor  schedule. We didn’t know when it started  and when it ended.  Honestly I  didn’t even get time to  to think about  the pandemic.

Is  Gully Rowdy  going on OTT?

No, this one  is a sure-shot theatre release.Every  film decides its own audience. This is a mass entertainer  where  the entire collective  audience needs to enjoy the film together.  Every film has its own platform. Gully Rowdy is for  the theatres. So we  will wait it  out for as  long as it takes for the  pandemic to  recede.

What made  you take this role up?

The  most interesting thing about my character  in Rowdy  is that  I’ve never played such a ruffian  before.It’s always been something more refined. For the  first time I’ve  taken up  a role so tapori. It was  also a very  quirky comic rowdy who  doesn’t want  to be  a bad guy. So  along with the element  of  crime there was comedy.That  worked for me. I really enjoyed  this role.I  started liking my character. Somewhere I felt sorry about his  predicament.

Do you think  the Telugu  film industry will survive this  pandemic?

The Telugu film industry has always been safe, no matter what the crisis. The audiences here  are crazy film fanatics and their  loyalties are undivided when  it comes to  Telugu cinema. They will continue to come  and see us. We  will continue to make  the  films they want.

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