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.
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.