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Sundeep Kishan: “I Love To Look Beyond What Is Expected Of Me”

Subhash K . Jha

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Telugu-Tamil actor Sundeep Kishan’s latest  release Next Enti may not have performed as well as expected . But he  is  unfazed.

And happy. “I would do the  film all over again, if needed. I  learnt so much working with Kunal Kohli.  I grew  up admiring his  work. He may not be conversant  in Telugu. But he was clued into every nuance  of the characters played by me  andTamaannah.”

 So what went wrong? “I don’t know if the word wrong is right here. Because I feel the film came out right. We somewhere  missed out on marketing and promoting the  film well. Next Enti was  a totally new language for Telugu audiences.  It basically had my character and Tamannah speaking on love life and sex. The audience needed to be drawn  into the  film. That  never happened. Telugu cinema is growing  by leaps and  bounds. Not only Baahubali we  have had Arjun Reddy, Gazi  and  Goodachari…all game-changers. So it’s not as  though the  audience in  Andhra and Telangana  is not ready for change.We just didn’t  give them reason to appreciate  our attempt at a new cinematic language.”

Sundeep has already  moved ahead. “I’ve now turned producer with a Telugu  film Neenu Veedani Nenu Nene. My  leading lady in  the  film is Anaya Singh that very talented girl from Yashraj Films’ Qaidi Band. The  film is again, a game-changer. It is partly  a supernatural thriller  but it is so  much more,it’s hard to define. I am also shooting a courtroom comedy TenaliRamkrishna BABL with Hansika Motwane.”

 Though  Sundeep has done films in Tamil and Hindi, he regards Telugu as  his home ground. “I was born and  brought  up inAndhra. Telugu is  my mother tongue. But I also speak Tamil fluently.  At the beginning of my career as an  actor I did a Tamil,a  Telugu and a Hindi  film. I think language is  no  longer a barrier to appreciating good cinema.”

Early  in  his career Sundeep had done a  Hindi film Shor In  The  City  directed by Raj & DK.  The directorial duo is  now designing a fresh  Hindi launch  for Sundeep. “Raj and DK are like family. I thought their Stree had such an interesting role  for Rajkummar Rao. Not like a conventional hero  but a  relatable character. That’s  the  kind of role I’d like to play . Raj andDK are  planning something completely out of  the  box for me in Hindi.”

In the meanwhile  Sundeep is pleased that most  of his Tamil and Telugu films are  dubbed into Hindi. “I was shooting in Kashmir and I  was  very surprised when  the locals recognized me as the  guy in  Prasthanam , my first release which is now being remade into Hindi,  or the guy in Maanaagaram. They had seen most of my  Telugu and Tamil films  dubbed into Hindi.”

Sundeep is also surprised  by his  swelling fan following. “I never thought of myself as  particularly eligible when I was in college. But now even  when guys come for selfies they say it’s for  their sister  or girlfriend. I am happy with the female attention. But for now I am very single.”

Sundeep also owns a restaurant  in  Hyderabad Vivah Bojnambu which  offers what he calls  the best  food in  Hyderabad.

“I expect nothing but  the  best from myself.  I love to look beyond the expected,” he signs off.

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