After a long wait, here Suniel Shetty comes back with his new film Pehlwaan with Kichcha Sudeep. This film is in 5 languages and are ready to hit the theatres near you this September 2019. In the interview, Suniel talks about his come back after years and shares his experiences and thoughts for his film “Pehlwaan”. Please read to know more.
Q. You are back in the movies, how do you feel to perform in your native language?
Suniel : Well, my mother tongue is Tulu language which is actually different from Kannada language. In Kannada, you’ll get scripts but not in Tulu language. I expected that I would manage with the scripts but it was really tough.
Q. After a long time you are back with a movie. What do you have to say on this?
Suniel: I think after 4 years I’m again into films. It was quite a sabbatical period for me because of my father’s bad heath in these years but I’m glad that I’m back.
Q. Did you miss acting, doing films?
Suniel: No, I never did. But yes, I’ve wondered I do act. Sometimes people feel like what if they forget acting when they are not in touch with it but this has not happened with me. I didn’t miss acting. I was so involved with my father health condition and many other things.
Q. Did you dub for your film?
Suniel: I’m dubbing Hindi but not Kannada. I don’t want to go wrong in my work and effort. People usually assume that I know multiple south languages as I belong from south but it’s a wrong conception. Each language is different of others.
Q. Can you tell us something about your father?
Suniel: My father was a hero. When he was 9 years old, he landed up in Mumbai and starting from a clearer boy and ending up being the owner of a restaurant was really inspiring. He was an inspiration. I had no one like him but I must say I do have a “best friend” relationship with my two children Athiya and Ahan. Ahan will be debuting soon, probably next year.
Q. As a father, what tips do you give them?
Suniel: I talk to them more about failure rather than success because I know they can handle success but it is equally important how to handle your failure properly. This is a very dangerous industry. After a certain point, it worries me too because of my films. I’ve not worked for a long time but media talks about me everytime, how my movies will be this time because I know in this 4 years, the taste of audience has changed a lot. The generation has changed but I’m glad the media has not forgotten me. I hope this time my films goes well.
Q. How do you handle your failure?
Suniel: After my first film, I got a lot of criticism, though my film was a successful. Once they stared saying that I should go back to my restaurant job but ultimately the opposite happened. I turned out really well and they ended up with nothing. So that’s what you call “Karma”. I took a lot when people had criticized and wondered why but later I realised that I never dreamed myself of becoming an actor. That’s why I moved ahead and did put a lot of effort so that I could do more films. With success came my process of learning along the way. I still believe there’s a lot more to learn.
Q. You have in this industry for more than 28 years, do you still feel insecure?
Suniel: Yes, absolutely. We have got young stars who are performing so well and they are so well crafted. So at one point you want to know if you are hamming because there’s a thin line between hamming and acting. I would rather not act than to look foolish. So it takes time to understand this kind of situations. That’s why when I did the film, I used to go and watch the monitor which I usually don’t. But this time I did just to check whether I’m over acting or not. A wrestler remains a wrestler till his last breath. The costumes have helped me a lot this time. 70% of my job was done because of my costume. As I love wearing Indian outfits more, after I did the body movements, postures I felt that I should not look outdated. One Friday turns the game for the biggest of stars.
Q. Earlier 2 starrer films used to make big hits but now it doesn’t. What do you feel about that?
Suniel: I think costs are much higher. Cost of production is meant for films also and not only for artists. Difference is that, if you see Bollywood, they are stuck between 200 – 250 Crs where as South movies make 500- 600 Crs, whether it’s in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam etc. They make so much business because of the content that they are focused in, emotions. Here you’ll get to see people watching the same film 10 times but in South the movie releases on Friday and they check their collection after Monday. It’s purely because of content. Bollywood focuses on Glamour, Songs, but we focus on the content, emotions mainly. And it is well consumed by the people also watching through TV or through any digital platform.
Q. The whole industry talks about your Honesty, how do you see this matter?
Suniel: I’m extremely blessed. I’ve kept my relationship very simple. , We respect eachother whenever we are together. You see if today Pehlwaan is happening, it’s just because of the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) and we had started this tournament 7-8 years ago just to understand industries better and to make it a platform for cross pollination, exchange of talent. Now CCL has become completely a film league where everybody has come together. Before I could finish Pehlwaan, I was already on “Marakkar” with Priyadarahan which includes mohonlal, Prabhu, Arjun and myself. I’m also doing “Darbar” with Rajni Sir (Rajnikanth). All these are also in Hindi. “Pehlwaan” really allowed me to taste water, to check if I’m still comfortable with my Acting and other skills. I kept myself ready and fit so that I can cope up with the industry whenever I come on screen. I know it’s really hard for me to run and fight like I used to or my physic. In Pehlwaan, you won’t see me showing body and but you’ll get to see the body language of a Pehlwaan because Pehlwaan will always remain a Pehlwaan. The relationship with Kichcha in this movie is extremely good. Here, Kichcha thinking is from a boxer’s point of view and me being a follower of Lord Hanuman, my thinking is from a relationship’s point of view. There were challenges, fights and many more. Once you see, you’ll really enjoy the movie.