Sudeep, who’s also an avid cricketer, got talking to TNM about his journey into Bollywood, his much-awaited film 'Pailwaan' and more.

I dont do films to impress fans Actor Kichcha Sudeep to TNM
Flix Interview Monday, August 19, 2019 - 16:35

Kannada audiences revere him, adore him and worship him. But now, even Bollywood and Tollywood are heaping praise on him.

Actor Sudeep is a perseverant talent – from being Kannadigas’ beloved Kichcha to now playing the antagonist in Dabangg 3 with Salman Khan, the actor is flying high and how. At the inauguration of the Karnataka Premier League, Sudeep, who’s also an avid cricketer and aficionado of the sport, got talking to TNM about his journey into Bollywood, his much-awaited film Pailwaan and more.

Ask him if he always wanted to enter Bollywood and he says, “I don’t plan my life, I know it sounds silly, but I’m a bad planner. I wake up in the morning and do the thing that’s best for me. Everything starts and ends on the same day.  Today’s work makes your tomorrow better, I don’t think you can plan where you’ll be 10 years from now. I enjoy my work and my work is taking me places.”

Now that he’s bagged a biggie like Dabangg 3 and with the Khan family showering him with adulation, does he think Bollywood is finally seeing the power of the south?

Sudeep believes that those working in the southern industries need to dream big and attempt to “knock on the doors” of Bollywood if they want to be part of it.

“If you don’t dream big, you don’t do big. You need to reach out to them; they won’t reach out to you.   If you have it in you, you will be accepted. It’s all about you and your belief, how confident you are, your presentation and how you educate yourself with what’s happening around you. Cinema is the same all across the globe. Amongst all the English films that release abroad, not all release here – not all can impress the world market, only the ones that are able to impress and make a mark release everywhere,” he says.

He also affirms that Bollywood has now started taking the south seriously.

“They realise our market is everywhere and it’s only a matter of time before this happened. Time changes every thinking. If you’ve not updated yourself, then I’m sorry for you,” says the actor, who’s also doing the mega-budget Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy in Telugu, which stars Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi and Vijay Sethupathi among other biggies.

With Pailwaan being one of the most-awaited south Indian films, the actor’s entire focus is on the project which is directed by S Krishna. Playing a wrestler and boxer in the film, he’s now transformed himself into a lean machine, thanks to consistent exercise and diet.

Pailwaan is an effort, an effort of many people. It’s the beginning of certain changes in my life as well as others and I hope to keep up to it. I never do films to impress one section of fans or people. I do a film because I like the script, appreciate it and I can connect to it. If I do it well, it will shape out well, and if it shapes out well, people will obviously love it. You should never pick films for fans or for people. I'm excited about Pailwaan,” says the star, who had to follow a strict food regime - he went saltless for months to get into wrestler mode! With Suneil Shetty and Aakansha Singh co-starring with Sudeep in the film, the flick is releasing in five languages on September 12.

Talk veers towards the KPL and Sudeep says, “KPL is like the IPL, which was a platform to discover players like Bumrah, Pant and Iyer. The tournament is a blessing in disguise – it’s lifted cricket higher and` given local cricketers an extraordinary platform to showcase their talent.” The actor has also captained the Karnataka Bulldozers in the Celebrity Cricket League. “We were not the best side, but we were definitely the best-looking side, we would ensure that we wouldn’t sweat a lot and that we looked good,” he quips.

Ask him who his all-time favourite cricketer is and he says, “It changes every decade. Kapil Dev used to be my hot favourite, then it was Sachin and now, it’s MS Dhoni. But we’re especially proud of Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid, who have made every Kannadiga proud. I appreciate Kumble for his discipline and that’s something all cricketers admire in him – his presence speaks for himself.”

The actor, who had injured his back during the shooting of his film Kotigobba 3 reveals that he’s doing fine now. “The shooting is still in progress, but is almost done. However, presently, my focus is entirely on Pailwaan,” he signs off.

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