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Debutant Dilip Kumar on the upcoming psychological thriller 'Manaroopa'

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The actor gave up a successful MNC career to work in Kiran Hedge's upcoming Kannada film

Manaroopa, directed by Kiran Hegde, is all set for release in the last week of November. The film, said to be a psychological thriller, features newcomers. It marks Kiran’s début as a director.

The cast includes Anusha Rao, Nisha BR, Aryan, Shivaprasad and Dilip Kumar. Though the five actors are crucial to the story, the character who triggers the suspense in the film is played by Dilip.

Dilip is ‘nervous and thrilled’ at the same time. “I am terrified as this is my début, and thrilled as Manaroopa is the kind of film I am proud to be associated with,” says the actor, who quit a high-paying job in an MNC to act in films.

The film, says the actor who is also an MBA graduate, was not shot in safe or perfect surroundings. “We had to trek through the dense forest. There were leeches, wild animals, snakes, reptiles and heavy rains.”

Dilip is all praise for Kiran. “Hats off to our director who was very patient. We would get to shoot just for an hour and then it would rain. So we would head back to our tents and wait for it to stop and then proceed with the shoot again.

The making of Manaroopa itself was like a thriller. Just as the story is a suspense-filled, so was our working environment. We did not know what to expect in the forest the next minute,” shares Dilip.

What about the safety of the team? Dilip says they always had a medical kit, a doctor on call and locals who were familiar with handling mishaps. “Also, our director is from that area and knows the forest like the back of his hand, which helped us all.”

Yet, Dilip says a chill ran down his spine when he had to shoot a scene with his hand on a tree and a poisonous snake slithered on his palm in the middle of the shoot. “I just froze and let it pass, then continued with my work. That experience will be etched in my memory for a long time,” laughs the actor, who adds that they encountered flying snakes and all kinds of insects and animals during the shoot. “What you see on screen will be the raw wild forest and not a film set,” says the actor, who started acting in mythological plays as a child. “Films were never on my mind. I started working at the age of 16 and climbed the corporate ladder."

"It was by default that I was chosen for Manaroopa,” he says and shared the story of how he came to be cast for this film.

“My friend was keen on acting. He was called for an audition and I just went to drop him to the spot. Kiran’s assistant saw me and called me in and asked me to audition. I was apprehensive, but I did and was pleasantly surprised when I was chosen for the role,” recalls Dilip, who also feels that the culture in the film industry is changing gradually.

“Films are more realistic now, compared to just fancy sets and usual run-of-the-mill romances. People are also open to new ideas and thoughts. Manaroopa fits the bill. It deals with people becoming increasingly narcissistic. There is romance too, but with shades of grey. You will never be able to guess who is the hero and who is the villain. The film may even leave you wondering if there a dark side to every mind.”

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 1:49:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/meet-dilip-kumar-who-gave-up-a-successful-career-to-make-his-dbut-with-the-psychological-thriller-manaroopa/article29878175.ece

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