Movies

Actor Tony Luke makes his digital debut

Tony Luke   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For Tony Luke, Hindi film Badla (2019) was the breakout role any newcomer in Mumbai could dream of. The film, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu and directed by Sujoy Ghosh, catapulted the actor from Kerala to fame. Luke makes his digital debut next week in the Zee 5 series Expiry Date, which drops on the platform on October 2.

He is candid about giving himself the benefit of doubt even after the release of Badla, the recognition that came with it and the projects he signed on. Also, the self-introspection that it led to: ‘What do I want from the future?’ “I wanted to do common man roles, the kind Mohanlal sir did in the 1990s,” he says adding, “It’s a wish! I want to be Ekalavya to his Dronacharya.”

His Vishwa, in the 10-episode Expiry Date, is a beta male, the opposite of an alpha — the kind of role he wanted to do. “Beta men (or people) are unlike alphas. They don’t push their way through...Vishwa is like that. The only relationship, with a woman, he has had in his life is with his wife. He loves her, and is content with the life he is leading, with her in charge,” Luke says of his character.

The bilingual thriller (in Hindi and Telugu) revolves around two couples and their inter-personal relationships when jealousy, suspicion and vengeance take over.

“Then something happens and he transforms, he becomes the diagonal, diabolic opposite. He sees things in himself that he hasn’t before, learns new things about himself while enjoying the change,” says Luke.

What started with ‘can I carry a project on my shoulders?’ turned into confidence as he filmed for both languages — close to 300 hours of footage. He enjoyed the luxury of time to explore the character or, as he says, “stay true to the character and cut loose”. Sneha Ullal, Madhu Shalini and Ali Reza are part of the cast in the series, which will also be dubbed in Tamil and Kannada. It is directed by Shankar K Marthand.

Acting was not always part of this Engineering graduate’s plans; he began modelling in the UK while pursuing a post-graduate course. After modelling in Europe — Italy, France, Germany, Austria — he returned to Mumbai, where he modelled for a few years before moving home, to Kerala. While at home, he acted in Vinod Bharathan’s Karma Cartel for a lark before following it up with Malayalam films such as Oozham, Sakhavu, Aadhi and 9.

Due to the pandemic, the series is his first release of the year. He also has a few films in his kitty, including a Mohanlal film and a Tamil film in which he plays a villain.

Luke while calling himself an admirer of OTT platforms says films have a different kind of experience due to what it is – larger than life. His first digital experience has been “exciting” , one that he enjoyed but the lure of the big screen is something that he can’t resist.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 2:34:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/tony-luke-of-badla-fame-makes-his-digital-debut-with-expiry-date/article32716688.ece

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