Cinema

Learning on the sets

Sudeep is on a creative high. His Kannada film Ranna, a remake of the Telugu superhit Attarintiki Daredi, has bagged critical and commercial acclaim; he’s part of S.S. Rajamouli’s extravaganza Baahubali; and he plays the negative lead in Chimbudeven’s magnum opus Puli. Then, there’s K.S. Ravikumar’s Kannada-Tamil bilingual, which will start rolling soon.

“These films interested me, and I am glad I have been able to do justice to the characters,” says Sudeep.

What he cherishes most are the experiences on the sets. “I’m delighted at the warm reception in Tamil and Hindi cinema despite the fact that I am from Karnataka. And when you work with stalwarts such as Amitji ( Rann in Hindi) and Sridevi ( Puli), it’s a great learning process. They are legends and yet so level-headed. It’s nice to be around such people who love what they do.” As for Vijay, Sudeep says, “Vijay is so down-to-earth and encourages everyone to give their best. It was a pleasure to play villain to him. I had a fantastic time making the movie.”

Sudeep says he signed up for Puli, impressed with Chimbudeven’s idea. “He handled such a huge project but never once lost his cool. He defines leadership — his presence was felt in everything. He knows how to extract work.”

Sudeep shares a close bond with Rajamouli too. “When you don’t understand a word, you look up the dictionary. For me, he is that dictionary. When he approached me for a small role in Baahubali, I jumped at the chance. It’s a joy to be around him and his family. You want to be associated with them, watch them work.”

About doing a film next with K.S. Ravikumar, the actor says: “He’s a legend, and has directed a long list of stars. Though some of his films have not clicked recently, that does not make him a lesser director. Mistakes happen because so many minds work on one film. Ours is a truly commercial package. The script looks good and he’s an expert in making these films.”

So, does signing up for films in other languages allow Sudeep the liberty to take up negative roles? “Not really. I’d gladly take up a negative role in Kannada too. But it has to be justified. Else it will fall flat. If someone comes up with a solid script, why not?”

Through all this success and adulation, Sudeep believes in staying real. “I’ve been in cinema long enough to know what I want. I don’t carry my image back home. I think that being a simple person suits me.”

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:37:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/learning-on-the-sets/article7411249.ece

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