Bombay Showcase

Sudheer Babu makes his Bollywood debut

Sudheer Babu at producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s office in Andheri. Photo: Rajneesh Londhe  

A shy man, dressed all in black, waited by the corner, almost blending into the crowd of journalists and cameramen.

Only once the host of the event, Sabbir Khan — director of Baaghi: A Rebel For Love — announced the start of the event did the man took his seat at the centre.

Sudheer Babu is hugely popular in the Telugu film industry, but he is not your everyday star.

Babu’s debut role in Bollywood is as an antagonist, Raghav. A former badminton player, Babu compared the two film industries using a sports analogy: “The Telugu industry is the state-level, and now, Bollywood is the national level for me.”

Braving the national media for the first time, Babu was asked to speak in Hindi. His confident delivery, albeit in heavily-accented Hindi, makes it clear that he is not afraid to be himself.

The promo, unveiled on Tuesday, showcases Babu’s character flaunting his perfectly-defined biceps, with a quick cut to a shot where he tackles two men simultaneously, with a split jump.

“I did not want to cast someone who was not South Indian,” says Khan about his star villain. “He is the only actor I found who could rise to the occasion, and be on par with Tiger [Shroff] for the action sequences”. For the film, Babu was trained in art of Kalaripayattu.

Jackie Chan, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan are common idols for Babu and Shroff. The former goes so far as to say that, “In the film, Tiger’s character is inspired by my character. In real life, there is a role reversal.”

Narrating an incident that took place on the sets, Babu said that there was an action sequence where he accidentally hit Shroff. The actor displayed great professionalism by not calling off the shot, and in fact, it was Babu who cut the shot midway.

But could beginning a Bollywood career with the role of an antagonist harm future prospects?

With no hesitation, Babu says, “If I am truly a good actor, Bollywood will welcome me.”


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:22:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/entertainment/sudheer-babu-makes-his-bollywood-debut/article8497296.ece

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