'I am not the hero'
Sushant Singh on what makes him tick.
The gruesome terrorist in Jungle. The small-time crook in Kaun. The fearless military officer in 16 December. The legendary patriot Sukhdev in The Legend Of Bhagat Singh.
Meet Sushant Singh.
He first came to Mumbai in 1996 and bagged the lead role in a Chetan Anand film. After six months, he discovered he had been dropped from the film. Not one to give up, he landed roles in Kaun, Jungle, 16 December and the The Legend Of Bhagat Singh, which released June 7.
The actor in conversation with Bharati Dubey:
You must be loaded with film offers post The Legend of Bhagat Singh.
All I have got is appreciation. Actually, one director has shown interest. All said and done, I am not the hero of the film.
I do not think any producer will have the confidence today to sell a film with me as the star. I have not attained that position yet. I might if the film runs for 20-30 weeks.
If I sign one big film, the industry will have confidence in me. But that will only happen if you are the hero of the film and your film has had a mind blowing opening. In the case of The Legend of Bhagat Singh, the initial collections were divided with the other film (23 March 1931-- Shaheed).
Do you think you are in a position to choose roles that you want?
I have always been in a position to choose my roles. After Jungle, I refrained from signing every film that came my way. I always thought visibility was a negative factor. I believe in being exclusive.
Jungle was expected to do wonders for your career. And you are getting raves only now, after The Legend.
To get that one line of appreciation one has to work very hard. As for Jungle, I don't know what went wrong. Everyone who saw Jungle loved my performance. I was nominated and won a couple of awards, too.
The industry did not quite know what to make of me. They did not know what I looked like without heavy makeup. Nobody was at fault. They could not figure where to fit me in.
Moreover, there was a row of love triangles at the time. If I had come in as a hero, it had to be in the right project. Then 16 December happened. I was one of the heroes; I did not have to pull that film on my shoulder.
In The Legend, I am one of the heroes. But again I did not have to shoulder much of the load.
I was fortunate to work with Rajkumar Santoshi and Mani Shankar. Ram Gopal Varma has played a major part in my career. But I do not want people saying that he was my godfather. I want to move ahead on my own.
Tell us about your future projects.
I am doing Dum with Vivek Oberoi. I play his friend in the movie. There is another film with Mani Shankar. We are still negotiating ont that.