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'For the first time, I've taken up a role so tapori'

By SUBHASH K JHA
May 07, 2021 19:55 IST
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'The Telugu film industry has always been safe, no matter what the crisis.'
'The audiences here are crazy film fanatics and their loyalties are undivided when it comes to Telugu cinema.'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sundeep Kishan/Instagram

Telugu star Sundeep Kishan is all set with his new film Gully Rowdy, which will release on May 21.

The actor turns 34 on May 7, but he tells Subhash K Jha, "The whole world is suffering and the last thing I want is to party."

How did you celebrate your birthday?

It's my birthday, but I am very confused.

It can't a happy birthday, not with what is going on around us.

This is my second birthday during the pandemic.

We've been thrown into a situation where we don't have a choice. But it's okay.

The whole world is suffering and the last thing I want is to party.

But your fans are excited.

Yes, the wishes are pouring in.

That they have found the enthusiasm to wish me even at a time like this, means a lot to me.

The love is overwhelming.

Of course, it's not like a normal birthday, but I am here with family.

Yes, I am feeling positive about life.

Don't you wish it was a normal birthday?

I am very content to have what I have.

There are people out there who have lost family members.

I have my family.

I know that my friends wanted to be with me on my birthday and to me, it's the thought that counts.

 

IMAGE: The poster of Gully Rowdy.

What was it like shooting Gully Rowdy during the pandemic?

We started shooting it in December 2020.

We went into an unbroken schedule of 63 days in Vizag.

The story is of a small-time gangster in Vishakhaptnam.

Actually, he is a reluctant gangster.

The world of crime is thrust on him by nepotism.

I play a character whose father and grandfather are gangsters, so they try to make a rowdy out of him too.

But his heart is not in it.

Was it difficult shooting through the pandemic?

Somehow, when it comes to work, I have the habit of shutting everything down.

Right after the lockdown, I completed my last film AI Express.

So by the time I came to Gully Rowdy, I was used to shooting through the pandemic under strict COVID guidelines.

We had a start-to-finish outdoor schedule. We didn’t know when it started and when it ended.

Honestly, I didn't even get time to think about the pandemic.

Is Gully Rowdy releasing on OTT?

No, this one is a theatre release.

Every film decides its own audience.

This is a mass entertainer where the collective audience needs to enjoy the film together.

What made you take this role up?

I've never played such a ruffian before.

It's always been something more refined.

For the first time, I've taken up a role so tapori.

It's a quirky comic rowdy who doesn't want to be a bad guy.

So along with the element of crime, there was comedy and that worked for me.

I started liking my character.

Somewhere I felt sorry about his predicament.

Do you think the Telugu film industry will survive this pandemic?

The Telugu film industry has always been safe, no matter what the crisis.

The audiences here are crazy film fanatics and their loyalties are undivided when it comes to Telugu cinema.

They will continue to come and see us.

We will continue to make the films they want.

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