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The Man We Love To Hate In Yodha

March 27, 2024 16:29 IST
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'Everybody has their bit of struggles and learnings. It will only end when you stop breathing.'

IMAGE: Sunny Hinduja plays a pivotal role in the Sidharth Malhotra starrer Yodha. All Photographs: Kind courtesy Sunny Hinduja/Instagram

Sunny Hinduja comes from the league of talented actors who found breakthrough success in the OTT space.

Thanks to his popularity with shows like Aspirants, Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare and The Railway Men, he is making a 'big leap' and finding his footing in films.

His latest outing was the villainous avatar in the Karan Johar production Yodha, starring Sidharth Malhotra.

Since his childhood, Indore-born Sunny has always been an avid watcher of cinema and decided to hone his skills at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, before making his move to Mumbai to pursue his acting aspirations.

"My dad also wanted to be an actor. He could not pursue acting because of family responsibilities. I just knew that this is what I want to do," Sunny shares with Mayur Sanap/

Is there a sense of validation when you land a film like Yodha?

At a personal level, it brings in more responsibility.

It also brings in the assurance that the things we've been doing are right. It also brings in a lot of love.

Finally, you are getting to do what you've been aspiring for.

What changes on the professional front?

It gives you more exposure within the industry.

It's a Karan Johar film, and has a wider reach.

It has more industry eyes, more public eyes.

It's a big leap from where I was.

Like you said, it's a Karan Johar film, that itself has a brand value attached to it. What was your reaction when this film was offered to you?

It was a no brainer for me.

I've been a fan of Dharma and Yash Raj Films since my childhood.

It is like a dream come true.

IMAGE: Meet the villain of Yodha: Sunny Hinduja as Rafiq.

Were you disappointed that your name was kept under the wraps during the film's promotions?

It was all happening for the film. (My character) was a big surprise in the film.

There is only one character that people did not know about and it is being talked about now: Me.

This was probably done on purpose.

What about the character do you find particularly exciting?

It has a fun bit, a bit menacing.

It has the action, which I haven't done in a full-fledged way.

It also helped me to explore myself in a new way.

IMAGE: Sunny and his wife Shinjini Raval with Karan Johar at a Yodha screening.

What's your special memory with the cast during the shoot?

Sidharth (Malhotra) and I had a lot of fun while rehearsing.

We had a lot of discussions.

Raashii (Khanna) and I had a lot of chats, knowing each other, talking about our interests. We had a good time together on set.

It was fun between the directors and me as well. Even Shashank (Khaitan, the co-producer) was also there.

Your roles in Web shows like Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare and Aspirants put you on the radar. Has your success on OTT empowered you to choose better roles in films?

There is a big change after that.

There are many things coming my way.

It is a game changer, for sure.

The lines between the mediums have blurred now, be it cinema or OTT. How does this current landscape help the actor like you?

OTT is a great medium.

It not only has the talent to showcase their work and the meatier roles that we always aspired for.

At the same time, there is no box office pressure.

Word-of-mouth is the box office collection in OTT, which is beautiful.

Not only actors, technicians, writers, producers, directors, everyone has an opportunity to choose, experiment and create different and meaningful kind of content.

Then you can use that experience on the big films.

IMAGE: Sunny on sets of The Railway Men.

From among the various characters you have played so far, which one do you relate with the most and why?

I relate to all of them. I have played all of them with so much hard work and dedication.

Jagmohan Kumawat from The Railway Men and and Sandeepbhaiyafrom Aspirants are special to me.

Could you tell us about your life before you became an actor?

I am from Indore.

I have been in a hostel for 10 years, from Class 3 to Class 12.

Then engineering happened. Then FTII.

Then, I came to Mumbai.

I was interested in films since childhood.

I think I get that feeling from my dad because he also wanted to be an actor.

He could not pursue acting because of family responsibilities, as he was the only earning member in the family.

I just knew that this is what I want to do.

Luckily, my family supported me.

IMAGE: Sunny with his family.

The big shift from the simple life to the entertainment world must have been challenging.

Well, the challenges are the same.

I had learnt from FTII. I had done one film but it did not release. So I kept doing different things.

It is very difficult at that time (but) when you look at it in hindsight, it was necessary.

Everybody has their bit of struggles and learnings. It will only end when you stop breathing.

You learn till the end.

I have always believed that the destination keeps changing. You must enjoy the journey.

Are you content with the kind of roles you are getting?

Am I not sounding happy? (Laughs)

I am very thankful for the kind of work that is being offered. And the way things are working out for me.

At the same time, I want to do more.

It doesn't mean that I am not content. I definitely am.

It is the space where millions would aspire to be in. I am very, very thankful for that.

But I want to work on myself. I want to grow as a person and as an actor.

Three film-makers you aspire to work with?

I would love to work with Rajkumar Hirani, Abhishek Chaubey and Zoya Akhtar.

I just love their films.

Whatever work they have done, they are all classics.

Zoya Akhtar's film-making, the kind of work, the kind of variety that she has done, is amazing.

The same is with Hiranisaab. The entertainment, message, everything... it's a whole package.

Abhishek Chaubey is a brilliant film-maker. The kind of work he has done blows my mind.

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