2014.11.27(21:51) 1467



It has nearly been two years since Naan Ee, and Sudeep is now acting in his first full-length Tamil film, referred to as Vijay 58, directed by Chimbudevan. The film, which stars Vijay, Sridevi, Shruti Haasan and Hansika, will feature the actor in a negative role. In an exclusive chat with Times of India, Sudeep talks about sharing screen space with Vijay, shooting with Sridevi, his mood swings and more...

You are a superstar in Kannada. So, what made you choose Chimbudevan's film, in which you portray a negative role?
To be honest, I was a little sceptical. I had a lot of other commitments, so this required me to rush in and out. I'm not a guy who works like that. I do work sincerely, but at the same time, I am quite laid-back. Secondly, I was not sure of the role. I've been doing lead roles in Kannada. Doing Naan Ee was different as there was no hero in front me. Here, there is a hero and I have to behave like a villain though my system doesn't accept this at times. I need to keep in mind that there is Vijay, who is the hero of the film, and that I should behave like a villain. So, I was not sure if I can live up to it. I took nearly two-and-a-quarter months to just agree to this film. But the nice part was that the team waited for me and didn't look for someone else, which clearly showed that they had only me in mind. The feeling of being wanted is something beyond expression. I signed the film. While I was unsure how it all will look like in the beginning, once I got here, I have no regrets. From my role to the people who I work with — everything has been working for me.


If I say my role is very much parallel and equal to that of Vijay's role, it would be crap. It is not equal or parallel to his role. I play a villain and I wouldn't hesitate to say that we are all part of Vijay's film. I have not carried any image or baggage, and I'm trying to enjoy what's given to me. Since this is the first time, I am trying to understand how a Sonu Sood feels (laughs).

Since I've always been dominating the screen with the best punches and the best dialogues, this gives me an opportunity to experience the other side. Srideviji is the queen of my kingdom and I play her thalapathy. She is a good queen while I'm an evil one. But Chimbudevan has presented my role in a unique way. If it was just a villain, he wouldn't have called me. Of course, there is something more to all this, which I cannot reveal. I will be sporting a new look... with long hair and blue eyes.

Your experience of working with Vijay and Sridevi...
I met Vijay long back during the shoot of his film, Madurey. He was working with Rakshitha. Since I was working on the same floor for a Kannada film, Rakshitha took me to introduce him. I spoke to him for two minutes and he communicated through smiles and nods of the head. Then, two years ago, I met him at Prabhu Dheva's party. This time, he had seen one of my Kannada films, and so there was a little more expression in his face. By then, I had decided that this personality was not going to talk anything and I was under the impression that he will continue to communicate through smiles (laughs). But now, he surprised me by chatting with me. He made me feel comfortable on the set and the next day, he invited me home for dinner. In fact, I even joked to him that it's only now that I'm getting a clear idea on his voice. What touched me was, he sent the car away and drove me back to the hotel. We spoke about cars, CCL, films, etc. Considering his stature, he's extremely sweet and humble.

Srideviji is an epitome of perfection. Recently, when we were shooting for a scene together, I was noticing her minute expression. Suddenly, I realized that I didn't act. I was just standing and watching her. I later had to re-shoot those portions. What came to my mind then was Mr. India. I've watched her films so many times and little did I wonder that I would be working with an icon. The way she has maintained herself, the aura she carries — she easily makes anybody feel old. Sometimes, you wish you aren't in the shot. On the first day of the shoot, she came up to me and said, 'I saw Eega and you were wonderful'. I was smiling so much that I didn't say anything.


A lot of Kannada actors are now making inroads into Tamil film industry. What do you have to say about this trend?

When I decided to do Eega, it was the most fantastic decision I had made that day. When Rajamouli called me, people initially thought I went only for him, and of course, I went for him since I didn't want to lose an opportunity to work with someone like him. The movie clicked. But following it up blindly is not good, whether it is me or anyone else. But I find today's generation of actors are not bound by anything. Expansion is a must; otherwise, survival becomes difficult. I feel every actor should travel to other industries.


You've been in the industry for over a decade. How would you describe your journey?

No journey is complete without ups and downs. But I will never use the term regret because a couple of days later, it becomes a lesson. Though you get angry about something/someone, you should also realize that they made it better for you. I never follow news in newspapers and magazines. There were wrong interpretations about me which I took it to my heart. So, I cut them off from my life. A few years ago, I happened to read a magazine which my mother had bought. There was a piece about an actor and his statements. They had put my picture and quote on the third row, third picture in the series, which had actors who were relatively newcomers in the industry. Initially, I was taken aback. After putting in so many years of hard work, I was unhappy with the placement. I didn't let it go. I made sure I did the right films to reach where I am. This incident was more of an eye-opener.


There have been reports suggesting that you are a moody person and that you lose your temper easily. Is it true?

It is nice to be written about, isn't it? Only when they don't write about you, you realize that there's something wrong (laughs). But tell me, who isn't moody? I have not slapped or hit anybody. When I get upset about something, I prefer to stay silent. Everyone has the liberty to choose what they want to be. If someone smiles at me, I don't frown at them. A smile gets a smile in return. And people who said that I am short-tempered should be questioned on what they did to me. If I've lost my temper, then there must have been some action that made me lose my cool. Mine is an immediate response to people's action. I don't act off-screen.



You've mentioned in an earlier interview that you don't like to party much. How do you unwind?

I do biking a lot and love cooking. In fact, I have a separate kitchen for myself... there is a portion which is only for me. I even have a unit made for myself that I carry when we go trekking. I love feeding people. If you like egg, I can make 50 varieties with egg. I never learnt cooking, but it comes naturally.

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2014.11.17(13:24) 1460

















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