Nograj’s sidekicks Vijay and Sumukhi are kick-ass in Humble Politician
Vijay Chendoor and Sumukhi Suresh talk to us about their roles in Danish Sait's Humble Politician Nograj
Vijay Chendoor happy as Nograj’s ‘half shadow’
Vijay Chendoor became a sensation with his role in 6-5=2, and this actor has time and again proved his versatility playing varied characters. But, playing Monjunath, in Humble Politician Nograj, has been his biggest challenge yet. The reason being, the caricature, Monjunath, who is as popular as Nograj (Danish Sait) on the Internet as a voice, now gets a face.
Vijay says, “In the prank calls, Nograj shares his happiness and stress with peon Monjunath, a character Danish developed. They thought that my appearance matched the voice. When Danish and director Saad Khan explained the character to me, I first felt there was a certain definition to that role. But, in order to make it more entertaining, they tailored that character to suit me. During their narration, I realised that the director and writer have a lot of dreams for this project and care about every character going into the picture… this was not something I could simply slip into after make-up. To get into the skin of the role, I started interacting more with Danish and trained with him for nearly a week to understand Monjunath better.”
The actor felt that, as Monjunath, he has to sync with Danish’s Nograj. “The timing was very important. With no punch dialogues, we had to get our body language right,”says Vijay, for whom Danish was a stranger till Humble Politician happened. “I had never listened in to his prank calls. I used to see this person on a cricket pitch, but never knew that he was Danish Sait. It was when they offered me this role that I learnt about the RJ, anchor and his works. Later, when I became familiar with the character, I realised that Monjunath is Nograj’s half shadow. The latter is very brilliant and that is conveyed with subtlety.”
Vijay, who became famous as Thigne, a role he played in 6-5=2, is not surprised that people know him more by the characters he plays. “I still remember that filmmakers did not know my real name and addressed me as Thigne. Later I have been known as Bawa in Krishna Leela, and Amase Gowda… After Humble Politician Nograj releases, I will be known as Monjunath,” he says, adding, “People already think I am Danish Sait’s PA. In fact, I will be working with him for various shows and we are sure to come out with a combo entertainer. I am glad Danish Sait as Nograj accepted me as Monjunath.”
Vijay entered the industry through horror films, a genre in which he found much success. “But I realised that I need to try doing different genres and that’s when I was offered a supporting role and that of a comedian. This helped me balance out my career graph… people still believe that my strength lies in comedy, but I am confident that I am versatile,” he says.
‘I would have played a tree if Danish asked,’ says Sumukhi Suresh
Nograj is all praise for his wife Lavanya, a role played by Sumukhi Suresh, whose performance Danish Sait terms “outstanding”. She is a master of many arts, currently busy running her own show, and Sumukhi is excited about her first big-screen project.
Known for stand-up comedy and her popular webseries, Sumukhi has a hatke role as Nograj’s wife Lavanya. How does she find cinema as a medium? “I love playing characters,” she says. “Though Humble Politician Nograj will be my first feature film, I have done characters for web-series and now have my own show on Amazon Prime. But having to get out of a comfort zone, to play a certain characters in the local language, was the biggest challenge for me. Also it was Danish, so even if he had asked me to play a tree, I would have done that too,” she says.
Acting should come easy to this ace entertainer, but what effort did she put in to play Lavanya. “She is not a very urban character and her body language does not come with a lot of finesse,” says Sumukhi. “Having said that, a lot of girls who come from out-of-town carry their own unique style… they have an air of innocence, which I had to imbibe for this role. Saad and Danish made sure that I got the playfulness and quirks right.”