Sundeep Kishan: I want to take a break from Tamil cinema
The actor talks about his upcoming Telugu projects, the delays in the release of his Tamil films, and more
Sundeep Kishan began his journey in cinema as a villain and later transformed into a lead actor. The actor then turned producer and has now made his debut in a web series. The 32-year-old, who played a prominent role in Amazon Prime's Indian web series The Family Man, says the success of his recent outings has made him more cautious as an actor. "These days, I am meticulously planning each move in my career. I want to take things forward carefully."
From Prasthanam to The Family Man, Sundeep's charm lies in his seamless portrayal of intense characters that retain simplicity. He has taken a 360-degree turn and shifted to comedy with his upcoming film, Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL. The film sees him collaborate with director G Nageswara Reddy, who is known for comedy entertainers like Seema Sastry, Dhenikaina Ready and Eedo Rakam Aado Rakam. Sundeep admits that the film has come as a breath of fresh air for him. "Over the last four-five years, I have acted in a slew of serious films. For a change, I have chosen a quirky entertainer which boasts of a lot of humour. You can call it my first full-fledged comedy since Venkatadri Express. I will be seen as a lawyer who takes pending cases and pushes for an out-of-court settlement. Writer Rajasimha Tadinada has woven in a lot of situational comedy that gels with the plot perfectly,” he says.
Ask him how difficult it was to detach from the intense roles, and Sundeep says, “It’s not so hard for me to come out of these characters as I always do a case study on my role in every film. I take note of every detail of the character and try to relate to it. I don’t enjoy method acting; I like being spontaneous. That way, I can shift out of my characters easily.”
He finds comedy more enjoyable as he has fun playing such characters. “I enjoy the space of comedy films and I find this genre easy. You have more room to try different things. A lot of actors may have some misconceptions about working with comedy directors, but Nageswara Reddy has taken care of every minute detail and made a laugh riot,” adds the actor.
Sundeep is not surprised by the success of The Family Man. "I always believed in the abilities of my directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK. In fact, Raj and DK had not conceived a character for me in season 1, but I insisted on playing the role of Moosa. However, they didn't want me to portray a negative role and created Major Vikram’s character for me. I'm happy with the response I have received for my performance as an army man." Telling us the web series has been divided into three seasons so far, he reveals that he is not part of the show's second season. "I am not acting in season 2 because it is not set in Kashmir. However, I will return for the third one. The shoot of the second season is half-complete and the script for the third one is locked."
The actor is content with the success of his maiden production venture Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene. "The distributors and exhibitors laughed all the way to the bank as the film has turned out to be decent hit, but media seemed unsatisfied (laughs)," says Sundeep. However, the Tamil version, Kannadi, has not made it to the cinemas yet. Sundeep says his dream to release it simultaneously with the Telugu version turned into a nightmare owing to ‘unexpected’ financial issues. "The distributors, producers, and financiers in Tamil Nadu follow a complex business model that turned out to be problematic for us. Be it a straight or a dubbed film, it is difficult to guarantee a smooth release over there. The co-producer of Kannadi (Viji Subramaniyan) made up the losses incurred by his other film, Aadai, with our film and troubled me until the day of Ninnu Veedani Needanu Nene's release. Thankfully, I came out of that fiasco and released the Telugu version on time." That isn't the only time Sundeep faced issues in the Tamil industry. "Apart from Kannadi, I have two other Tamil films — Naragasooran and Kasada Thapara — struggling to see the light of the day due to various reasons. After these experiences, I just want to take a break from Tamil cinema."
Up next, Sundeep will be seen in Telugu cinema's first hockey-based film, A1 Express. "We acquired the rights for Natpe Thunai, reworked it and have crafted a different film. I can vouch that about 50 per cent of A1 Express' story is different from that film. You will understand what I mean once you watch the teaser," he explains.
He is also planning to produce another Telugu film soon. "I have come across an exciting script and I'm planning to rope in Rahul Ramakrishna and Priyadarshi for the lead roles. It’s not a comedy, but has a fascinating premise which I believe will be liked by one-and-all,” signs off Sundeep.