Mumbai: After a long time, Bollywood has found a solo hero from outside the industry. Being a doctor, he came to Mumbai with his only passion – acting. Today his movie ‘Mukkabaaz’ has released in theatres and everybody is especially loving his acting. Vineet Kumar Singh has not only acted in his dream project, the script of the film, which is very powerful, also goes to his credit. Deccan Chronicle got an opportunity to exclusively interview him. Here are the excerpts:
Why did you choose such an unconventional topic?
After ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’, ‘Bombay Talkies’ and ‘Ugly’, I got work which I have already done in these films. Then I thought that I have chalked out a plan but people are thinking something else about me. I was approached for various good films, but nothing attracted me. I wasn’t able to understand how to go about with thing. That’s when I started writing. I have been a basketball player, so I have seen sports very closely. I know about those sports which aren’t even spoken about. People always talk about successful players. My sister, also a player, came on board. A friend of mine came on board. Then I pitched my story. My only condition was that I will act if you want to make a movie on my script. Some people told me to stay a writer or take another role. They even offered me money for my script. I didn’t want that. I didn’t come to this city for money. If that was the case, then what was wrong in staying a doctor only? Since I wrote the film, I started my physical training. It took me 3 years to finalize with ‘Mukkabaaz’. I approached Anurag sir only to take feedback. Last time he told me to run away because he made 3 films with me already. Then when I got a call from him, that was my most memorable. Sir told me that he won’t make ‘Mukkabaaz’ if I didn’t turn a boxer and he would make changes. I was so happy that I could then focus on acting. I am thankful to Anurag sir because there’s no boxing choreographer in the film. When I went to learn boxing, I saw many Shravan Kumar like my character.
You just revealed that your character name in ‘Mukkabaaz’ is Shravan Kumar. Indians also know one Shravan Kumar. Does it have anything with that relation?
The name Shravan Kumar was finalized because he argues with his father that 'your name is Vijay and you kept mine Shravan Kumar. You just wanted me to keep looking after you all my life and no do anything for myself.’ It was kept for this debate purpose but later we changed it.
How was your journey from being a doctor to an actor?
I loved acting since childhood. My father was a mathematician and my family has been in the academic field. Nobody is into acting, so I faced strongly objections. Only my younger sister and brother believed in me till date. When I went in medical college, I took part in a function. That is the change I wanted, and since then acting became a passion. My sister once saw TV, called me and told me that some people were looking for actors. This was in 1999-2000. That’s when I thought this is it. But the film released and flopped. My main difficulty was that nobody around me was into acting. I didn’t know anyone in Mumbai. I then got in contact with Anurag sir, who is also from Benaras like me. He used to rarely entertain anyone and I didn’t want to get into his bad books. I waited till I got an opportunity, a good work to show Anurag sir. While finding that work, I lost out on a lot of time. I found such a work after 10 years. Then I went to Anurag sir and he was surprised why I didn’t approach him. When I told sir why, he started laughing. My reach was only till the watchmen who used to sit outside A-list director’s offices. Then when I approached Anurag sir, he was casting for ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ and I got that film.
So how do your parents react now that you’re a lead actor?
They’re happy. They haven’t watched the film. Papa felt that I’ll become a doctor only eventually and the acting phase will die away, but it didn’t and here I am.
You have always done unconventional roles rather than romance. Why is that the case?
I didn’t get to choose, that’s why. But I’m lucky to get good scripts.
You had a scene in ‘Ugly’ which is very tough to perform. How did you prepare for it?
I completely surrendered to my director. That’s how I am always.
Your movie had a unique promotional strategy…
I don’t know much about it since I got busy with ‘Gold’.
How did you bag ‘Gold’?
I was offered the film in between the making of ‘Mukkabaaz’. I had given an audition, after which I got the call....