He was Sandalwood’s original chocolate boy when he graced the big screen in movies like Excuse Me and Preethi Prema Pranaya. A youngster with a promising career, Sunil Raoh went onto do a few other Kannada films, but after acting in Premism in 2010, the actor decided to stay away from KFI.
However, 2020 is going to be the year of Sunil’s comeback with him returning to films in Hemanth Kumar’s experimental flick Thurthu Nirgamana. “I almost quit films due to personal and professional reasons. I wasn’t too happy with the ways of the industry and I wasn’t desperate enough to want to stay there. I love my craft, so whatever I did till then was good because I enjoyed it. If you like something and you do it, it’s nice, but if work has to be done with difficulty, I don’t like to stick around. Unfortunately, the industry had become like that. So, I decided to take small break, but I ended up taking a long one,” smiles Sunil.
During his 10-year break, the artiste went onto do a web-series called Loose Connection and even met the love of his life Shreya Iyer, who he got hitched to last year. As for how KFI has changed for the good, he says, “There’s a lot of new talent and technically we’ve grown a lot. The guys now know their job, take it seriously and don’t look at it just as a way to make money or con people into making money for themselves.”
But the actor rues that he still isn’t happy with Kannada cinema not being able to find enough screens. “Unless you’re a big film who can bulldoze its way into the theatre, you become virtually non-existent. Even people with equal or more talent, more passion towards film-making and those who narrate different stories should get an equal shot. I keep hearing from my Kannada filmmaker friends that they’re not getting theatres. It wasn’t as bad when I took a break,” he states.
The conversation then veers towards his comeback film Thurthu Nirgamana and he says, “When Hemanth said he had me in mind, within a few minutes, I decided to do this. The story was simple, but the way he narrated it, interested me. We’ve tried a lot of things that haven’t been tried in KFI so far, especially the VFX.” His character Vikram, he reveals, is a laidback guy - somebody you wouldn’t consider a hero. “He’s not your regular Joe. He has a lot of grey in him, is lazy and thinks he’s too smart for the world (just like I do!)” chuckles the actor, who’s confident that the movie, which is set to release in January or February, will resonate with youngsters.
On the personal front, Sunil is busy doing daddy duties to his seven-month-old son Atharva. “I lost my dad just 23 days before this guy was born. So, it was like a distraction and we didn’t have much time to spend mourning. It’s been a blessing. Things have happened late, but have happened well,” he says.
As for his talented singer sister Soumya Raoh and his mother BK Sumitra, he says, “In terms of achievements, I’m yet to match my mother or sister. Hopefully, Thurthu.. will take me back to where I was before.”