You’ve always seen him grace the screen as a leading man in films helmed by his older brother. But this time, actor Nirup Bhandari has tread a new path with his latest release Aadi Lakshmi Purana. Directed by Priya V, ALP is an entertainer that sees Nirup play a cop and romance actress Radhika Pandit. Pleased about the first-day response to the film, the actor says, “Everyone enjoyed the movie and I could hear them laugh throughout when I visited a few theatres. I even met a couple who came all the way from Ooty just to watch our film!”
Having worked with his brother Anup in his first two flicks, working with a woman director this time gave Nirup a different perspective on things. “Priya would give me a female perspective on the character and say - ‘this is how boys should emote for a girl to like you’. She’s very passionate about filmmaking and that’s something we share,” he says of his director, who’s been an associate to Mani Ratman previously.
As someone who grew up in a film-oriented family, cinema talk was always a part of dinner table conversations for Nirup. Even when he was doing his engineering, he was inclined towards acting and participated in various skits. “I was directing skits in college and Anup and I would always discuss films. Dad was a director himself and has directed TV serials, so films were always part of our everyday life,” he reveals.
Reminiscing about his journey into cinema, Nirup shares that while his brother was directing short films when working at Infosys, he got an opportunity to act in them. “When Anup wasn’t happy with the actors, he’d cast me and that’s when I started acting in short films. I was always interested in method acting and when Dad got to know, he asked me to read some books about it. I then found Rathan Thakore, who ran an English theatre group called Misfits and started working there.”
When they were working on their debut film Rangitaranga, Anup was always sure that his brother should be cast as lead while their Dad wanted a known face so that the film could get a good opening. “But they couldn’t get any big names and I ended up auditioning for the lead and ended up doing my very first film,” smiles Nirup.
With the Kannada industry churning up some good scripts, the actor says, “We (the Kannada film industry) have been making good content since Puttana Kanagal’s time. His films are studied in film schools in Germany. There have been great directors in Kannada — Shankar Nag did Malgudi Days, which was loved by the whole country. It has been there throughout. Right now, the audience is also exposed to world cinema more, so they also expect different ways of narrating a film. Kannada films have to compete with all other languages in India. Besides, the budget for our films are comparatively smaller than that of those industries, We have unique challenges, but we’re still managing to stand out with some films.”
While his brother Anup is busy working with Sudeep, Nirup reveals that he’s okayed two scripts. “We’re planning to start shooting by the end of next month. We will make an official announcement soon,” he promises....