Kannada superstar Sudeep plays the antagonist in Salman Khan starrer Dabbang 3. In this interview with indianexpress.com, the actor reveals why he is so comfortable working in a film with only Salman Khan in all the posters and more.
Excerpts from the conversation:
You have been part of two Hindi films before (Rann and Phoonk 2). How was your experience working on Dabbang 3?
The feeling of having worked with Salman and Prabhu sir is greater than anything for me. Salman is one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry today. These are not things that I expected to happen. So, when the film happened to me, I accepted it wholeheartedly and enjoyed it thoroughly. I lived every moment. I didn’t come here with any kind of expectation, but I have carried back home a lot of memories and good moments. It is great that I can now say these are the people I have worked with, and I have been part of such a big franchise. It has been a great opportunity for me.
How different is it to work on a Hindi and Kannada film?
Nothing. It is just your mindset. There is nothing different. The working culture is slightly different. However, I haven’t yet encountered that as every time I have worked in Mumbai, I have worked with South directors only, whether it is Ram Gopal Verma or Prabhu sir. So, I am yet to experience how exactly Mumbai operates. I am not sure.
You are a Kannada superstar. How differently does the audience react to superstars in both the film industries?
I don’t look at it this way. It is about how stuck you are as a star. Yes, I do have my bit of share there, but I don’t carry the baggage of stardom around with me because I don’t take it too seriously. I do enjoy the attention I get. I do enjoy the nuances and everything that comes along with that, but I don’t think I can be so stuck up with it that I can’t move on in life. I need to enjoy everything. I enjoy every bit of cinema, so exploring that is more important for me.
How is it being a part of a film with only one hero on every film poster?
It is his film. You should be submissive to the requirements. Why should you be unnecessarily seen just because you are there in the film? It is his film, and that is the selling point of the film.
If they come to Karnataka and if they use me there, then it makes more sense. It is not about me or him, it is about the requirement of the film. As long as you are practical, it is alright. What is there in being a part of a film where he is on the posters? I love him. I like to see more of him.
This is the right way to go about it. Dabbang is about Chulbul Pandey. Chulbul Pandey is Salman, so he should be on the poster. Even if the title is missing, he has to be there on the film’s posters.
How did Dabangg 3 happen? How was it working with Salman Khan and Prabhudheva?
They are very simple people. It is very easy to be with them. If you act like a superstar, then you will face certain situations as there is plenty of it there. They don’t carry their baggage of superstardom, so why should any other person.
If you come with preconceived notions, then it will disturb you. If you go ahead leaving your preconceived notions and baggage behind, you will be surprised to see such wonderful people. I loved working with these wonderful people.
Why did you agree to do a negative role in Dabangg 3?
Because I cannot be the positive one for sure. There is no reason to say no. I liked the role. I liked the fact that I was working with Salman Khan. I liked that the opportunity came to me. I didn’t go looking for it. It was a great thing to have happened. I liked the fact that they respected me so much. They didn’t make me feel ridiculed or demeaned at any point of time. They didn’t ill-treat me. On-screen, they only bash me up, but on set, we were all one. They have taken care of me. They are true gentlemen in that way, all of them.
Salman has to win the battle in the film, but at no point, they even thought of sidelining me just because I am playing a villain or I come from another state. They always took care of me. I will be lying if I say that I did this and I did that as they made me do my best. I have only been submissive to the requirements.
In recent years, there is an increase in collaborations between Hindi and South Indian filmmakers. What do you make of this change?
It is a positive thing. That’s the way it should be. If you want to have big franchises and if you want to penetrate into different regions, this is how it should be. People should be able to find reasons to go and watch the big films. We, as filmmakers, should give them that reason.
Actors are being exported and imported, and projects are becoming more collaborative because we are all trying to sell a story. We should be doing everything we can for the story to reach as many people as possible. We need to penetrate in a way that the audience can understand and has a takeaway. We need to offer something that they can connect to.
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