Updated: May 2, 2018 6:33:09 pm
Thakur Anoop Singh kicked off his career in Tollywood last year with Puri Jagganath’s Rogue, and since then there has been no looking back. Now, Anoop is gearing up for the release of Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India starring Allu Arjun. In the Telugu film, he plays the antagonist.
In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, Thakur Anoop Singh opens up about how a pilot turned into an actor, his first role, Allu Arjun and much more.
Below are excerpts from the interview:
How has life been?
Pretty good I must say. I have five movies lined up for release and have become a brand ambassador for a protein brand. My first movie of this year Achari America Yatra has released. It is doing good. We expect it to do better in the coming weeks. And then, I have Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India coming up.
You are establishing yourself in the South industry with projects like Winner, Achari America Yatra and the big release Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India. How did all of this happen?
I am already five films old in the industry. Last year, I had back to back releases. My debut happened with Puri Jagganath’s Rogue. He launched me after I became Mr. World. From there, I never looked back.
I thought first I would establish myself in the Telugu and Tamil film industry with performance-oriented roles. After Rogue, I shot for Commando and then Si3 with Surya and simultaneously, worked on Winner. This year too is completely packed with one after another film. I am also shooting for a Kannada Movie Yajmana opposite Darshan Sir. I have signed a Telugu-Kannada Bilingual film as an action hero. And lastly, the Si3 remake in Bollywood would start from August this year alongside Sunny Deol Sir. Apart from that, my debut Marathi film as a hero titled Bebhaan will also release this year in August. I have been shooting for films one after another last year, now all of those projects are lined up for release.
How did a pilot turn into a model and then an actor?
I started modeling at the age of 17. After 12th, I pursued my career in aviation. I went to the US pursued flying and then came back. I worked for an airline but then the recession happened. So, I had to make calls about what to do next. Because I was a model, I did not have stage fear. I thought to try my hands at acting.
I started hunting for work in the acting field. I did not know anything about the art of acting. I was learning on the job. After 129 auditions, I bagged Star Plus’ Mahabharat. On the sets, I was trained by some big television and theatre personalities who gave me the courage to perform and get into a character. After working in a couple of series, I started aiming for films but people told me I am too bulky for the silver screen. So, I started working on my body in order to transform myself. I bagged 3 titles – Mr India, Asia and lastly, Mr World- in the Year of 2015.
Another way of remaining fit if you are bored of gym or cardio is Martial Arts Training!! It’s time to up the skills as I start work on something big after #NaaPeruSuryaNaaIlluuIndia !! Some unique combos I learnt last night! Here’s a glimpse ; )
Love. TAS pic.twitter.com/T4KJOfaK8x
— Thakur Anoop Singh (@theindianthakur) April 12, 2018
Do you think you have been typecast?
No no. I was sorted in my head that if I have to make it big, I have to become the best baddie in the industry. I never thought about being typecast. Hero or villain does not matter, my performance does. In Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India, my character is quite powerful which enhances the heroism of the hero. The film is hero-centric but even then my character is important to Allu Arjun’s character.
Treasure your achievements.. for they are something you can’t borrow, steal or buy.. they are EARNED !! Every single time.. every single year.. for many years .. many more to come! ; ) #thakuranoopsingh #NaaPeruSuryaNaaIlluIndia #si3 #rogue #winner #yajamana pic.twitter.com/Nw472k8bPB
— Thakur Anoop Singh (@theindianthakur) April 20, 2018
You are the new generation villain, making bad look sexy. Do you agree?
That is what I wanted to do. These guys, be it Rahul Dev, Sonu Sood or any other actor who has been a bad guy in the Telugu film industry, they have set a benchmark. I thought how can I make a space for myself and stand out. So, what I tried was to dub my dialogues myself. Be it Telugu or Tamil, I give my voice to the characters.
I would insist and beg the directors to let me do it. See, when you imagine Amrish Puri, you associate his voice with him, I want to do the same.
Also, maybe I am making bad look sexy because I like to play characters where you hate him but you love him. All my characters so far have had a certain level of sex appeal to them.
Tell us something about working with Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India actor Allu Arjun.
My team was in talks with makers of the film since July. I was already excited about working with Allu Arjun. The producer of the film thought I should be a part of it. I shot for five months for this film. Allu Arjun, words would not be enough to describe him. In every film I have done so far, I have learned from my co-stars, even if it is a small thing. When I worked with Surya, I learned more about the craft and what sort of people I should meet. With Allu Arjun, he was very impressed when he saw my work. In fact, he told the directors that I am one of the most hardworking people on the sets. The compliment came to me via the director. When a young talent is encouraged like this, it gives you wings to do best.
He also recommended me to a couple of people. He is very helpful that way. No insecurity, no ego. So, he is a star in that sense. He is approachable and available. I learned to be grounded all the time and no matter what, let your work speak.
Last few days of my last schedule on #NaaPeruSuryaNaaIlluIndia .. & yes as promised to all the fans, 9th March 6 pm.. here we are in one frame!! I’ve had a great experience shooting with @alluarjun Garu, Vamsi sir & crew! May 4th it is .. catch u all in theatres! Love. TAS pic.twitter.com/leqlyra5GJ
— Thakur Anoop Singh (@theindianthakur) March 9, 2018
What have you learned from your co-stars Surya and Allu Arjun?
With Surya, I learned punctuality. We were shooting the climax of Si3 for seven days. Every day, he would be ready. At the age he is, the superstar he is, he is so punctual and so humble. I could relate to him in terms of ideology, body language and behaviour. The energy that he brings to the set is amazing.
With Allu Arjun, it is amazing to see how he enjoys the stardom but doesn’t let it affect him. His stardom is the people around him. He does not speak like a star or throw aura like one. He is so normal.
What about Bollywood dreams?
I am taking it slow in Bollywood. I plan to do only one film at a time. I did Commando 2 last year. Now, I have Singham 3 remake. Sunny Deol will be playing the cop. I am playing the baddie once again. In Commando 2, the audience did not get to see my acting prowess as it was a hardcore action film but with Si 3 Hindi remake they will see a perfect blend of performance with action skills.
Do you think it is easy to make it big in Tollywood than in Bollywood?
I would not like to compare the industry. Why I am more active in Tollywood or South Industry is because they wrap a film in like 4-5 months. They are fast. South Industry has given an example to the entire world that creativity works. Take Baahubali as an example. Because of Prabhas, Rana and the team, Bollywood is inspired and wants to collaborate with Tollywood, which is a proof that your work speaks. I follow the same work ethic.
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