Gangs of Wassey­pur ac­tor plays solo lead in Anurag Kashyap’s next shot in Ut­tar Pradesh

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - Front Page - Deep Saxena

De­spite a stel­lar per­for­mance in Gangs of Wassey­pur, it took 17 years for this doc­tor­turned-ac­tor to grab his first solo lead.

“It’s bet­ter late than never,” says Varanasi-lad Vi­neet Ku­mar Singh who plays a boxer in Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz, slated for re­lease in Novem­ber.

The sports drama shot in Bareilly, Varanasi and Luc­know was screened at Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (TIFF) a week back.

“It’s a story of a UP-based boxer and is set in these three cities. Over 17 years since I joined the in­dus­try and four years af­ter I wrote the film’s first draft, things are fi­nally mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion,” says Vi­neet, who played Nawazud­din Sid­diqui’s elder brother Dan­ish in Gangs of Wassey­pur.

A bas­ket­ball player, Vi­neet has rep­re­sented in na­tion­als games for seven times. “There are lots of harsh re­al­i­ties that a sportsper­son faces in life. Be­ing into sports (bas­ket­ball) I have seen it all and in fact those dark re­al­i­ties still haunts me,” says Vi­neet whose strug­gle con­tin­ued even af­ter he switched over to act­ing.

“I was not get­ting the kind of roles that I wanted to play so I started writ­ing a story for my­self,” he tells.

He showed the script to many film­mak­ers but most of them only wanted the script.

“I was very sure that I will play the boxer in the film while most of them just wanted the script. I was of­fered money and many times I changed it ac­cord­ing to peo­ple but it did not worked out as none agreed to cast me as lead. Then I again rewrote the script and re­quested Anurag sir to read it,” he says.

Kashyap liked the script. “He said two things to me. One, he will do the film ac­cord­ing to his per­spec­tive, re­search and re­write it. Se­condly, I have to be­come a boxer my­self to do the role.” He hints that film’s real story is in­spired by a boxer which they will re­veal later. The story credit goes to Kashyap, Vi­neet and some other writ­ers.


Dur­ing the process of script he was train­ing him­self in Mumbai. “Af­ter Anurag sir’s go ahead I left for Pa­tiala. I ini­tially wanted to go for Na­tional In­sti­tute of Sports (NIS) but then my script re­quired ground re­al­ity so I went to a coach who started train­ing me at his farm house. So, my day started at 5 am and ended at 9 pm. Day sched­ule, gym and evening train­ing to late nights it was a gru­el­ing train­ing sched­ule,” he says.

In the process, Vi­neet sus­tained rib frac­ture, a deep cut and sev­eral mi­nor in­juries. “I soon learnt if I don’t take blows then I won’t get the re­sults I wanted. Since I am a doc­tor my­self I know my body and pre­pared my­self and asked the box­ers to hit me. Soon, I started de­vel­op­ing de­fense re­flexes and got in the grind. My train­ing process went on for over a year.”

The ac­tor in­forms that all fights in the film are real with na­tional and in­ter­na­tional box­ers.


The film got a grand re­cep­tion at TIFF and it will open the MAMI fes­ti­val to be held in Mumbai. “The in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence has given a thumbs-up to the three screen­ing held in Toronto. The film is set to re­lease on Novem­ber 10 and hope that In­dian au­di­ence too likes it,” he says.

Vi­neet has re­cently shot Reema Kagti’s Gold which stars Ak­shay Ku­mar and Mouni Roy which will re­lease on Au­gust 15, 2017. Sudhir Mishra’s Das­dev is also ready and is also ex­pected to hit screen soon.

(Top) Vi­neet at Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val & (above) with di­rec­tor Anurag Kashyap at Idrees Biryani joint in Luc­know dur­ing film’s shoot

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