The MukkeBaaz HERO
A small budget lm like Mukkebaaz has caught the attention of the audience. And the star of the lm, VINEET KUMAR SINGH, an actor who has never been heralded before, has found himself plumb in the midst of the spotlight. SHIVANI BISHT talks to him to nd
Tells us a bit about yourself. My dad is a well-known mathematician so he always wanted me to study for medicals. It was kind of a father and son emotional talk where I promised him that I will do my medicals and he thought while pursuing my medicals, I would get over with the madness of being an actor. But on the other hand, I was very sure no matter what I wanted to become an actor. So, after I got my MD degree, dad asked me if I still wanted to be an actor, and I said, yes. My father was worried I wouldn’t be able to cope or make it in the film industry but he still allowed me.
How did you journey start? ...Through an audition. I am the master of auditions. I came to Mumbai for a talent hunt competition. My sister knew I always wanted to be an actor so one day when she got to know of a talent hunt competition, she immediately notified me. So I came to Mumbai and luckily, I won that competition and so got my first film Pitaah in 2002 - Mahesh Manjrekarji gave me the break. Later, he offered me the position of being his assistant director so that I get to know the technical workings of a film. And because of that I feel really very comfortable when I am on the sets. And, that’s how my journey started.
What has been your best and worst experience in the industry till date? The best is obviously Mukkabaaz, and for worst, recently, during the promotions of Mukkabaaz I had to reach Infinity mall at a certain time but not a single rickshawala wanted to go there. I had to walk in order to reach Infinity. Nearly, 25 to 30 rickshaw’s rejected me that too within 10 minutes.
Can you tell us about your experience of working with Anurag Kashyap, the director of Mukkabaaz? Amazing! I always get to learn a lot from him because he experiments a
lot. He is a very fearless director and openly experiments with his characters and working with him is great as bahut zyada azaadi milti hai. And I am that kind of an actor who surrenders himself to the director and I follow what they say. Like in Gangs ofWasseypur I got a script and there was a proper workshop conducted, when I did Ugly there was no script given. Bombay Talkies was an experience and so was Mukkabaaz. And there were no choreographers for the boxing scenes in Mukkabaaz, all the fights were real. I had to fight with international boxers and we all worked really hard. I don’t talk to Anurag much but I just love listening to him as I believe I get to learn a lot listening.
How has your transformation been from an athlete to a boxer?
While I was studing for my medicals, I was a national athlete. And that helped me for my role in Mukkabaaz. However, getting physically prepared for Mukkabaaz wasn’t an easy job. So I started training to be a boxer – ironically, at the age I started, it is usually when boxers retire. Usually they start training at the age of ten or twelve so it was tough but I guess, it worked.
How difficult was it for you to find a footing in Bollywood?
Obviously a lot. Life in Mumbai is fast and it wasn’t so in Banaras so I had to learn a lot. Also, my seniors and juniors were either Doctors or sportsmen, and no one from Bollywood. As I am not from the National School of Drama or FTII and all the things which I did were unofficial. And because of my background in medical and theatre, people thought I sounded immature. But I was clear that I would prove it with my work. Yes, I had to struggle a lot but it was worth it.
Did you come across any obstacles in your initial days? Whenever you start anything new that you know nothing about, you start it with a good intention and determination, so be it any obstacle, you try to solve it. And this happens with everyone including me. When I came to Mumbai, the very first question was where would I stay? Now, you can take it as an obstacle or practicality, it’s your way of looking at it. So I figured out things and tried solving them.
Are you working only on this film Gold or any other films as well? I am getting a lot of scripts but after Mukkabaaz, suddenly things have changed. There
My father thought while pursuing my medicals, I would get over with the madness of being an actor.”
are a few announcements I’ll make once they get final. But every day, I am reading a new script. I believe a script is like a railway track, things can move around the scripts a little here and there but there is no major U-turn. So, that’s why I read scripts very carefully.
Can you name some actors you want to work with?
I want to work with everyone. I want to work will all the good actors and director, and what’s wrong in that? But, yeah some actors with whom I’d enjoy working with are Ranveer Singh and Varun Dhawan but let’s see if there is anything interesting in the pipeline.
What are your career goals and where do you see yourself five years from now?
I don’t even think about a week from now, forget five years from now. I accept things just the way they are. I believe it is wise to live in your present - there should be a proper balance between things. Actors in today’s time live between action and cuts, and I want to live my life sincerely. About my career, I don’t think about it as I cannot control it.
Which are the heroines you want to work with and why?
Everybody! I really like Rekhaji but she isn’t working much and the same goes with Madhuri Dixit. I really like Deepika Padukone, as an actor she has done an amazing job in Piku and now Padmaavat. If I get a chance I would like to work with Alia Bhatt though.
If I get a chance I would like to work with Alia Bhatt though.”