NO PAIN NO GAIN
Abhimanyu Dassani’s film career didn’t come easily, though the 28-year-old is the son of Hindi star Bhagyashree and Telugu actor Himalaya Dassani. He was pursuing a career in finance before setting his sights on Bollywood four years ago. And it took him months of auditions before he bagged the lead role as Surya—a young man who feels no pain—in Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota.
His parents and friends worried whether it was the right part for his debut. But Dassani followed his “gut feeling” and believed in writer-director Vasan Bala’s vision for the action-comedy—a “new genre to Indian cinema”, he says. As in Hollywood’s Kick-Ass (2010), the movie is a superhero flick where the hero’s only superpower is his inability to feel pain.
Dassani spent eight months learning taekwondo and other martial arts to make the action sequences convincing. For the comedy bits, he drew inspiration from Kung Fu Panda. “It was an amazing challenge,” he says. “It was like being Popeye on Spinach or Superman.”
Dassani grew up fairly distant from the film industry, though watching films, including seeing every superhero and cartoon film in the theatre with his mother, was part of his growing up years, he says.