Sundeep Kishan on Kunal Kohli’s Next Enti, working with Tamannaah, and coming to terms with his failures

Hemanth Kumar

Dec 10, 2018 15:11:59 IST

Sundeep Kishan’s acting career, in recent times, has been going downhill for reasons beyond his control. Sometimes, it's been a bad choice of scripts or a long delay in the production, and then, there was a stroke of bad luck where films just didn’t work, despite big names associated with the script.

Although he was appreciated for his intense performance in Maanagaram, which released in 2017, consistency has been a key issue that he has continued to grapple with. “As actors, we are constantly scrutinised when our films don’t work. Everyone tells you what to do next, although there’s no guarantee that their advice would be of some use to your career,” Sundeep Kishan says, adding, “Things are looking much better now. In the past few years, I was either doing high-concept films or commercial films, but there was no middle ground. My next set of films will have a bit of both - good content oriented films that are also entertaining.”

With three films lined up in the next few months, including a supernatural thriller and a remake of a popular Tamil film, Sundeep says that he’s being quite cautious about what he’s signing.

Tamannaah and Sundeep Kishan in a still from Next Enti. YouTube

Tamannaah and Sundeep Kishan in a still from Next Enti. YouTube

From not signing a film for almost six months, to starting all over again, 2018 has been a volatile year for the actor, who first shot to fame with Deva Katta’s Prasthanam back in 2009. Later, films like Venkatadri Express, Shor In The City, and Routine Love Story earned him a reputation of being a bankable actor who chooses his scripts wisely. But a string a flops, starting from Run (2016), changed everything. “After I finished shooting for all my films late last year, I wanted to take a break from work. And soon, I realised that I was just sitting at home all day, eating a lot of biryani and ice-cream every single day for weeks altogether. Nothing excited me during that phase. I wasn’t in a mind space where I wanted to go on set once again. If a film’s shoot, which takes up six months of your time, doesn’t excite you, you know that something is off. In January this year, I realised that all this were, perhaps, symptoms of borderline depression. That’s when I decided to leave the country and spend some time with my friends and family in US and Europe,” Sundeep recalls.

It was during a two-month long trip in the US that he began to weigh his options and take a closer look at his journey over the years. “Once you see the world, you realise how small your problems are compared to everything else happening around you. I felt inconsequential. I was in a much better state, mentally, once I came back to Hyderabad and soon, I began listening to scripts once again,” the actor adds. The first film he signed was a supernatural thriller, Ninu Veedani Needanu Neene, which will release in Telugu and Tamil. Directed by Caarthick Raju, the film also stars Anya Singh in a lead role, and the Tamil version is titled as Kannadi. “The film is going to break every stereotype that’s associated with this genre. We shot for nearly 56 days for this film and I’m quite positive about the outcome,” says Sundeep, who has also co-produced the film.

His most recent release in Next Enti, which also marks the debut of filmmaker Kunal Kohli in Telugu. Interestingly, it’s also his first film with Tamannaah. “I think we have really pushed the envelope in terms of how characters talk about sex and lust, and how it influences people’s lives. It might sound sleazy, but that’s where Kunal Kohli’s class comes into picture,” he reveals. Admittedly, he didn’t know his co-star Tamannaah well prior to the film’s shoot; however, the two became good friends eventually. “She’s a big star, but in all these years, I never got to know her offscreen. It was quite comfortable working with her and it was so much fun shooting in London with her. We would share ice-cream secretly during the shoot (laughs).”

Apart from these films, Sundeep will also be seen in an important role in Raj-DK’s upcoming Amazon original series, Family Man which has Manoj Bajpayee in the lead role. Sundeep has worked with the director duo in Shor In The City. “We shot for this series in Kashmir and I’m really looking forward to see the response. I can’t talk much about my role, but I’m confident that people will be impressed when they watch the show,” he says, adding, “I must be doing something right because people still have faith in me. I’m indebted to everyone who trusts me that I’ll do better. Now, it’s my job to prove that they were right about me.”

Updated Date: Dec 10, 2018 15:11:59 IST