Upstarts actor Priyanshu Painyuli opens up about his role, and possibility of a sequel to Bhavesh Joshi Superhero
Priyanshu Painyuli will also be seen alongside Chris Hemsworth, David Harbour, and Pankaj Tripathi in Netflix's Dhaka.
There seems to be an abundance of entrepreneurial spirit in India as the country’s youth look for creatively challenging jobs and start-ups popping left, right and centre. Netflix’s Upstarts is just about this, the story of three starry-eyed college graduates, who want their novel business idea to bring them fame and fortune.
Painyuli, best recognised from his now-cult film Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, plays Kapil Mathur, a tenacious innovator, who creates a delivery app along with his friends Vinay (Shadab Kamal) and Yash (Chandrachoor Rai).
Painyuli describes his character as an “instinctive and impulsive guy”, who sees an idea in “anything and everything”.
“In the film, we have these really funny scenes, where the three characters are trying to run away with a girl, so he’s like, ‘Let’s start an eloping service,’” tells the actor.
The details of his character and the company he creates with his friends were all mentioned in the script but Painyuli also interacted with a lot of entrepreneurs to approach the role. “I have met some with failed start-ups, and some of them a billion-dollar company. Everyone has the same zeal and zest for life to do something. They are not just satisfied with their desk jobs, they want to do more. Working hectic hours was something I found in everyone, which I thought was interesting. They have challenging lives, they go through a lot, and I realised this is what I have to show onscreen.”
Painyuli says there is a lot in common between actors and entrepreneurs, like their never-say-die attitude. “You have to believe in yourself when no one believes in you, and it is the same with these start-up guy that you have to believe in your idea even when no one wants to invest in it. Just keep trying to take that to a successful level, and convince people that this is the right idea.”
He already forayed into digital content with two talked about ventures, A Monsoon Date and Once Again. Did their positive reception give him confidence in OTT platforms? “A very good thing for a Netflix release, especially for Upstarts is that it will be out in many countries at the same time. Here, your work is reaching to a wider audience.”
Though Bhavesh Joshi Superhero tanked at the box office, it gained a following after it was out on Netflix. His film has even found fans in Taiwan, he reveals. He does agree that an OTT release would have been better for the film.
“All of us thought we would have a better reception in theatres. But that did not happen, which is fine. The best thing was getting it on Netflix and lots of youngsters watched it. The kind of response we saw was great,” he says before adding, “A lot of fans message asking for a sequel.” Painyuli admits while he does not know whether there are plans for a follow-up, he hopes there is one. However, the actor wonders how the makers will fit in his character, who unfortunately dies, in the narrative.
His theatre background has been essential for fine-tuning his acting skills. “Theatre is like sports. Like an athlete runs and builds his endurance for a race, for an actor, the stage really builds us. It helps exploring you more, and makes you very confident when you’re on screen.
The one project he is “really, really looking forward to” but cannot divulge any deatils about is Dhaka, led by Chris Hemsworth. The cast also has David Harbour, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, and Randeep Hooda. Painyuli has another OTT project as well as two more theatrical releases.
Upstarts is now streaming on Netflix.
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