Chitraloka caught up with Sudeep during the shooting of Manikya in Sringapatna during the weekend. In a candid chat with KM Veeresh, the actor-director opened up about his films, career and plans.
* Huchcha bought you fame. But your career started much before that..
I entered the Kannada movie industry with Bramha which unfortunately was never completed. Later I acted in O Kusuma Bale. Even that film was not completed. Then the legendary Abbai Naidu cast me in what turned out to be his last film Tayavva. But recognition and opportunities did not come my way. Then we started our own production house and produced Sparsha. The film got a good opening, but because of the unfortunate episode of Dr Rajkumar abduction, the screening was stopped along with other films. It did not recover well.
* You had a terrible experience during shooting of Huchcha..
It was a make or break film for me. This is was last chance. My parents had clearly told if this movie failed then I had to join business. While shooting a stunt sequence for Huchcha near Mandya, I injured my leg. After pack up everyone left and I was alone. I could hardly move my leg. I did not have a car of my own and had borrowed a friend's car to go to shooting. I dragged myself to the car and left for Bangalore. It took me six hours to drive back home. At the end of the day everyone left me. During that time I had not got a car and I had borrowed a car from my friend and had taken it to shooting. After the injury I had to drive back home with one leg. It took me nearly 6 hours to drive home on one leg. I did not tell this to my parents fearing they may not allow me to go back to shooting. I wanted to take the risk and thus remained in the film industry. Because of this accident and determination, I have managed to come this far. Luckily the movie clicked and the rest as they say is history.
* You were called as Sparsha Sudeep, then Huchcha Sudeep and after that Kichcha Sudeep? Which is your favourite?
'Kichcha' Sudeep because of the role I have done in the movie and the recognition it brought me.
* Many say Sudeep is arrogant, not Friendly….etc?
Has any of my friends said this? Has any of my family members said this? Has any of the producers who have worked with me ever said this?
* What do you work for? Is it for fame or money? Because during Partha the producer did not have the money to release the film and you helped him with Rs 25 lacs. When Kashi from Village was average you promised another film for N Kumar that has become Manikya now. When Just Math Mathnalli flopped you did Kempegowda movie free of cost for Shankare Gowda.
I am not here for the money. I have my own reasons for what I did in the examples you give. As a producer I know what kind of problems they face. During Partha, the producers; Pinto, Kadur Umesh and Rajshekar had already paid me a remuneration. But for the release they had problem. I gave back what they had given me and a few lakhs extra. Kashi From Village was one of the good films I did, but the movie did not do well. Moreover N Kumar is my close friend. Because of this I had committed to doing a fim with him and Manikya is happening now. Even when Just Math Matalli flopped I wanted to see the producer get back the lost amount and we did Kempegowda. In Varadanayaka I have acted for 21 days only because Chiranjeevi Sarja is close to me. If I wanted to make money, I could have done it far more easily. My father has built our own house and I am living there happily. Even now, I do not have a house that I have built or bought. I have only my little daughter Sanvi. I will do the best for her to be happy and for her safety. That is all the money I require.
* In CCL, there are talks that you paid the players the prize money from your pocket?
We are friends playing cricket together. We entered the finals but could not win in the first two editions. We won the third edition last year, but the prize amount was delayed. Some of the players were in need of money and were hoping the prize amount would be of help. Whether in cricket or anywhere else, we expect our friends to help us. I did what was needed of me at that time. You would always want your friends and team members to be happy.
* Manikya is taking time..
We are working hard to have a Ugadi release. I have given my commitment to producer N Kumar. He trusted me and invested the amount I quoted. The money he has invested has been used up. But the film demanded more investment Manikya has become a very big budget film now. I have put in the additional investment required on the movie. But N Kumar's investment will be safe.
* You have your own group of friends in the industry..
Let us not call it groupism. Some of us like-minded friends have come together. You may remember that a few years ago there was a rift between me and Darshan. It was because some people in the industry would tell me something against him and something against me to him. But in reality there was no differences between me and Darshan. It was all the creation of some people. But once we had the opportunity to meet face to face, sit together and talk, we realised some vested interests were trying to bring a rift between us. From then on everything is smooth between us. He is one of the top ranked actors in the industry and a very talented person.