Telugu-Tamil actor Sundeep Kishan’s latest release Next Enti may not have performed as well as expected. But, he is unfazed. “I would do the film all over again, if needed. I learnt so much working with Kunal Kohli. I grew up admiring his work. He may not be conversant in Telugu. But, he was clued into every nuance of the characters played by me and Tamannaah Bhatia.”
So, what went wrong? “I don’t know if the word wrong is right here because I feel the film came out right. We somewhere missed out on marketing and promoting the film well. Next Enti was a totally new language for Telugu audiences. It basically had my character and Tamannaah’s speaking on love life and sex,” he said.
“The audience needed to be drawn into the film. That never happened. Telugu cinema is growing by leaps and bounds. Not only Baahubali, we have had Arjun Reddy, The Ghazi Attack and Goodachari… all game-changers. So, it’s not as though the audience in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are not ready for change. We just didn’t give them reason to appreciate our attempt at a new cinematic language,” he added.
But, yes, Sundeep has already moved ahead. “I’ve now turned producer with a Telugu film Ninu Veedani Nenu Nene. My leading lady in the film is Anya singh — that very talented girl from Qaidi Band. The film is, again, a game-changer. It is partly a supernatural thriller, but it is so much more; it’s hard to define. I am also shooting a courtroom comedy Tenali Ramkrishna BABL with Hansika Motwane.”
Though Sundeep has done films in Tamil and Hindi, he regards Telugu as his home ground. Meanwhile, Sundeep is pleased that most of his Tamil and Telugu films are dubbed into Hindi. “I was shooting in Kashmir and I was very surprised when the locals recognised me as the guy in Prasthanam, my first release which is now being remade in Hindi or the guy in Maanagaram. They had seen most of my Telugu and Tamil films dubbed into Hindi.” Sundeep is also surprised by his swelling fan-following.