Suniel Shetty doubted whether he even remembered how to act

The seasoned actor, who is making a comeback with Kannada film Pehlwaan (2019) gets candid about his moments of self doubt

By Mayur Lookhar

Suniel Shetty speaking at the launch of Pehlwaan (2019) trailer in Mumbai.

Seasoned actor Suniel Shetty has kept a low profile over the years, restricting himself to the few odd cameo role.  The 58-year-old though would soon be seen in a meaty role in the Kannada film Pehlwaan, where he plays mentor to Kannada super star Sudeep. Pehlwaan will also be released in four dubbed versions –  Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam.  

Interestingly, it’s a maiden Kannada film for Shetty, who was born in Mangalore, Karnataka.  Was it overwhelming to be offered a Kannada film at this state of his career?  Leave alone being offered a Kannada film, Shetty confessed that he wasn’t even sure of returning to acting.

“I was in a confused state whether I wanted to continue working or I didn’t want to work,” confessed Shetty.

The actor was last seen in a full-fledged role in the dud Desi Kattey [2014].   

“It was a four year sabbatical but then something good comes to you and you also want to test water. I didn’t know [pauses] you get this feeling of doubt whether do you even remember how to act?” acknowledged Shetty.

Pehlwaan was planned as Kannada film, with the dubbed Hindi version being lined up later on.  The actor had was mired in self doubt but it was the confidence shown by Sudeep that led to Shetty picking up this film.

“I think I was going through that stage. Not a very good frame of mind, but at the same time I said that it’s Kannada. Not that I was very familiar with the language, (as) I speak Tulu, but it’s also my turf, my territory,” said the veteran actor.

 “Someone like Kichcha Sudeep who offered me something like this with director S Krishna. It’s a good subject, up my alley. I don’t think I even debated. I debated over the other film that was offered.  I said yes because somewhere down the line you know you are in safer waters. You know this film has an X amount of audience because of the combination of Kichcha and Krishna. Because I was safe, I said let me give it a shot, added Shetty.

Pehlwaan is set to be released on 12 September. Watch the Hindi trailer below.

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