New kid on the block
Dubai lad Sunny Hinduja’s talks about his foray into Bollywood
Every year there are thousands of hopefuls who try to make it in the big bad world of Bollywood. One among them is Sunny Hinduja whose film ‘Ballad of Rustom’ made by debutant director Ajita Suchitra Veera, premiered a few days ago at the 12th Osian Cinefan Film Festival of Indian, Asian and Arab cinema.
An excited Sunny talks to masala.com about the struggles a newcomer has to face in Bollywood and his dreams for the future…
How did you get interested in acting?
The acting bug bit me when I was in class 7. I was always fascinated with films. I loved Akshay Kumar’s movies and always wanted to be a part of them. Over the years, I realised that I too wanted to be an actor. I’m pursing it and by god's will, it's all going good.
What kind of struggles did you face while establishing yourself as an actor?
I didn't come just directly to Mumbai, I had proper training; I did my diploma in acting from the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune.
My family has been settled in Dubai for the last 25years. I used to come for holidays on Dubai and I kept watching films by renting movies from Al Mansour Video! I had started modeling in Dubai but I can’t even begin to list the challenges of working in Mumbai! Everybody wants to become an actor and they pack their bags and come to the city.
However, I decided to go the other way - train myself properly and then begin to chase my luck. While I was studying, I got a film, ‘Cycle Kick’, directed by Shashi Sudigala. Tom Alter who was also part of the film referred my name and then I got a call from Mukta Arts film production for an audition. Their film was shot in a one month but then the struggle started because it took five years to release. I almost lost hope!
Then I started meeting filmmakers constantly – you just have to keep trying!
What projects are you working on currently?
Currently I’m working on a movie called ‘Ballad of Rustom’, directed by Ajita Suchitra Veera. It’s a beautiful story of an ordinary chap who lives in a world of his own.
Can you tell us about your role in ‘The Owner?’
‘Owner’ is a film shot in Dubai that follows the journey of a backpack around the world, intersecting the lives of dozens of fascinating characters along the way. It’s record of sorts because it was written and directed by 25 different directors in five continents in 14 countries from 25 cities. It’s an unprecedented online collaboration as the film brings together a variety of cultures, languages and film styles into a singular narrative plot. As the story progresses, we learn details about the mysterious man to whom the bag belongs. The film released on 25th May 2012.
How were you able to convince your family to take up an acting career with a background in engineering?
Frankly, there was no struggle at all because my dad had harboured dreams of being an actor. He too went to Pune but family issues forced him to put his dreams on the backburner. So when I decided to be an actor he was really happy. By God’s grace I have supportive family.
You also have a very active lifestyle, with your interests varying from martial arts, Taekwondo, Kalaripayattu to swimming. How do you devote time to pursuing your hobbies whilst acting?
I am not able to purse all of these activities regularly but I maintain the discipline of gymming. All these action and adventurous things come naturally to me hence I practise whenever I find time for myself.
What tips would you give to youngsters pursuing acting careers in the UAE?
First of all, have clarity in mind, then have full belief and faith in yourself. Have patience because the universe is looking at you and as long as you give it your all, everything’s set!
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