TV has given me a following I never had: Suniel Shetty

Suniel Shetty (Photo courtesy: Celebrity Curry)
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By Durga Chakravarty

New Delhi–He has been in the Hindi film industry for a quarter of a century and has delivered some memorable films like “Mohra”, “Hu Tu Tu”, “Hera Pheri” and “Dhadkan”. After such a long stint, actor Suniel Shetty now feels that it is the small screen that has given him a newer audience and a following.

Suniel was last seen on the silver screen in the 2014 film “Desi Kattey”. In the television space he features in &TV’s reality show “India’s Asli Champion…Hai Dum” as the host.

Asked why he chose to make a comeback to showbiz with the small screen, Suniel told IANS over phone from Mumbai: “Because the small screen would get me into every house. That is what the small screen has done. It has given me a newer audience… Mr. Amitabh Bachchan changed the face of television with ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and then Salman Khan, being a superstar, did TV with ‘Dus Ka Dum’… People got to know the real Salman Khan.”

Suniel Shetty (Photo courtesy: Celebrity Curry)

The 55-year-old, who has launched a gym called SMAAASH Shivfit in collaboration with celebrity crossfit expert Shivoham, said the small screen brings out the real personality of an actor.

“Television somehow brings out your actual personality and throws it out in front of the people because you are playing yourself. You are not playing any character and I think that is what ‘India’s Asli Champion… Hai Dum’ has done for me. It has given me a newer audience and following that probably I never had before,” he added.

In his over-two-decade journey, Suniel carved a niche for himself in Bollywood with movies like “Gopi Kishan”, “Ittefaq”, “Kaante”, “Krishna”, “Border” and “Main Hoon Na”. He is mostly known for action entertainers and comedies.

Talking about the action scenes and safety measures in today’s times, Suneil said: “It (action) has become more technical and safer. Green and blue matting has come in. We did our jumps ourselves. We were stupid. But now there are airbags and a lot more safety which is very important for an actor.

“It has become very technical… I have broken every part of my body because of the kind of stunts I have done,” the “Dhadkan” actor said.

With a career so vast, would he like to change anything about his journey if given a chance?

“No, nothing at all. I have learnt a lot. The best part is that God has given me an opportunity again. I have got a hell lot of films that have come to me. Now I am going to choose wise and play safe. I don’t want to do too much,” said Suniel.

He wants to play roles that suit his age now.

“I don’t want the grey removed from my hair. I want the grey to stay… I would like to play a father, uncle or even a brother as long as the roles are respectful. Earlier, I did roles which my friends asked me… now I will do a favour to a friend when it comes to my price, but I will not do a favour for the kind of roles that he has to offer me… Which is something I am very clear about,” he said.

What’s next for Suniel?

“I have a few films. I have a film called ‘Reloaded’ with Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez, which I am looking forward to. It’s a very good role. I play a mentor… My age. (I am) Very excited and very happy,” he said. (IANS)


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