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Kichcha Sudeepa during an interview in Downtown Dubai. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

“If you are going big, go with the biggest,” declares Kannada superstar Kichcha Sudeepa when asked why he chose the iconic Burj Khalifa to exhibit the logo and teaser of his upcoming film ‘Vikrant Rona’.

A gigantic virtual cut-out of the superstar, along with a 180-second teaser to the trailer, will also be emblazoned on the tower on January 31.

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Kichcha Sudeepa with Vikrant Rona director Anup Bhandari Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

“We wanted to hit the biggest display in the world and there’s no bigger display in this entire world than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai… There may be a bigger building than the Burj Khalifa tomorrow in any country, but at this moment this is the tallest and the biggest!” said Sudeepa in an interview with Gulf News.

The Kannadiga superstar had flown into Dubai along with his ‘Vikrant Rona’ director, Anup Bhandari, for the big reveal. But there’s another reason for Sudeepa to celebrate. The long enduring superstar, who has ruled the Kannada film industry for decades, clocks 25 years in the industry on the same day.

“I am excited that even after 25 years in this industry I am able to tell stories … Everybody wants a slice of my career,” said Sudeepa on his career milestone.

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Kichcha Sudeepa in Dubai Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

And what better than an ambitious action caper like ‘Vikrant Rona’, set in lush jungles, to mark this momentous work anniversary?

Both Sudeepa — who has acted in award-winning Kannada blockbusters and Bollywood’s ‘Dabangg 3’ — and director Bhandari describe their upcoming action caper ‘Vikrant Rona’ as South India’s answer to the iconic Hollywood hero James Bond.

Earlier it was titled ‘Phantom’, but they changed the name when Sudeepa observed that his title character’s name was trending more on social media when they spoke first about their big-budget film.

A chat with the team later, ‘Phantom’ became ‘Vikrant Rona’. Having friendly brainstorming sessions with his film’s team is one of his biggest pleasures.

Upon meeting Sudeepa, it was clear that he is one of the most approachable superstars from South India. He doesn’t travel with an intimidating entourage and obliges to take selfies with his UAE fans even in the midst of a sit-down interview.

“They are the ones who have always loved me,” comments Sudeepa, before taking a sip of his strong Arabic-flavoured coffee.

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Here’s the actor’s take on his blazing film career, his mantra for staying relevant in a highly competitive acting field and dealing with haters …

Here’s his take on …

‘Vikrant Rona’ putting Kannada films on the world cinema map, just like how ‘Baahubali’ series put South Indian fantasy epics on the map:

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Kichcha Sudeepa in Vikrant Rona Image Credit: Supplied

“We do take immense pride in our language and we have been doing so for many years. It’s just not us, but everyone is trying to put their films in their own language on the map right now. Few of those movies mays succeed, while few may fall short of grabbing attention. But when somebody does a film, our intention is not limited to just putting our film on the map. We want to tell a good story too … But there’s no denying that when we tell a story, we think only in our language … I can never be isolated from our own language … And remember, having a good story to tell is the most important thing. A good cake is not just about how nice the icing looks, but also about what’s inside the cake’s icing.”

‘Vikrant Rona’ creating Kannada’s home-grown action hero/superhero:

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Kichcha Sudeepa in Vikrant Rona Image Credit: Supplied

“We have always been inspired by Superman, Batman, Spider-Man from the West … They were our heroes from our childhood … But we want to tell our own stories that is steeped in our reality. Our stories may be different, but our intention is not to be different just for the sake of it.”

Completing 25 years in the movie industry:

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Kichcha Sudeepa in Pailwan Image Credit: Supplied

“I am excited that even after 25 years in this industry, I am able to tell stories. One film cannot define who I am and one film cannot take away what I have earned so far. There are ups and downs in any actor’s career. My downs were scary in the beginning because you are constantly worried about your career finishing or taking off … But after 25 yeas if I am still worrying about my career, then it means I am not enjoying myself at all … There are [millions] of people who want to have a slice of my career … This team working on ‘Vikrant Rona’ are new and for them seeing their work on the Burj Khalifa is a big moment … I wish somebody had created such a moment when I had started out.”

His mantra for success in films:

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Kichcha Sudeepa in Dubai Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

“I want the project to treat me like a family person … Don’t treat my film as some business where an actor comes to the sets, shoots and goes home … A good film can happen only if everybody is on the same page. We need to understand nuances and have a deep understanding for one another … There are times when producers or the director need a bit of pampering because they are handling so many pressures on a daily basis. Don’t judge them. As an actor, there are days when I am in a bad mood but that doesn’t mean that stardom has entered my head … I never distance myself from any job.”

Keeping the faith alive and handling rejections:

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Kichcha Sudeepa in Dabangg 3 Image Credit: Supplied

“Having faith is about an emotion … We should not get emotional because we need to keep our smarts in place if you want to survive in this industry. Remember, you are not doing your industry any favour by doing a great film … Remember that people who love you for your film may get excited, but your competitors and the other industry players are not going to get excited about your success … Faith has nothing do with where I am, you need to be smart.”

His biggest survival tip:

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Kichcha Sudeepa in Dubai Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

“Remember, it’s very easy to survive because the others are equally scared. You are making them powerful, if you worry about your detractors … My whole intention is to tell a good story to as many people as I can.”



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Kichcha Sudeepa in Dubai Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

“There is no word called hate online … The haters just envy you. I don’t waste my time on those who hate me when I have millions who love me for who I am,” said Kichcha Sudeepa when asked how he filters online hate.


Did you know?

Director Anup Bhandari’s script narration for ‘Vikrant Rona’ lasted for two days. “It was an interesting three-hour narration across two days. At the end of it I was hoping he would agree. He has his own style … He was making dinner for me and he agreed … I don’t remember what he cooked that night, but I will never forget the moment when he said ‘yes’,” said Bhandari.


Don’t miss it!

You can watch the teaser reveal of ‘Vikrant Rona’ at 8pm, UAE time, on January 31. The event can be watched live on Kichcha Sudeepa’s Twitter handle and YouTube page. The actor is in Dubai right now for the teaser launch.