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Full of spark

Sushant Singh as the firebrand Sukhdev in `The Legend of Bhagat Singh' managed to hold his ground as the comrade of Bhagat Singh, rather Ajay Devgan. This promising actor is inching his way up in Bollywood.


DEADLY EARNEST: Sushant as Sukhdev in "The Legend of Bhagat Singh"

"I LIVED life as a different man for a few months," says Sushant Singh, whose role as Sukhdev in The Legend of Bhagat Singh catapulted him to limelight although he was noticed in his earlier films namely Jungle and 16 December. Appreciation and accolades for this role has poured in from all quarters. Sushant shared the great experience he had, portraying the young revolutionary's role while in Hyderabad to promote the film. Though he has induced terror in the roles he has played, he is just the opposite - cool, calm and composed.

Dwelling on the film and the role, he admitted to being a bit nervous initially, but the character was motivating enough to let him bring out his best backed of course by some research. Reading a chapter on Bhagat Singh in Samsmritiyan compiled by Shiv Verma helped him on this "emotional and psychological journey, which required great effort. Since it was a new character it required a process of forgetting yourself to transmute to a new being which gave me kicks. The trio of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were young lads talking in such high vocabulary. I keep striving for such things." To live life like Sukhdev was at the same time a "joyous ride" for Sushant as Raj Kumar Santoshi "was a dream director who inspired me to work harder." Sushant was a bit on the edge initially to work with top star Ajay Devgan (wondered whether he would vibe with him as he had to play his close friend) but when he met Ajay all his nervousness disappeared. "Ajay was so down-to-earth that we became good friends and eventually it was a good experience."

A passion for acting since his school days made Sushant join Ebrahim Alkazi's Living Theatre Academy in 1992. In the four-year stint Sushant did quite a few plays with Alkazi - like Greek tragedies, Death of a salesman and A Streetcar named Desire. "I am more comfortable doing Hindi theatre as I want to communicate with the masses," says Sushant, who missed theatre when he shifted to Mumbai, as there was very little Hindi theatre in the metro.


COOL & CALM: Accolades have been pouring in.

The lure of films brought Sushant to Mumbai. Always a film buff, Sushant had the confidence and the perseverance to make it in Bollywood. From cameos in Satya and Kaun the next logical step was a fairly big role as the dreaded Durga Narayan Chowdhury (modelled on the forest brigand Veerappan) in Jungle. Sushant had to prepare himself for that role.

"I read everything about the man to get into the psyche of the role. I had to have the required body language to look convincing." And sure he did, terrorising Urmila Matondkar and Fardeen Khan in the film.

Sushant's future films include Dum (directed by E. Nivas) where he is essaying a positive supporting character and an I Dreamz venture in the negotiation stage to be directed by Mani Shankar. Given his talent and dedication, Sushant is sure to go a long way in Bollywood.

RADHIKA RAJAMANI

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