Mukkabaaz: Vineet Kumar Singh has his eyes set on ‘gold’

The actor speaks to FPJ about his 18 years of struggle to become an actor

Vineet Kumar Singh, who plays the lead role in Anurag Kashayap’s Mukkabaaz, says after 18 years of struggle he is getting roles where he can showcase his talent. After Mukkabaaz, Vineet has already bagged a role in Akshay Kumar’s Gold.

“I want to do good roles, but unfortunately an actor can’t choose that. I have been offered a lot of roles now, and I have just completed Gold and I am also part of Dasdev and I enjoyed shooting Gold. I was injured after finishing Mukkabaaz, but I did not tell anyone of my injuries as I was afraid that they might remove me from the movie if they found out,” reveals Vineet.

But the road to stardom has not been easy. “I came to Mumbai in 1999-2000 and auditioned for a talent hunt competition. After I won the competition, I got my first Marathi film with Mahesh Manjrekar, I thought this was my big break and now I would become a star. The film was a flop and all my dreams shattered. After that I struggled for 10 years before I got good work,” he says.

“I knew Anurag personally, but never asked him for work kyuki kis muh se unke pass jata. We had that Banaras connection, but nothing else. I didn’t want to be one of those guys who has been rejected by him. Luckily when I met him next he was casting for Gangs… and then I worked in two other film with him – Bombay Talkies and Ungli. But after Gangs… I realised I was getting similar work that I did in Gangs… which I was not happy with,” he adds.

Speaking further about his ordeal, the Bombay Talkies actor says, “I had struggled a lot and my family also sacrificed so much for me. I was in dire straits and I had to break all my sister’s and mother’s policies to survive. I didn’t feel doing the same role again and again and which is why I decided to write a script from myself. As I had a sports background I decided to write a script on the struggles of a sportsman; I played basketball till national level. But didn’t want to make a team film as I felt I would not be the focus of it, so I chose boxing.”

“When I pitched my script, l just had one condition: I would play the lead character. People liked the script, but they couldn’t see me as the lead. Some even asked me to choose another role, but I was adamant. After roaming around with it for three years, I decided to ask Anurag for his suggestions. I can never forget the phone call I received after he had finished reading the script. He said he will be making it, but I will have to become a boxer for it, otherwise he will shelve it. That night I packed my bags and returned as boxer,” narrates Vineet.

Albeit the original script written by him had been heavily modified by Anurag, but Vineet didn’t care about that, he was happy to finally get a chance to be a leading actor. “While there were many changes and additions to the script it didn’t matter to me, I was only focused on acting. I did include the politics and the way the sportsman is treated in this country. I just wanted to unlearn everything that I knew as Anurag sir changes the scene according to the surrounding,” says Vineet.

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