Annup Sonii speaks to Manasi Y Mastakar about his new play, Ballygunge 1990- Love is an endless mystery, a Hindi suspense thriller, expanding his horizon as an actor and more…
You are doing theatre after a gap of nine years, how was the experience?
Experience is great. I keep doing shows of my earlier plays, but had not taken on a new one for a long time. One needs a lot of time to rehearse for a new play and I was busy with my on screen commitments.
What made you say yes to the play?
There was a reason I said yes to this one: It is a suspense thriller, a genre which has not been explored much in Hindi theatre. Sometimes, some adaptations happen, but this is an original Hindi script set in the Indian milieu. It was an exciting script. My first reaction was that the author-backed role was of the girl. But when I started reading the full script, I realised that the challenge for me, as an actor, was much more.
There are two characters: One is handling the situation, and the other is reacting to it. It was exciting for me to play the latter. If there is a new situation to react to every 10 minutes, how differently and realistically can you do that? That was challenging for me. Audience will be just guessing as to what is going to happen, which will be the most thrilling part of the play.
I thought if I am doing a new play after so long, it should be a little challenging, a genre that not many have seen on stage. Also my character is different from what I have done earlier.
The play is a thriller, isn’t it difficult to pull off on stage?
It is a gripping, 85-minute-long play with no interval. There are no blackouts, so once I come on stage, I only go back when it is over. And I can guarantee that you will spend the last 25 minutes just guessing what is going to happen next.
You’ve done television, films and theatre. Which one do you prefer?
I just love acting, medium doesn’t matter. But, as of now, my focus is more on films.
Digital medium is experiencing a boom, any plans of going the web way? And films?
Yes, web is a welcome change and I am doing a Baahubali web series for Netflix. I have also done Prassthanam with Sanjay Dutt and I recently finished shooting for Kunal Kohli’s Ramayan. There too, I will have a different look. It is not just about breaking the mould.
Annup Sonii had become synonymous with Crime Patrol. Why did you quit?
I think, as an actor, I didn’t explore much in last few years, because I was too busy with ‘Crime Patrol’ for so many years.It has been nine months since I quit the show and I am trying to break that image of mine by doing different work.
Are you open to doing television again?
Not right now (smiles).