‘I love playing negative roles’, says Sudhanshu Pandey

With 2.0 raking in Rs.500 crore worldwide, we speak to the other baddie from the film, Sudhanshu Pandey about the movie, working with Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar and more…

How did 2.0 happen?

2.0 came to me from director Shankar’s office and I guess they had already decided they wanted me for this character. They asked me if I would be interested and I, of course, said yes. I was then called to Shankar sir’s office in Chennai and was made to do a look test and that’s how 2.0 happened.

You are playing a negative role. What made you say yes to it?

I love playing negative roles, because as an actor they give me a lot more to do. Normally, negative characters explore the dark side of your mind and you get to play various kinds of characters when you are playing a negative role.

What kind of prep did you undertake for the film?

There was no prep as such for the role apart from the fact that I was made to do a sort of a look test. It wasn’t even exactly a look test…we were actually trying different hairstyles for over six hours, which Shankar sir was personally supervising. And, finally, after six hours he decided on one particular style, which was done by a specialist who was flown down specially from Mumbai. It took me at least 3-3.5 hours to change the hairstyles…we wanted them to look nice, real and give me a slightly different look.

What was shooting with Rajinikanth like? How is he on the sets?

Shooting with Rajini sir has been absolutely fantastic and a dream come true. He is super humble and the most easygoing person on the sets. Most of the times he is silent, he is very calm and composed and comes alive whenever he comes in front of the camera. Watching him work has been a learning lesson for me and I think this has been the best experience of my life.

You have done two films with Akshay Kumar. What kind of equation do you share with him?

I started my career with Akshay Kumar in Khiladi 420. I was launched as a parallel lead with him. He is like an older brother to me. He is a very simple man and we have always shared laughter and jokes and speak Punjabi…that is the kind of equation I share with him, it’s a very happy equation.

You have done a few South Indian films. What made you shift your focus to regional cinema?

Yes I have been doing South films and this will be my fourth release in Tamil. My focus hasn’t shifted anywhere else. And it’s not regional cinema… Tamil cinema, Telugu cinema is as global as any other cinema in the world. My focus specifically is on my work as an actor. Wherever I get work from, if I like it, I do it and give my best.

Digital space is suddenly experiencing a boom. Any plans of venturing in that zone?

Yes digital space is big time now and is only going to grow bigger. I am in talks for a couple of web series. And there might be something big happening on that front as well and I will keep you posted about that too.

You have tried your hand at singing too. Any plans of going back to that?

Well, I was a part of India’s first boy band, The Band of Boys, and we delivered some huge hits. I released a solo single of my own after a decade this year and I do plan to come out with a couple more solos. The first solo was received very well and got over a millions views, which inspired and encouraged me to do more.

What next after 2.0?

In Bollywood, I just finished a film with Mahesh Manjrekar where I’m doing a special appearance and playing a negative role. And I am also doing Neil Nitin Mukesh’s first home production called Bypass Road and I am playing a villain in that as well.

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