Viineet Kumar Singh on Betaal: ‘I have been experimenting and will continue doing so’
Actor Viineet Kumar Singh, who plays the lead role in zombie horror show Betaal, has said he was experimenting with the new Red Chillies’ web series and added that he will not choose project in fear of what people will say. The show received largely negative reviews after its release on Netflix last week.
“When I took up Bard of Blood, I had not explored that kind of content or a role. Working with Red Chillies and Shah Rukh Khan were added benefits for the project. When I was shooting Betaal, Shah Rukh Khan came and told me he really liked my work in Bard of Blood. That was a beautiful moment for me. I have been Shah Rukh’s fan, he is very big but also very grounded. To bag a project (Betaal) at his Red Chillies again, was huge for me. People used to ask me why I only worked for Anurag Kashyap, and I answered that is because he is the one offering me work. Also because I love working him and get to learn,” Viineet told Hindustan Times in an interview.
Asked about the critical response to both the web series, Viineet said, “I have been experimenting and I will continue doing so. While I was trying to pitch Mukkabaaz to producers, I realised that I need to create a portfolio where I have done a variety of work. I cannot be playing the same role over and over again just to avoid the risk of being criticised. When I challenge myself as an actor, I get to add things to my skill set.”
“Normally you do not have much scope in horror, but Sirohi had a variety of emotions that I needed to portray. It was challenging for me and I thi
nk taught me a lot. I cannot be picking my projects in the fear of what people will think. If people can see Wasseypur in Sirohi’s character or Mukkabaaz in his demeanour, it is my failure as an actor and artist,” he said.
He further said, “Betaal as a project looked very different from the kind of content being made in out country. My character, Sirohi, is quite a departure from the usual army officer we have seen onscreen. As a qualified doctor, I know what a PTSD patient goes through. My pointers for Sirohi’s character were that he is confused, he does not know what he wants, he is not someone who is too confident, he is weak. Such projects are risky, it will be easier for me if I do 4-5 films like Mukkabaaz but I will be exhausted as an actor.”
He also revealed how he is spending time in the ongoing lockdown, “Been writing with my sister, again. She had been writing but I was busy on shoots. I was actually planning for a break and sit with her to write. Lockdown has given us that time. I have also tried to catch up with films and shows that I could not watch because of a lack of time.”
“I studied medicine so I have several friends working on the frontline in this fight against Covid-19. I also spend time inquiring after their health, well-being and safety. Everyone is doing it, so am I. My friends are distributing ration and I help them as much as I can. I also receive messages from people stuck in various areas of the city. If I have someone in the area, I try my best to get them help,” he added.
However, he lamented that the lockdown “robbed” him of a selfie with Hollywood star Robert De Niro. “I was supposed to attend the Tribeca Film Festival in the US this April and would have met my screen idol, Robert De Niro. This lockdown robbed me of a selfie with him. Coronavirus took away that golden opportunity from me.”
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