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What do Mukkabaaz star Vineet Kumar and Sylvester Stallone have in common?

Mukkabaaz actor Vineet Kumar Singh feels his story is similar to that of Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone, and shares how director Anurag Kashyap gave the nod to his film over a phone call .

bollywood Updated: Jan 19, 2018 18:23 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Bollywood,Hollywood,Sylvester Stallone
Actor Vineet Kumar Singh wrote the script of Mukkabaaz and always wanted to play the lead role of Shravan Singh in it. (Photo: Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

Actor Vineet Kumar Singh, who plays the protagonist Shravan Singh in director Anurag Kashyap’s recent film Mukkabaaz, had a very tough time pitching the story of the film to production houses. He says his story is similar to that of Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone and what he had to go through when he was pitching the script of the 1976 award-winning film Rocky to Hollywood producers.

Just like Sylvester, Vineet, too, was told by production houses “ to either take the credit as a writer, or do a small role in the film, while some big star played the role of Shravan Singh”. But just as Sylvester, Vineet, too, had his set of conditions. “In fact, there were no conditions. There was no plural. There was only one condition — I had to be the hero, and no one else. That was the only condition, but no one was ready to agree on that,” he explains.

The Benaras-born actor, therefore, had started preparing for the role (of a boxer) before his film was even taken up by a production house. “I had started preparing for the role already. I knew it would take a lot of hard work to get the physique right. I had started coaching, but I persuaded the coaches to not tell the others (aspiring boxers) that I am an actor who is preparing himself for the role of a boxer. So for them I was just another aspiring boxer, like them. I was still going from one producer to another pitching my story. I knew it was a good story, because everyone loved it. So I was confident it would get made,” the actor says.

As fate would have it, Vineet’s “last option” was none other than Anurag Kashyap with whom he has worked in three films, previously. “I went to Anurag sir, not because I wanted him to make it. I just wanted his feedback, and was hoping that maybe someone from his production house might take it up,” he says, and adds that a short phone conversation with the Gangs of Wasseypur director sealed the film’s fate.

“He called me the next day, and said he wanted to make the film. But he had only two conditions — ‘first, If you don’t become a boxer, I won’t make the film. And second, I will make changes in the script, and no one will say anything about that.’ I didn’t doubt him even for a moment. It was an instant okay from my side as well. The entire phone call was less than a minute,” he says.

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First Published: Jan 19, 2018 18:22 IST