Kunal Kemmu on his directorial debut Madgaon Express getting rave reviews: My hard work got recognised after a long time - Hindustan Times

Kunal Kemmu on his directorial debut Madgaon Express getting rave reviews: My hard work got recognised after a long time

ByNavya Kharbanda
Apr 19, 2024 12:04 PM IST

Actor Kunal Kemmu talks about making his directorial debut with Madgaon Express, which is also receiving praises.

After over two decades of establishing his niche as an actor and having done a vast range of roles, Kunal Kemmu listened to his heart and tried hand at his other passion and made his debut as a director. With all the praise and adulation that his directorial debut, Madgaon Gaon has been receiving since it had a theatrical release, the actor only has gratitude.

Kunal Kemmu on Madgaon Express
Kunal Kemmu on Madgaon Express

“It is everything that I had hoped for, so I couldn’t be happier. I actually worked really hard, I had put my last two years into this film. So, to come out on the other side with the love that it is getting from the critics and the audience, it’s everything for me,” says an exited Kemmu.

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In fact, the actor-turned-director, who has worked in films such as Kalyug, Traffic Signal, Go Goa Gone, Malang, Lootcase, doesn’t hesitate in admitting that he is finally getting his due in the industry.

“Honestly, I do think that it’s after a long time all the hard work I’ve done has got recognised. It’s not in hindsight, it’s very much in the current space. It feels great to get appreciated in the present time, and get your so-called due,” he states, adding that all he wishes to do now is to work on himself and further hone his craft.

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The 40-year-old explains, “I have been around in the industry for a very long time now to be able to know and understand that success and failures and a part and parcel of what we do. You don’t take any of them seriously. You just keep your head down and keep doing good work.”

Talking about his transition from acting to direction, it has proved to be quite a transformative experience for Kemmu that has offered him newfound perspectives and challenges.

“This (going behind the camera) was a completely new journey for me. It was very different from what I was dealing with as an actor. I felt it was very liberating because as an actor, you are spending most of the time in your vanity van after doing your shot. But as a director, I was on set, among all other people all the time. Whenever there was a crisis on the set, everyone would be looking at me [for a solution],” he looks back calling it a “big learning experience”.

Another thing that Kemmu really enjoyed with Madgaon Express was that got a chance to turn a music composer and songwriter, too, for the first time. The actor, who had earlier sung two tracks in Go Goa Gone, has also lent his voice to one track in his directorial. “This film gave me a lot of opportunities to showcase things that I have always been passionate about. Even with the song, it wasn’t initially planned and we were supposed to get another song but it just wasn’t getting ready in time. I had this thought of Hum Yahin and I started improvising the lyrics. I remember going back at night and this composition was stuck in my head, and then we recorded the song the next day. I’m glad I got to compose and write the song, too.”

Soaking in all the appreciation that he continues to get as a first-time director, Kemmu has no plans to take a break from acting, and rather, he plans to manage both his passions going forward.

“My first love has always been acting. I am happy that I got a second (love) with direction. But, it’s far more time consuming because acting allows you to take up multiple projects at the same time, which is not the case when you are directing a film. So, I will try to balance and manage both, and that’s the plan for now,” he concludes.

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