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Suniel Shetty: what a 'fat' chance!

He has resurrected his career with the show Biggest Loser Jeetega and plans to step up his career as an actor and movie producer. Suniel Shetty speaks to Nilufer Qureshi.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2007 11:06 IST
Nilufer Qureshi
Nilufer Qureshi

What is the reaction to your TV show?
The appreciation is tremendous. Sahara was the right channel for it.. Amby valley was the right place to shoot it. I’ve known some fat people very closely, I can understand their mental and emotional problems. The show is an extension of the training I’ve been doing since I was 15.

As team, we’re trying to make the people on the show physically and emotionally strong. They can take on a physically fit person like me. They outdid me in the cardio exercises.

Is hosting a TV show difficult?
It is, you have to be there 24 x7. My wife and children on a holiday, I couldn’t even be present for the graduation ceremony of my nephew in the US. But I’m not complaining because I know I needed the change.

Have you put your acting career on hold?
I’d taken a sabbatical from acting for the past eight-ten months. I hadn’t signed any new films except Shootout at Lokhandwala and Cash . I was tired of being a stop-gap arrangement. I’ve learnt to say no now. There are some good films in the planning, plus there is Season 2 of The Biggest Loser.

Don’t you get upset when you aren’t the original choice for either Shootout at Lokhandwala or Cash?
I don’t feel bad because both Sanjay Gupta and Anubhav Sinha are friends of mine. Anyway, no actor is the first choice for most of the films. Shah Rukh Khan is every producer’s first choice, he would be mine too.

<b1>Sohail Maklai, the producer of Cash and the financiers (Infinity) have fallen out.. are you still going to complete the film?
I’ve completed my work already. At the end of the day, my relationship with Manmohan Shetty(Infinity) is fabulous. I would do anything for him. Anubhav Sinha has always been a friend and Sohail is a nice guy. You have to remember, as actors we signed an agreement with Infinity right in the beginning..we have to complete our work.

How come you’re also producing films. Isn’t that too much to handle?
Not at all. My production company, Popcorn, is being handled by a very good team. Now, I’m also very involved with it.. For an actor it is the right time to be in production be cause multi-national giants are ready to back you. Since the money is good, you’re bound to make good films.

You had said that Raaste with Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and John Abraham would start this June.What happened?
It will start next year in March now. We need to shoot Baja-car racing in Mexico. It’s the main backdrop and that happens only March-April or October. I’m in no hurry,we will do the film when we can.

Will you be acting in the films you produce?
No but one never knows, it all depends on the script.

You changed the spelling of your name has it worked?
I am not superstitious by nature. But I was going through a very rough patch on the personal and health fronts. Someone suggested that I should add the alphabet ‘I’ to the spelling. I had no problems because Neil is the name of my nephew also. I am quite content and secure now.

No plans of quitting acting now?
No never. As I said, I’ve signed on some nice films. There are other offers my acting career is very much on.

First Published: Jun 21, 2007 18:32 IST