Mohit Suri was the filmmaker who showed the world that Kunal Kemmu was ready to take his next step as a lead actor in the 2005 release Kalyug, after impressing as a child artiste in the nineties. In his new film Malang, Suri has re-packaged Kunal once again, as a twisted antihero brimming with a violent and psychotic edge.
Suri's slant at redefining his actors is nothing new. He credibly transformed Riteish Deshmukh, popular for his comic roles, into an evil guy in Ek Villain. Also in Malang which collected Rs 25.36 crore in its opening weekend, Suri has reimagined the normally affable Aditya Roy Kapur as a cold, avenging machoman out on a killing spree. Also, he has cast Anil Kapoor as a sly encounter cop, making maximum use of the actor's sharp sense of humour.
"I have always tried to break that stereotypical (image of actors). I somehow see something that the others have not seen. They (other filmmakers) tend to only see their (the actors') success, their films' success and then they typecast the actors," Suri told IANS.
"But I think a good actor is a good actor. I try to spend time with actors. As far as Kunal goes, I had worked with him before. With Anil, I wanted to break that stereotypical image. I grew up watching Tezaab among other films. I wanted to see him in this role (as a cop) rather than a father of the hero or heroine. I think I enjoy the process of making movies where you look at your own sensibilities and see what an actor wants to do," he added.
He agrees that actors are waiting for someone to offer them roles that are different from their regular on-screen image.
"I remember when I cast Riteish (in Ek Villain), people asked me why I was taking a comedian to play a villain. Riteish has a simple middle-class Maharashtrian value as well which I needed for that character, and he is a family man," said Suri.
As of now, he is loving the "love that we are getting from everyone" for his film Malang.
"I am not someone who pretends to be a trade 'pandit' who knows what clicks with the audience. We expected the youth to come out and watch it. Most of our pitching was youth-centric. I guess that's what connected with the people. In times where you have so many films coming every week, it becomes important that you have something that they can connect to," the director said about the romantic action-thriller.
In the past also, he has given hit films with Aditya (Aashiqui 2) and Kunal (Kalyug). Does he consider them to be his lucky charms?
"Whoever I have worked with, is not because of the purpose of market position or feasibility. It's just because I feel he or she is right for the role. I wanted the right casting. I always thought Aditya should do an action film. He is a big guy. He has got a good structure. I know him well so I could see he could play this role," said the director.
"Similarly, Kunal is one of the best actors I have ever worked with. His role in the film is so edgy. You can easily go wrong. When you are casting for a role like this, you might as well get the best actor to play it," he added.
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