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Rajinikanth is more than a Superstar: Sudhanshu Pandey
From the Webdesk, 01/12/2018, Mumbai

Sudhanshu Pandey, in reality, is a far cry from the dark brooding characters he plays in films. He is suave, soft-spoken and surprises you with his philosophical self now and then. Seated across a low table at one of the five-star hotels in Chennai — he looks relaxed as he scrolls through his Instagram page. “I think I am more comfortable with this than Twitter and Facebook,” he smiles. We discuss 2.0, Tamil cinema, spirituality, Rajinikanth and more.

Excerpts from the conversation:

2.0 is your fourth Tamil film after Billa 2, Meagamann and Indrajith. What made you choose the Rajinikanth starrer?

I never choose any of my projects; they choose me. I have always wanted to act in a Shankar directorial, and when the offer came my way, I grabbed it. Many Bollywood actors were approached for my role, and I am glad I was zeroed in on finally.

How was the experience of working with Shankar?

It was nothing short of fun. He is a visionary. He took so much interest in the looks of my role, and, in fact, ordered special glasses from the US. It used to take an hour-and-a-half for me to get ready for the shooting. Though Shankar sir has been making films for more than two decades, he still wants to do something new. He is extremely passionate about cinema. It’s amazing how he has adapted himself to the needs of the ever-changing film industry. What I like most about Shankar sir is his willingness to give 100 percent in whatever he does. His commitment towards the craft of cinema is unimaginable.

Tell us about Rajinikanth.

Where do I begin? (Laughs). Do I talk about his kindness? Do I talk about his acting prowess? Do I talk about the involvement he shows even in tiniest things? I’m usually not this kind who gets star-struck, but I was completely in awe of Rajini sir when I met him. He is more than a Superstar. Though he has the aura of a dignified old man, he is a child at heart. He is earnest, diligent, a man of few words. I grew up watching Rajini sir’s films — in particular I was a huge fan of Andha Kanoon as a kid. Till this date, I couldn’t believe I got to share screen space with him. On the sets, we bonded over spirituality and Lord Shiva. During the 2.0 shooting, he gifted me a book on the Himalayas, and suggested that I read it. He also talked about how the book changed his life for better.


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