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‘Excited to work with Pawan Kalyan again,’ says Abhimanyu Singh


Express News Service

In a cinema career spanning over two decades, Abhimanyu Singh has given several powerful performances. From his first major break as Rananjay Singh, ‘Ransa’, an angsty princeling in Anurag Kashyap’s highly acclaimed Gulaal to the menacing Bukka Reddy in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra, Singh has been a highperformer.

Singh made his debut with Aks, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. In recent years, he has been appreciated for portraying the role of a silent terrorist in Sooryavanshi and for playing an honest cop in Khakee: The Bihar Chapter. He is also one of the few actors from the Hindi film industry who has established himself, mainly as antagonist, in the Telugu and Tamil film industries, in intense, dark, and unrelentingly brutal roles.

Pawan Kalyan

Singh will next be seen in superstar Pawan Kalyan’s upcoming movie, OG, and Jr Ntr’s upcoming film, Devara. Devara’s filmmaker Koratala Siva announced that the film would be released in two parts, owing to its powerful storyline and grandeur. The movie also stars Janhvi Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan in pivotal roles. Singh speaking to TMS says he’s excited to collaborate with Pawan Kalyan “once again after so many years”. The actor has worked with leading South superstars like Rajinikanth, Pawan Kalyan, and Vijay. He played the role of the main antagonist in the blockbuster film Annaathe, sharing the screen with Rajnikanth. “Working with Rajni Sir was like a dream come true.

He is a very simple and grounded person. It’s hard to even imagine how someone so big can be so down to earth,” he says. He says that it’s Rajnikanth’s simplicity that makes him the superstar that he is today. On talking about the difference in working in South Indian movies as compared to Bollywood, he says, “It’s more or less the same. However, I felt that people in the South are more punctual as they start the work early and pack up in time.”

Speaking of his struggles in Bollywood where he has worked with all the prominent actors—he has worked in back-to-back Akshay Kumar- starrers Sooryavanshi and Bachchhan Paandey— he says: “I struggled for a couple of years as I started from scratch. I have been through ups and downs but it made me stronger. I kept working on my acting skills and did theatre in my struggling days which helped me keep my calm.”

On Netflix’s Khakee: The Bihar Chapter directed by Neeraj Pandey, in which he played Ranjan Kumar, an honest cop, Singh says he “played a real life character and felt good about it. Playing a positive character felt different. As an actor when I get to play different roles, it gives a good change and I enjoy that difference”.

The actor calls his portrayal in the web series Inspector Avinash, one of the most challenging ones he has done so far. He played a transgender character called Devi in the Randeep Hooda-starrer show.

Singh has also played several kings on a TV show called Upanishad Ganga. His dream role is to play  Maharana Pratap Singh, a character closer to his roots.

His advice for young struggling actors? “Sharpen your skills as an actor and don’t take acting casually
as it is a hard profession. Enjoy it but stay focused.”

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