“I was very clear in my mind about why I’d come to Bombay. But I didn’t know how to convince people in the industry. I started things by participating in a talent-hunt show which I also happened to win. And, I thought I had arrived (laughs). But soon, I realised that I was nowhere even near to what I wanted for myself,” said Vineet, who has been nominated in Best Actor (Male) category for his ferocious performance in 2018 sport drama Mukkabaaz at the second edition of News18’s REEL Movie Awards.
Mukkabaaz was the film that led many people notice that Vineet had been underappreciated over the years. There was far more to his performance than just his physical transformation in the film. From writing its script to fighting to be its main lead, Vineet did it all to make his dream come true.
“I have dealt with a lot of ups and downs to make ‘Mukkabaaz’ a reality. At my then age, it wasn’t easy for me to fight with international boxers and undergo a formal training of boxing. My rib also got fractured during the practice. But I still pushed myself and returned to the ring in a few days. I was too scared what if the boxers would hit me in the rib. But I chose not to tell them about my condition because otherwise I wouldn’t have got the permission to continue my training. Since I hadn’t told them I was an actor, they would fight with me like professionals. There was a time when I had multiple injuries on my body, my nose was bleeding and I had no money to get myself treated in a decent hospital,” Vineet recalled the time while he was learning boxing for Mukkabaaz.
But it all probably would have remained just a dream had director Anurag Kashyap not supported Vineet and the actor can’t be thankful enough for all the help.
“I had met several producers but nothing worked out. They were not ready to give me the lead role. They must have thought I didn’t have the required physique or face. But I had written the film for myself. I finally thought of pitching it to Anurag sir’s production. But I thought I should first inform him about it. I called him and told him what I was planning to do. He asked me to send him the script. I was thrilled to get his feedback. A few days later, I got a call from him. He told me that he was doing this film, and with me. It was the happiest moment of my life. I literally can’t explain it in words.”
Vineet has gone his whole career without attention from any major awards show. Part of this stems from the unconventional roles he has knowingly or unknowingly been taking on. But he was elated that REEL acknowledged his work.
“It’s a great initiative by News18. It will not just only give us acknowledgement but will also hopefully help us take our work to a wider audience. It will give us motivation to work even harder and push the boundaries,” Vineet signed off.
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