Nirup Bhandari, who made his debut with Rangitaranga, feels that his role in Sudeep’s Vikrant Rona, directed by Nirup’s brother Anup Bhandari, will accelerate his career to the next level. “I’ve been following Sudeep Sir’s work right from the time when he was part of a teleserial named Premada Kadambari, which was directed by my father (Sudhakar Bhandari). My admiration towards him began when I was in middle school, and when I first saw him on the sets of that serial. My father would often talk about him. We had his photos at our house, and our family would watch all his films. Post the release of my second film, Rajaratha, I developed a personal bond with Sudeep sir because of our common love for cricket. Anup Bhandari and I had wished to work with him, and thankfully Vikrant Rona gave us that opportunity,” says Nirup.
Talking about his experience working with Sudeep, Nirup says, “He has always been very encouraging. He is one of the finest actors in our country. Personally, when I’m working with good actors, I like to observe them closely. When it came to acting alongside Sudeep, I was keen to know how he handles the scene, and understand whether I was on the right track. He also had his own experiences to share with us, but at no point did he come across as preachy. Apart from acting, I got to learn a lot of other things from him.” he says.
Incidentally, Anup, who is also the writer of Vikrant Rona, had sketched the role of Sanjeev Gambira keeping Nirup in mind. The actor shares that his Sanjeev Gambira has a pivotal role to play in Vikrant Rona, and working alongside Sudeep gave him the push to elevate his performance. “Individually, I look at what a scene demands and what the character does in that scene. Also, Sudeep was never intimidating, and wanted the best for the film. Since I come from theatre, I firmly believe in the importance of preparation, and there was enough of it ahead of the shoot.”
Vikrant Rona is a fantasy action drama, and many details about the plot, and the characters, are still under wraps. There is a buzz that Nirup is playing a role with grey shades, and all that the actor reveals is that one must wait for the film to make conclusions about his role. “More clarity will come once you watch the film. All I can say at present is Panna, the role played by Neetha Ashok, and I have a romantic track. There is a good song in a combination of Sudeep, Neetha, and I, which will also bring out the onscreen chemistry between Sudeep and me,” says the actor.
Nirup, who started his career under the guidance of his brother Anup, says that he is completely okay being in his brother’s shadow. “I always wanted to be an actor, and it was possible only because of Anup. “Having said that, it doesn’t mean I don’t have the talent, Just that when I do something, I like to make sensible decisions and be confident. I get that with Anup.”
Does Nirup see himself being cast in all Anup films? “I’m a practical person. As an actor, I understand that the director Anup is on a completely different level. He is talented, and I know what he is capable of. I want him to continue to work with superstars and do big films. I hope to reach a stage, where he will say ‘come let’s do a film’. I have my own ideas and plans too. He will support me with my career, and so will I with his career as well. That’s how we have been,” he asserts.
Going forward, Nirup aspires to be a director. However, the plans to go behind the camera have been pushed, as he now wants to focus on acting. “Over the past seven years, I have done just five films. The pandemic took away three years of our time. For now, I want to concentrate on acting and doing more films, and that will be the agenda for the next two years. That’s what the audience and industry people want me to do. Parallelly, I will keep writing stories and come up with as many scripts as possible,” he signs off.