Kannada movie star Sudeep turns 49 today. He was the latest entrant from the Kannada film industry to join the pan-India bandwagon with his previous movie Vikrant Rona. But he was not a new face for the movie-going audience in the Hindi belt. He has done a slew of original Hindi movies from the early days of his career.
When it comes to Sudeep’s Hindi career, director Ram Gopal Varma was his mentor. He directed Sudeep’s first Hindi movie Phoonk and then worked with him again in Rann. The actor shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan in the film.
Rann had also created an opportunity for Sudeep to get invited to Mannat. “He (Shah Rukh Khan) was sweet enough to invite me to his house after seeing Rann. Yes, we had a good cup of coffee and we chatted for a long time. I saw his house. He was very kind,” Sudeep told Bollywood Hungama while promoting Vikrant Rona.
A 2009 report of Filmibeat claims that Sudeep was “nervous” when he met the King of Bollywood. According to the report, Sudeep’s friend Nikhil Dwivedi took him to Mannat without telling him where they were going. “Nervous Sudeep had his two-hour insightful chat with King Khan. He says that he is simple and down-to-earth with no air whatsoever. They had chatted without any agenda. Finally, he felt that meeting Shah Rukh in person for so long is incomparable. He also met Gauri briefly and he feels that it was a moving and pleasant experience,” said the report.
Sudeep later starred in a few other Hindi films, including Phoonk 2, Rakta Charitra series. More recently, he played the main villain in Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3.