Sushant Singh - a talent perishing in Bollywood
He is one of the truly accomplished actors in Bollywood, but Sushant Singh of "Sehar" and "Jungle" fame isn't doing too much work.
He is nevertheless contented and looking forward to "Freekick" in which he plays the main lead.
"I play the main lead in T.R. Rajiv Kumar's 'Freekick'. It's a small film about a common man who gets sucked into the medical racket. Our health and medical care institutions are so screwed up. This film is an exposé of sorts on the whole healthcare scene," Sushant, who was seen as Amitabh Bachchan's sidekick in "Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag", told IANS.
His heart-warming performances make you wonder about the blindness in Bollywood.
Asked why he wasn't getting offers, he said: "You tell me (laughed)! I'm open to playing all kinds of characters except the ones that don't make sense. And that, you'll agree, narrows down the options."
Another role that has Sushant charged and revved up is that in Mani Shankar's "Mukhbir" in which Sammir Dattani plays the title role.
"When Mani narrated it, I realised it was one of the best scripts I had heard in a long time. That's why I did it. Every actor, whether it's Sammir Dattani, Suniel Shetty, Om Puri or me, plays a well-defined character. I think 'Mukhbir' defines the changing face of our cinema. There're no conventional heroes and villains any more."
Sushant has also completed a children's film "Tsunami 81" for Children's Film Society, India (CFSI). The film is a poignant journey of two orphaned victims of the 2004 tsunami who subconsciously find a family within their new circumstances.
"It's directed by Naeem Shah, who made a film called 'Officer' many moons ago. I'm the father of a two-year-old girl. I really think there's a need for films for kids in this country. I liked the idea of sharing screen space with a child, especially one as talented as little Ankur who makes his debut. We've such fine child actors now - unlike earlier when every producer had to go to Baby Guddu or Master Babloo."
Sushant, who also features in Smriti Irani's serial "Viruddh" on Sony TV, is looking hopefully at the future.
"A film like 'Mukhbir' where a talented non-industry guy like Sammir gets to feature so pivotally proves a point. It's not just about who you are. It's also about what you can do."