Sudhanshu Pandey plays a baddie in Billa 2
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Sudhanshu Pandey makes his debut in South films after a long innings in Hindi films. The actor, who was seen in Tell Me Oh Kkhuda , Singham and Murder 2 (he played the cop in the later two films), now tries his hand at being bad. He plays the villain in the Tamil film Billa 2.
Sudhanshu has completed shooting for his part in the mega-budget South classic Billa 2, which is the prequel to Billa, the 1980 hit film starring Rajinikant and Billa, the 2007 Ajith-starrer, which also was a big success. The Billa series has a cult following down South with the original Billa being a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Don. "Billa 2, in fact, is a prequel and takes back to what happened before the Rajinikant film," he lets us know terming Billa as a brand since the "Rajinikant-starrer is considered a cult classic."
In Billa 2, Sudhanshu plays Abbasi, a greying ganglord, who becomes the mentor to the young and upcoming mafia don, played by Ajith Kumar. For this, Sudhanshu had to put on about eight kilos of weight and grow a beard "to sport a mature look. I was happy as I was made to dress up in beautiful and rich business suits and shirts," says the actor. Though the major portion of the film is complete, presently some portions are being canned at Georgia.
The language was a problem for this North Indian. Hence he had a tutor teach him Tamil. "It was crazy learning the language. After a point I started getting nightmares in Tamil," laughs the actor. "But I loved the experience. Now that I have done the film, I am hopeful that people will like and accept me.
I am sure that the film will put me in a different league altogether," smiles the actor who has been wanting to do a South film since a very long time. "With this film, I actually got a role that is worth all the wait," he states.
Being produced by Suresh Balaji in association with the Hinduja group, Billa 2 is directed by Chakri Toleti, who has to his credit, the Tamil film Unnaipol Oruvan and Eeenadu, a Telugu film, which was a remake of Neeraj Pandey's A Wednesday. Both the films were hits and "what is amazing is that Billa 2 has already been sold at a very high price even before its release in April next year, considering it is an Ajith-starrer," beams Sudhanshu. His next is Rajdhani Express, a socially-relevant Hindi film in which he plays one of the central characters along with Leander Paes and Priyanshu Chatterjee.
Sudhanshu is presently keeping his fingers crossed as he wants to live upto the expectations of his director who "entrusted me with such a big project," he says.