Anyone with good body language can be an action hero today, says Suniel Shetty

PTI, Feb 11, 2023, 2:01 PM IST

Suniel Shetty believes rather than the stunts, actors today are more focussed on getting their body language right in their quest to earn the title of an action hero.

In the 90s, Shetty carved out a niche for himself as an action star with movies such as “Balwaan”, “Waqt Hamara Hai”, “Pehchaan”, “Dilwale”, “Anth”, and “Mohra” among others.

”Today, anybody who has that body language can look like an action hero… That time you had to have guts and technique, you had to be ten on ten in action to be an action hero. Now, if you have the body language and are one on ten then you can manage,” the 61-year-old actor told PTI in an interview. Shetty said earlier it wasn’t easy to be an action hero as actors had to perform their own stunts.

“We had to do everything on our own. Like taking care of our safety, technique and everything else. There were a lot of struggles that went behind to get that tag of an action hero. At that time, there was too much risk when it came to doing stunts that I did,” he said.

”That image came with films like ‘Mohra’ and ‘Border’. And the action was different, I had a style of my own, which worked for me,” he added.

Shetty is set to serve as a host on the new reality show “Kumite 1 Warrior Hunt”. He said he immediately said yes to the offer because of his interest in martial arts.

The show will witness 16 male and female Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes compete for a title while being trained by renowned MMA coaches – Bharat Khandare and Pawan Maan.

India is brimming with talent in MMA, Shetty said, adding that the reality show will provide a platform to budding martial artists across India.

”India’s talent is not exploited at all when it comes to MMA because I believe wrestling is the most powerful art in the form of sports. And this is one platform that will bridge the gap between talent and opportunity,” he said.

The champions of “Kumite 1 Warrior Hunt” will receive a cash prize of USD 5,000 along with an exclusive three years contract and runner-ups will get one year contract.

The winners will also get an opportunity to be trained internationally with the best athletes and represent the Indian team at K1 Asian Championship in mid-2023 in UAE.

The six-episode series will stream from February 12 on MX Player.

Early last month, Shetty had urged Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath – who was on a two-day visit to Mumbai — to help tackle the ‘Boycott Bollywood’ trend on social media.

The actor said his aim was to seek respect for the movie industry as he was hurt that they were painted ”villains”.

”I was only asking for respect as Hindi cinema has contributed a lot to India, to the culture, music, stories and narrative. My film ‘Border’ was a salute to the soldiers, who died in that war,” Shetty said.

“Everybody wants us to be there everywhere, to help promote, to spread awareness, and we are more than willing to do that, why is it that suddenly we are looked at as villains and the only thing we are trying to do is bring down our country,” he said.

Being part of the movie industry for three decades, the actor said he enjoys playing diverse roles, learning new techniques.

”I love the energy of work on sets, when you are on sets you are playing a new role, meeting new people, there are new techniques, besides there is love, affection around us from our fans and who doesn’t want to be loved?” About the changes he would like to bring in the film industry, Shetty said he wants to see content-driven films that celebrate the uniqueness and culture of India.

”There is a need for more theatres, better ticket pricing and better content now. We should understand who the real audience is and let the core of the cinema be Indian, make multi star cast films, celebrate music, costume all that is forgotten. Let’s be an inspiration for people,” he added.

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