Actor Sunny Moza was in Bengaluru last week for the release of his first Kannada film ‘Babru’, directed by Sujay Ramaiah.
Ask him about ‘Babru’ and he says, “All the people that I met here were praising the film. Interestingly, those who have watched the film are comparing me to Virat Kohli. It’s a huge compliment as he is a good looking guy and successful. I have no complaints!”
Sunny has worked in Hindi TV serials like ‘Bhabhi’ and ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’. He has acted, produced and directed Hindi films, hosted reality shows, anchored radio shows, and done standup comedy.
In an exclusive chat with Renu Singh of DH, Sunny rates the Kannada industry higher than others and opens up about why he thinks abrogation of Article 370 will make Kashmir better.
Not Virat Kohli!
Ask him about 'Babru' and he says, "All the people that I met here were praising the film, its photography, camera, music and the climax. To them, it was a full paisa vasool film. Interestingly, those who have watched the film are comparing me to Virat Kohli for some reason. In fact, today I was walking on a street and a few girls stopped and I could hear them whispering and all I heard was 'Virat Kohli.' I take it as a huge compliment because Virat is a good-looking guy, he is successful and I have no complaints. I have also posted some videos on my Instagram account of kids coming out of cinema halls thinking the guy they just saw on screen was Virat Kohli!"
Sunny has worked in Hindi TV serials like Bhabhi and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. He has acted in, produced and directed Hindi films, hosted reality shows, anchored radio shows, and done stand-up comedy; he is a talented artist who also happens to be the second cousin of actor Kunal Khemu.
Unique road film
Babru is the first Hollywood-Kannada film shot entirely in the USA. It traces a road trip of two strangers across America.
About his experience of working in Kannada, he says, "Director Sujay and I have worked together on many projects earlier. So when he was making this film he called me and the role was amazing, and it is hard to say no to that kind of character. I play a Spanish don in the film."
He didn't find much difference between the Hindi and Kannada industries during the shooting. "After coming to Bengaluru I found good things about the Kannada film industry. I met Rakshit Shetty and many directors, and they showed a lot of respect for each other. Bollywood is different because it is much bigger, I don't know the details but maybe it has many camps. But here people support each other, like the day my movie was released, a couple of other Kannada movies were also releasing. Those filmmakers where praising our film, and they work like a family here, which is the best part. In fact, people in Bengaluru are all down to earth and helpful, " he says.
The actor wants to do more Kannada films and he has started to learn the language. "For a week when I was staying in the city, I put in a lot of effort to learn Kannada. And I can say is that I have learnt the basics, and I feel if you know Hindi, Kannada is not that difficult. I stayed in South Bangalore and hung around with people to learn the language. And it really worked!"
Born and raised in the Kashmir valley, the actor and his family relocated to California when Kashmiri Pandits where forced to leave their homes in the 1990s. He welcomes the scrapping of Article 370.
"We visit Jammu and Kashmir when there is a family engagement. Recently I was in Jammu for a couple of days for my cousin's wedding. I talked to them about the general feeling. The only inconvenience they are facing is the Internet restriction. They can access Internet through Wifi at home but not through mobile data when they are out. People think it is for a greater cause and for their good. They are looking forward to development now, because now the funds assigned to the state will reach them," he says.
His family had a house in Kashmir but moved out in "when Kashmiri Pandits where kicked out of the Valley."
The family, he says, was forced to leave and sell its house cheap. "Those days were worst phase of my life. Hopefully Kashmir will become jannat (heaven) again," he says.
Sunny says everything he has done is an offshoot of acting. "I call myself an entertainer and would like to continue entertaining people through different mediums," he says.
Coming up in 2020 is his Hindi film Kaaya, a horror drama. "We screened it privately in the USA, and some 500 people came and liked it. I have written, produced and played the lead in the film," he says.