'I'm more of a cricket guy'

Juggling Roles

'I'm more of a cricket guy'

He hasn’t appeared on the silver screen in a while, but with movies like Hera Pheri 3 in the pipeline, he’s definitely got his hands full. What’s more, he’s also spending time on another passion of his — sports.

Not only was he the brand ambassador for Indian hockey, but he recently decided to spearhead the Karnataka Lions in the World Series Hockey.

Metrolife caught up with the busy actor to find out more. It’s no secret that Bollywood can be a difficult industry to work in, but Suniel maintains that after two decades as an actor, he’s mastered the art of handling the pressures of the job.

“I’m very content and secure where I am. Nothing bothers me anymore. I’ve been in the industry for 22 years now, and today, surviving even for 22 months is difficult,” he says.

Ask him about the wave of off-beat films which are taking Bollywood by storm, and he admits that he’s quite open to the trend. “I did ‘Red Alert’, which is a socially-relevant film. I also have one which is based on the idea of capital punishment that’s being worked on, wherein the movie leaves the viewers to decide whether they are for or against it. I think movies like these have a different kind of audience, which is more city-based. The masses still prefer masala and songs,” he says.

He also claims that he manages quite easily to find time for both his movies and his interest in sports. “I’m pretty good at time management. I don’t waste time, and don’t party too much. I’m in this field on my own terms and conditions,” he says, adding, “I also feel that sports is like meditation for me. I go into this different world of mine — it gives me a high.”

He’s pretty excited about spearheading the Karnataka Lions, especially because he feels hockey is a game that requires more attention in this country. “I see myself as their mentor, putting together a great team. It’s also important to spread awareness about the game; it has to be perceived as a career option, with a better salary. And the best way to do that is to glamourise it,” he says.

And what about his own personal preference when it comes to sports? He admits, “I’m more of a cricket guy. Hockey needs extra fitness, and I don’t think I can manage that. I love to watch it, though. It’s a fast-paced game that’s all about speed and skill.”  He’s had a chance to interact with a lot of young hockey players in the State, and believes that their talent is unbelievable.

“There’s some immense sports talent here, whether it’s cricket, athletics or hockey. Interacting with them, I’ve had more of an opportunity now to understand the sport, and learn more about it,” he says.

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