‘Anup and I were a filmy duo’: Nirup Bhandari

‘Anup and I were a filmy duo’: Nirup Bhandari

Actor Nirup Bhandari and his brother were introduced to the world of cinema at a young age by their father

Nirup Bhandari

My father used to direct television serials and ad films, and films were always a significant part of our table conversations.

We were always tuned into Kannada films and watched a lot of them. We also watched Hollywood films like Jurassic Park, Dunston Checks at a young age, even if we didn’t understand them entirely. Due to all this, my brother Anup and I got interested in films and filmmaking. 

We would often recreate film scenes. There was one where Anup would pretend to tie me up and I would break the chains and get free. When we visited our hometown during summer vacations, Anup would dip my head into a stream near our house and ask ‘Hellu nin boss yaaru?’ (Tell me who is your boss?). We were a very filmy duo but we never guessed that we would actually get into the industry one day. 

Anup and I used to accompany our father to the sets of his serials. Once, when I was in the sixth standard, a scene in a serial required the hero to deliver a dialogue which was three pages long. It was a stupendous effort and he was appreciated by all.

However, I observed that he had mentioned a wrong name and brought it to my father’s notice. He checked the lines in the monitor and I was proved right. Everyone on the sets said that ‘he has it in his blood. He will make a name in the industry’.   

For a long time, I used to believe that directors told actors what to do and the latter presented it exactly like that. I was not aware of the several ways of acting, including method acting. 

When my father directed actor Sudeep in a TV serial ‘Premada Kadambari’, I saw how he would do things not mentioned in the script.  
My mother would always remind me that completing my graduation was essential and things would be easier if I found a 9 to 5 job. Even our dad always warned us about how it is not easy to make it in the industry.

I was good in studies and everyone expected me to be a doctor. I got into an engineering course, and during the course, I wrote scripts for skits. My team won prizes and people started appreciating us. I started watching a lot more films and got interested in acting. Anup was interested in music direction and wanted to go to Berkley. 

After I finished my engineering, I wanted to be an actor. Though I got a job, I told my father that I would also be looking for auditions. He was fine with that. Anup started doing short films and I acted in some of these. 

After working for a while, I decided that I had to do something about my passion. My father gifted me a few books on method acting. I still read these books when I’m working on films now. Later, I joined an acting course at Ratan Thakore Grant’s Studio For Acting: MISF!T. I also joined dance classes.

Anup and I would still discuss and write scripts during this time. Around the time my niece was born, we discussed some ideas, out of which was born RangiTaranga in 2012.

There was a lot of back and forth for this; he wanted me in the lead role but eventually, we called for auditions. However, we did not get anyone for the role. After some time, I auditioned for it and the entire team approved of it. 

RangiTaranga was a game-changer. There were a lot of things that were new to us and this was surprising. For instance, I didn’t even know what a caravan was. But we had our father to help us. Our actresses were also extremely cooperative and supportive. It was amazing that the film was received so well. 

We had the script of ‘Rajaratha’ in our mind for a long time. It was based on a real incident. The film was easier to make as my brother and I had already teamed up earlier. It was a script I knew I would be a part of. 

In my latest film, ‘Aadi Lakshmi Purana’, I sport a very different look and play an undercover cop. The film which releases on July 19, sees me sport a moustache and beard.

The director Priya is a very expressive and vocal person. As a director and as teammate, she has been an inspiration. I still remember, after my first scene in the movie was shot, she started saying loudly ‘Magical! Magical!’.

Later we realised that whenever she saw a good shot, she would respond enthusiastically. Whenever a scene wasn’t upto the mark, she would motivate us by saying, ‘Come on... let’s make some magic!’

This was a very amusing yet positive way of looking at things. Most actors are insecure and such excitement always boosts one’s mood. The film is a light-hearted one and it was a lot of fun making it. I got to work with Radhika Pandit in this, who is an absolute delight. 

The trailer of the film has caused much excitement. While many have asked me questions about my character, all I can say is that Adi was someone I loved portraying. Fingers crossed, I hope the film will be a good turn in my career and be accepted by one and all!”  

Nirup Bhandari