Ravi Kishan: Mukkabaaz is one of my most challenging films
He is one of those rare actors who has worked in different film industries across India and has yet managed to carve a niche for himself. Actor Ravi Kishan, who is often identified as the superstar of Bhojpuri cinema, is also known as ‘Maddali Shiva Reddy’ from Allu Arjun’s superhit Telugu film Race Gurram (2014).
This year, Ravi is back in the limelight as boxing coach and mentor Sanjay Kumar in Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz that released earlier this week and he is also seen opposite Tamil superstar Vikram in Sketch, as one of the antagonists. The actor is getting the best of all the film industries he has been working in so far. “I have worked in over 400 films, but the kind of impact my most recent role as Sanjay Kumar has had is extremely gratifying,” says Ravi.
Ravi’s role is that of a former boxing champion who has taken it upon himself to train and transform a rookie into a winner. “It is one of the most challenging roles I have played simply because you cannot see the ‘star’ Ravi Kishan in this character. If I had played Jimmy’s (Shergill) role as Bhagwan Das Mishra, I would have been just myself. But I had to push myself to be able to deliver a role that demanded me to train in boxing and be able to portray an upright coach... It was certainly intense,” he says.
This is the first time that Ravi has worked with Anurag and the film is running to full houses because of the performances and the story. Though Ravi has worked with directors such as Shyam Benegal and Mani Ratnam, he feels Anurag too is someone who has his own sense of filmmaking. “When you are on Anurag’s set, everyone from the spot boy and the technician to the actors think like Anurag.
There is a certain kind of madness on the sets. You can’t see where the camera is placed. As an actor you are given that space to act and when you see such honesty, you deliver your 100 per cent,” enthuses Ravi. Ask him about Sketch and working with Vikram, with whom Ravi had worked earlier in Ravanan, and he says, “Vikram is a mast maulah (chilled out man), he is like a rare diamond. He is honest and extremely disciplined. I have learnt a lot from him and I do hope to hit the gym for at least two hours every day like Vikram does,” offers Ravi.