EXCL: Suniel Shetty shares his experience of shooting for the new season of Star Vs Food Survival

The actor also spoke about his camaraderie with Sanjay and spilled beans on some of his upcoming projects
(L-R) Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty
(L-R) Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty

Food and survival — here are two words which almost seem like two sides of the same coin. While food is perhaps the biggest driver that motivated early humans to work for sustaining life, epicureans — such as us at Indulge — also live to eat! Blending the urge of survival and love for good food is the show Star Vs Food Survival, now streaming on Discovery+ and Discovery Channel. The latest season of the show takes tinseltown stars across uncharted terrains in Coorg and Spiti Valley, where host and celebrity chef Ranveer Brar helps them transform their food finds in the wild into delectable dishes.

One of the most popular action heroes of the ’80s and ’90s Bollywood, Suniel Shetty appeared as one of the first guests on the show, along with actor Sanjay Dutt. We could see why he was an obvious choice, when in an exclusive conversation, he opened up to us about his love for the wilderness, love for food, for the diverse culinary culture of the country and lots more. The actor also spoke about his camaraderie with Sanjay and spilled beans on some of his upcoming projects. Excerpts:

What was your initial reaction when you were offered the show?
I was excited because food is the space where I come from. The genre of the show, the production house and the icing on the cake – getting to work with Sanjay Dutt. My obsession with nature, as well, inspired me to do this show.

What do you think makes you the perfect fit for the show?
I am an action hero and an absolute outdoor person. I am obsessed with nature, so the mental frame and adrenaline rush needed for someone to be on this show was in me. Also, I am an August-born, so my sun sign is Leo. I think I was made for this very genre.

Tell us about the experience of filming the show.
My experience was brilliant. It was difficult because the terrain was rough, the weather was tough. But at the same time, it was exciting because I was with the right crew and the right people. We had chef Ranveer Brar with us, who is a master of what he does. Shooting in the outdoors is always tough — the temperature was difficult to shoot in with the wildlife around; understanding terrains, knowing what grows best there and Dutt (Sanjay Dutt) and his sense of humour and swag.

On that note, how was shooting with Sanjay Dutt?
It was amazing! (We were) laughing more than anything else, even when we were in any trouble, even dangerous ones. He kept me calm, kept me going and didn’t let me realise how hot it was or how difficult the terrain seemed. 

What was your most memorable experience while filming the show?
The shot where Sanjay was cooking and I was eating.

What was the biggest lesson about food that you learned during this adventure?
The healthier it is, the simpler it tastes. Every region in India offers its own, beautiful cuisine, its own spices and its own food — which heals. One can, really, heal through food.

How different did shooting this feel compared to the other shows you have been on?
It was very different because the terrain is different, the reason is different and so is the adventure. Food and the wild — what a perfect combination. That’s how humans used to survive at one time and that’s where we came from. So, doing this show was a very unique experience.

If you are given a chance, would you like to embark on a similar adventure again?
100 per cent, but I’d like to do a longer one next time — maybe a month’s journey. I would like to explore India on a bike, on my feet, boats, kayaks… I would love to do something like that. I am working on something similar very soon.

What can we see you in, next?
There is quite a bit. My franchises are coming up, I have a film for a digital platform that I’m excited about. When it’s ready, I’ll definitely speak about it.

Star Vs Food Survival is streaming on Discovery+ and Discovery Channel.

Email: prattusa@newindianexpress.com
Twitter: @MallikPrattusa

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