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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Vishwak Sen: MASS KA DAS

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Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Vishwak Sen, Tollywood actor, producer, and director. Even without a superstar dad, big production house, or PR machinery to hype him, his movies remain a ‘safe bet’ for producers. As his Gangs of Godavari releases, the excited actor discusses his incredible cinema journey

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In a world where people rarely post a selfie without filters here is an actor who presents his authentic, unfiltered self to his fans. He speaks from the heart, calls a spade a spade (an idiot an idiot), worships cinema, and has delivered hit after hit. His success story demonstrates that talent (not background), confidence (not surname), and genuine achievements (not fake numbers) matter the most. Meet Vishwak Sen, the Dilwala from Dilsukhnagar, who is setting his own standards in Telugu cinema as a mainstream actor, producer, and director.

Vishwak’s success story is unique – a classic tale of turning rejections and humiliations into opportunities to direct and produce. His most recent release, Gaami, earned him accolades for his impactful performance. Das Ki Dhamki, in which he served as actor, producer, and director, recouped his investment. So did Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam and HIT: The First Case and Paagal during COVID.

He describes his passion for performing arts as “acting picchodu.” Clear about his future in acting – whether theatre, parallel or mainstream cinema – he enrolled in an acting course in Mumbai and collaborated with newcomers for a short film that caught the attention of top producer Dil Raju and released his debut movie Vellipomakey. The rest, as they say, is history.

That Vishwak had also learned movie editing in summer camps as a teenager was an added skill. When his next movie faced prolonged delays, the actor boldly decided to direct and produce it himself in 2019. Falaknuma Das, with its distinct Old Hyderabad flavor, made the industry sit up and take notice. Steadily building his career as an actor of caliber, he is now among the most promising stars in contemporary Telugu cinema. About Gangs of Godavari, the confident actor states, “Ee sari kooda gattiga kodata.” (I will hit the jackpot with this). We decode the actor through 10 things you didn’t know about him.

1. TITLE OF YOUR LIFE IF IT WERE A TELUGU MOVIE
Pulse of the masses.

2. THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING YOU DID FOR A ROLE
Doing stunts without safety gear for Gangs of Godavari, especially climbing from the driving seat to the top of the moving lorry.

3. THE BIG BUCKS Before 2019, my bank account had never touched six figures. That changed with the first advance for Falaknuma Das. For the first time, I saw my balance soar beyond a lakh. When the movie became a hit, it transformed my life. I could buy homes, cars, gadgets, and everything society values. This journey taught me that with dedication and perseverance, dreams do turn into reality.

4. BACKSTABS AND SETBACKS As you elevate your career and life, there will always be those eager to pull you down and betray you. That’s the harsh reality of the world. The first time it happens, it catches you off guard. But if it happens again and you falter, it’s your fault for not learning your lessons. Learning from life’s experiences is crucial for growth. Never overlook this truth.

5. SUCCESS AND FAILURES In reality, when a movie does great business and the audience loves it, you relish the success for about a weekend or so. After that, you get back to work. Ditto with failure. You sit with your trusted folks to evaluate the reasons – from bad timing of release to lack of publicity, anything could be the reason. You learn and you grow. Upwards and onwards, that’s all.

6. MAKING BIG DECISIONS I believe in the power of energy and that the world communicates with us through energy exchanges. Nowadays, I make decisions based on how my energy responds to others rather than relying solely on logic. Intuition and energy exchange have become crucial elements in my decision-making process.

7. THE SECRET AND MANIFESTATION I believe I have manifested everything in my life. That energy is potent and can manifest your desires. However, I don’t think one needs to sit down and decide ‘I want to manifest this or that’. Your heart should naturally crave something. Whatever you desire with all your heart will be yours, “Dilse gattiga anukuntey aypothadi.”

8. PARENTS AND PET PEEVES My mom Durga is my living goddess. She is my safe space and pampers me. Did you know that I missed some shoots because she didn’t allow my staff to wake me up in the morning? She would shoo them off saying, “Arre zara sepu padukoni babu ni. Taruvata vochi one hour lo shoot complete chestadu.” My dad Karate Raju and she are happy when I am seen on local Telugu shows like Jabardasth or Cash, not when I get featured in an international show or win a prestigious award. All my uncles and aunts watch these shows and they call my parents. Local praise, more than global recognition, matters to them! My sister Vanmaye on the other hand is the one who keeps me grounded with her honest feedback.

9. SELF-CARE ON PRIORITY The last three years have been a blur with work keeping me on my toes. All work and no play makes Vishwak a dull boy! I want to sharpen my saw and have decided to take self-planned breaks to fuel my creativity. I am glad I took the decision to fly to Indonesia for a five-day break just before the promotions of Gangs of Godavari as the mini break has definitely updated my version to Vishwak 2.0

10. COMING ATTRACTIONS Gangs of Godavari on May 31 in the cinemas, Mechanic Rocky, and Laila where I play a woman in the second half.

QUICK TAKE
1. Three hashtags that define you: #Sensitive #FamilyMan #AnimalLover
2. Your most prized possessions: My dogs – Max, Ustad, Bachi, Gunda and Coco
3. Favorite hangouts in Hyderabad: I am a house party guy. So at my buddy’s home 4. Your kinda cafe: Can’t go now for fear of being mobbed but those little nooks in Dilsukhnagar are my kind of chai addas
5. One-line mantra: Believe in yourself

PHOTOGRAPHER: @ARIFMINHAZ | STYLIST: @PRATIMAJUKALKAR | OUTFIT DESIGNER: @SAGGARMEHRA | MAKEUP: @MAKEUP_BY_ABBAS HAIRSTYLIST: @STYLIST_PRANAV

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