Mukkabaaz actor Vineet Kumar talks about his 17 years of struggle in Mumbai

Vineet Kumar may have landed a dream role in Anurag Kashyap's 'Mukkabaaz', but before appraise was being showered upon him for his rustic acting chops, the actor - like most people who do not hail from a "filmy background" had to fight hard to make a spot for himself.

Success did not come that easy or that soon for Kumar, who's struggle has lasted for as long as 17 years.

The talented actor who gained popularity with his role in Kashyap's 'Gangs Of Wasseypur' - which is now deemed a cult classic among youngsters, features in his first major lead role in the filmmaker's latest offering - which is now being hailed as one of his best works

For someone who's fought as long and as hard as Kumar has, the actor did not take the opportunity that lightly and pushed his limits to train himself for the role of an aspiring boxer for a period of 2 years. Not only that, Vineet also moved to a village in Patiala, to get a hold of the character and his background in greater details.

A strenuous training like that and an experience of human struggles that can only come if you've risen from dirt the way Kumar has - it all contributed to what he now has been able to project on-screen, as he mentions in this interview below:

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Kumar reflected back on the times of his struggles - when he did not even have enough food to eat and had to make compromises for the most basic things in life.

"It was both struggle and development," he told HT. "I came to Mumbai to participate in a talent hunt in 2000. I won the competition, got the movie Pitaah (Sanjay Dutt-starrer) and I thought I would be made once the film released. The film released and flopped. I was not prepared for the failure. I had no godfathers in the industry."

Vineet also spoke on how the lack of work and opportunities resulted into a dearth of two of the most basic things in life - food and shelter.

“I used to sneak into Poddar Medical College and live there," he told the daily."I would sneak up to the terrace when someone came to check and Mumbai rains were always an issue. I used to skip a roti to ensure I had money for the local train ticket. My father used to say ‘Hariyo na himmat bisariyo na ram naam’. Little did he know I would apply it in my own life."

The actor then revealed how he had to adhere to the most basic ways of approaching the filmmakers, having no connection withe movie-industry whatsoever.

“I either knew people through the newspapers or the watchmen. I used to go to these swanky offices and say that I wanted to meet the owner. The watchmen would ask if I had an appointment and shoo me away when I replied in negative. The watchmen started recognising me and they used to shout from across the road ‘nahi hai’.”

A fascinating tale of truimph, isn't it?

'Mukkabaaz' is now playing at a theater near you and is already one of the most acclaimed movies of the past couple of months.

The article includes excerpts from an interview on Hindustan Times. You can read the full post from HT here.

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