After scoring in the boxing ring and winning many international medals (including the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008), Vijendra Singh has now entered Bollywood with Fugly.
In a pow-wow with BNS, the young actor speaks straight from the heart in a pronounced Haryanvi accent.
“I find boxing much easier than acting.”
How would you describe the transition from a boxer to an actor?
It was an incredible experience. My director Kabir Sadanand helped me at every step to give my best shot. Since he knew that it’s my first time, he was very cool with me, which helped me to perform better in front of the camera. I hope my debut film is a hit and I get more work in Bollywood.
But boxing and acting are two very different mediums …
Yes they are two different mediums but boxing helps you to be disciplined and fit as it requires a lot of hard work – just like acting does. However, I find boxing much easier than acting (laughs).
Was it difficult to face the camera?
It was tough for me to act, initially. But once I got a hang of it, I was fine. I was the first to reach the sets and I listened to the instructions very carefully. Now I know how to respond to the camera and also where to turn and where to let the light fall on my face.
You have a dance cum song in the film, How did you tackle that?
Dancing was very difficult for me. I reached the sets after a game of sports in which I had scraped my hands and knees; Kabir told me we would be shooting the song first. I was so nervous. I asked Kabir to give me some time to get into the groove, but he said I would have to perform at that very instant.
Did you feel like an outsider in the film industry?
I am not a Khan or a Kapoor, I am a Singh. But I am self-made and I am proud of it. I have struggled to reach this place. I don’t care about stardom because I believe in hard work. But my first movie has names like Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar attached to it, what else do I need?
How was your interaction with Akshay Kumar?
To a great extent, he is the one who inspired me to take up acting. His death-defying acts on screen inspired me. I like the fact that he is self-made. He guides me at every point and I listen to his advice. He is like my godfather, my mentor.
How does your wife handle the female attention that you are showered with?
My wife Archana is very understanding. I keep in touch with her on the phone all the time, so it’s not a problem. She knows I am busy and handles the female attention I get in a positive way.
Now that you have ventured into acting, will boxing take a back seat?
Boxing is my first and primary career; I did this film just to try my hand at acting,