Success is like a bubble in the film industry. Constantly changing audience preferences keep the actors on their toes constantly as surviving in the race is no easy task. Many actors fail under the burden of expectations and only iron-willed can beat the competition in the glitz and glamour industry.
In Sandalwood, Kiccha Sudeep is one of the few actors to retain his place in the top three positions for over two decades. The actor is completing his 25 years in the film industry in 2021. An event to mark this milestone was organised by Soorappa Babu, producer of Kottigobba 3, recently which had the presence of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, stars like Shivaraj Kumar, Ravichandran and Ramesh Aravind among many others.
Sudeep's Journey in Film Industry
Kiccha Sudeep was born with a silver spoon. From his childhood days, he saw film stars from close quarters as the dignitaries from Sandalwood were regular visitors to his father's hotel. After completing his bachelor degree in engineering, he decided to take acting as his career.
He made his debut with Thayavva in 1997, but the movie failed to set the box office on fire. It was followed by Prathyartha. This film too did not help his career to move further as Ramesh Aravind played the main lead.
During the shoot of one of his dropped films, he had a bitter experience that created an urge for him to earn a place for himself in the film industry.
"I was sitting with Ramesh Aravind sir to have lunch, but someone from the production called me to tell me that my place was somewhere else and scolded me not to sit with the star. It was an unwritten rule to maintain distance from stars. Being the son of a hotelier, I never expected this and I was pained.
I was frustrated and wanted to leave this place forever, but my desire to find feet for myself got a boost with this incident," Kiccha Sudeep recalled the incident at a TV show, many years ago.
Sudeep got his first break with Sunil Kumar Desai's Sparsha, produced by his father Sanjeev Rao. The movie won positive reviews, but all the credit went to the director. Further, the episode of Dr Rajkumar's kidnap halted the screening of the movie.
A year later, Sudeep starred in Huccha, a remake of Tamil blockbuster Sethu. He grew a moustache for his role and looked completely different from his first flick. His new look impressed the audience so was his performance - thus, a star was born with the Om Prakash-directorial flick.
Later, he went on to act in the films like Vaalee, Chandu, Kiccha, which subsequently became his first name, and Ranga SSLC.
Sudeep, who always nurtured an ambition to become a director, donned the director's cap for the first time with My Autograph. The movie was hailed for his superb performance and overall quality. Thereafter, he worked in many hits and flops but his career remained on top.
In 2008, leading Indian filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma launched him in Bollywood with Phoonk. After Upendra, he became the second actor of his generation to work in non-Kannada films. His performance in his second Hindi movie Rann got good recognition among the Hindi audience.
On the other side, his Veera Madakari and Kempe Gowda turned out to be successful movies at the box office, making him a bankable star.
Eega - Turning Point
The major turning point in his career was SS Rajamouli's Telugu-Tamil film Eega. Though he was the antagonist in the flick, his outstanding performance made him a household name across South India. His brief but impressive role in Bahubali, the Beginning has set him as a pan-India versatile actor.
During this period, he turned host of Bigg Boss Kannada which helped to get further closer to the audience. Tamil film Puli, Telugu film Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and Bollywood flick Dabangg 3 took his popularity to new heights.
Singing and Cricket
Apart from acting and directing, he sang songs and played celebrity cricket to bring glory to the Kannada film industry.
The actor is currently busy with Kotigobba 3 and Vikranth Rona, the title and the logo of the movie were launched at the World's tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai and a 180-second promotional video was beamed on the skyscraper. Both the movies are riding on high expectations.
Handling Success and Failure
Kiccha has seen many highs and lows in his career, yet never failed to experiment and take new challenges. He remained grounded when success came his way and stayed calm when his films failed to live up to the expectations at the box office. These qualities combined with talent and urge to impress the audience with good content have helped him to survive in the industry for 25 years.