Exclusive Interview: Crazy Cukkad Family’s Lead Actor Swanand Kirkire



We have heard of actors becoming singers. Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Juhi Chawla, Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor and there are many such names we have played on our ipods! But here’s a one-of-its-kind story where a singer turned actor. Swanand Kirkire is known for his immense contribution in Bollywood music. Some of his most popular tracks appeared in films 3 Idiots, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Parineeta, and others. On 16th January 2015, he debuted on the silver screen playing the lead role with Crazy Cukkad Family, a comedy on family feuds.

Kirkire shared his experience with Business of Cinema in an exclusive interview.

How did Crazy Cukkad Family happen?
Very few people knew that I have a theatre background; in fact I have never acted in theatre. Even I was surprised that they approached me for this role. When they narrated the story to me I kept asking whether they really wanted me to play the lead role! But this certainly gave me an opportunity to explore myself further and it was fun getting into something that I had never done before but seen others doing.

How was your experience during the making of the film?
Crazy Cukkad Family is a small film. We did not even have the funds to sponsor our helps. But that did not dampen spirits. Rather we bonded with each other and became families. A lot of things were to be managed on our own and we happily did. There was only one vanity van for all boys and girls and we shared it. We stayed in budget hotels and room service at times would get closed; so we cooked for ourselves. One of the days the camera conked off and we were left with nothing to do. We danced on the sets all evening!

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How was it working with Shilpa Shukla?
Shilpa is a versatile actor and I have known her since the Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi days. She has grown tremendously as an actor. Her inputs are intense and sincere. And as I was facing the camera for the first time, I felt much comfortable working with her because we always had that chemistry between us.

Crazy Cukkad Family released with Alone! Weren’t you worried that the film may not get noticed?
Bipasha Basu has her own space but then we had Prakash Jha backing this initiative. Alone is a mass product and people have already experienced Bipasha in such roles earlier. We had a lot of new things to offer and then comedy too has its takers. I am happy that people are watching and appreciating it. Many small films don’t even get released.

Which is your favourite film in Comedy?
All Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee films are my favourite. I have a special space in my heart for Chalti Ka Naam Gadi and Padosan.

You are pretty close to Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra team. How does it feel working with them?
Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra are extremely committed to their job. They practice what they preach. There is no hypocrisy. Raju is the most hard working person I have ever seen. He tells very basic stories with a lot of innocence and humour which gets to touch a chord with the audience. His “offbeat” films become massy because of the treatment he gives them. There is a craft about his storytelling. They are about the things that we take for granted! Be it God or a system or a profession.

And now your “Chaar Kadam” is playing in loop everywhere.
Thats my personal connection with my audience. Working under some great banners, I was allowed to write poetry. Often business people pressurise makers to create a particular kind of song that would “sell”! I have been fortunate that I could give a piece of my heart to the music I made, and that has also been taken. In fact taken quite well!

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