His recent banian ad is a big hit. The Dollar man greets you at nearly every street corner and railway platform. And like most of his other commercials (Nescafe, Neel Kamal), this endorsement also has proved to be a big hit. Nevertheless, when it comes to films, Sanjay Suri is yet to taste that kind of success. Undeterred, this model-turned-actor is “raring to go” — waiting for the right opportunity to prove his mettle.
“I’ve always wanted to act but had no road map for getting into films,” says Sanjay, relaxing at his Yari Road residence. It’s been a long journey for this Kashmiri Pandit, who shifted base from Srinagar to New Delhi and then to Mumbai. Bitten by the acting bug, he soon started doing theatre along with modeling. And with most assignments happening in Mumbai, the city of Bollywood was a logical destination.
No sooner had he moved, he got an offer to do Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi . However, Sanjay’s entry into the industry was not marked by any fanfare, though he comfortably slipped into several roles and has so far five films under his belt. But at times he can’t help but wonder whether things would have been different had he been “launched”. But for then these are only passing thought. Like he says, “Today, it’s more about marketing than about abilities. But I’ve no regrets,” reflects Sanjay.
For Sanjay, it has been his confidence that enables him to take on projects without the backing of big banners or established directors. “When Sujoy Ghosh approached me for Jhankaar Beats , the first thing he told me was that this was his first film,” he recalls. “My reply was: well, I’ve only worked with newcomers.”
Although considered a fairly decent actor, most of his roles till date have been nice guy second leads. But Sanjay doesn’t look upon these as setbacks. ” Filhaal and Daman were womencentric and I was required to play that kind of a character,” says Sanjay. And as for me doing goody-goody roles, my forthcoming Plan should help.” The Sanjay Gupta production has him play a gambler with grey shades.
As an actor Sanjay has one regret — the dearth of good scripts and the reluctance on the part of directors to experiment. “This attitude needs to change,” he says. As for him, it is sensible commercial cinema that he intends to do. However, whatever the outcome of his filmi career. Sanjay Suri is likely to continue with modeling. “Everyone from Shah Rukh to Sachin is into it,” he points out and laughs, “If endorsements come your way, why refuse?” Looks like the Dollar man surely lives by his banian ’s slogan ” Jab life mein ho araam toh ideas aate hain! “