We know him as Bollywood’s action hero from the 90s. He has been giving huge fitness goals to people half his age for the longest time. And he is lovingly known as Anna in Bollywood. Suniel Shetty has probably done nothing by the book. Which book you ask? Well, the one which is unknowingly written by Bollywood insiders and followed by industry insiders and outsiders alike.
Shetty debuted in Bollywood with the 1992-release Balwaan at the age of 31 years. He entered the industry a married man. He ditched the genre of love stories (super popular back then), choosing action for his first film. The film was a marginal hit back then but launched Shetty’s career as an action hero. After that, he went on to do several action-packed films, like Krishna, Bhai and Mohra, after that.
In the late 90s, Shetty also tried his hand at comedy with the iconic rib-tickler Hera Pheri. His filmography boasts of a unique mix of comedy, romance and dark films. Each one of them had a strong cast, with Anna maintaining his foothold, nevertheless. Be it the super hit film Dhadkan or hard-hitting films like Border and Dus, Anna has tried his hand at every cinematic genre at least once.
At the age of 57, he is probably as fit as a 30-year-old. His Instagram handle is a proof of his fitness levels. In 2017, Shetty also hosted the fitness-based reality show India’s Asli Champion, which returned with a 2.0 version. Anna was the apt choice as the host, given his experience and passion for fitness. Shetty has also donned the producer’s hat with movies like Mission Istanbul, Rakht, Bhagam Bhag and Loot.
But there is truly no stopping this man. An actor, producer, TV host and entrepreneur, Anna is now foraying into the film industry down south. His debut release will be the Sudeep-starrer Paliwan in August this year. What’s more? He has also been roped in for two films that are touted to be the biggest releases down south in 2020. One of them is Rajinikanth-starrer Darbar and the second is Mohanlal-starrer, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, where Anna will be playing the role of a warrior. The former is helmed by director A.R. Murugadoss while the Mohanlal-starrer will see Priyadarshan in the director’s chair.
As Bollywood’s 90s action hero looks at reviving his career with big releases in the south, let’s see where it all leads. Will they shatter the box office or crumble beneath the public’s expectations? Only time will tell.