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Exclusive! 10 is not a larger-than-life portrayal of a boxer’s life; it presents the pitfalls of a career in boxing: Vinay Rajkumar

Kirik Party cinematographer Karm Chawla's debut directorial will be in theatres on December 16

Exclusive! 10 is not a larger-than-life portrayal of a boxer’s life; it presents the pitfalls of a career in boxing: Vinay Rajkumar
10 is Vinay's first release since 2018's Ananthu vs Nusrath

Last Updated: 11.37 AM, Dec 12, 2022


Vinay Rajkumar has a release next Friday, one that he admits he was not expecting. It’s a film that he’s immensely proud of being a part though, so Vinay is excited that it is finally getting its date with audiences. The film, 10, is the directorial debut of Kirik Party cinematographer Karm Chawla and is coming to theatres on December 16. “The release date came as a bit of shocker, but it has been a long wait for the whole team, so we thought, let’s just do it,” says Vinay, talking to us from Mysuru.


All about 10

Karm is a long-time friend and when he narrated the story of 10, I was impressed and instantly hooked. I always wanted to work with him, so I agreed to do this film. The making of 10 was more like an independent film, with a crew of only 15 people. A lot of the sequences were shot guerrilla-style. Despite the smaller scale, there was a lot of effort that went into making it, especially for me, since I was playing a boxer.

10 is not a larger-than-life portrayal of a boxer’s life, as we’ve seen in umpteen other films. This film presents the pitfalls of a career in boxing. It explores a local boxer’s journey from trying to get into the district, state and national level, and focuses on the struggles they endure in getting there. It’s about the days before they hit the limelight; including how they are sometimes misled and taken advantage of. Boxing is one part of the film, while the other is an emotional drama about the consequences the sport has on this person.

My character is a guy who hails from an economically weaker section of society. And for someone like him, getting into the sport and pursuing it becomes an expensive affair, whether it is to follow the right diet or get training. In most underdog tales about boxing, the protagonist is surrounded by a bunch of trainers, whereas for a rank newcomer in the sport, no support system may be available. Whatever he does, he has to do it on his own and that is what 10 captures.

Vinay Rajkumar plays a boxer in the film
Vinay Rajkumar plays a boxer in the film

Playing a boxer

Although we shot the film at one go in about three months in late 2019, I began preparing for the role six months prior to that. I play a feather lightweight boxer in the film, which suits my physique. Nevertheless, I had to shape up for the role and work on my body language as a boxer. I had to maintain a 65-70kg frame, so the workouts were tailored more for maintenance than body building. There was also a certain diet and a lot of calorie counting over the months. It was quite an intense programme of working out close to 4-5 hours of day. A lot of hard work has gone into the making of 10.

Vinay Rajkumar in a still from the film
Vinay Rajkumar in a still from the film

Destination Pepe

I was under the impression that my next release would be Pepe, sometime in March 2023. We’ve begun planning the release publicity, since it was to be my first film after Ananthu vs Nusrath.

Andondittu Kaala, in which I play a filmmaker, is also ready, but that will come out only after Pepe. As for Gramayana, well, we are still trying to find a good investor to take it up and resume work, as the producer had, unfortunately, passed away during the pandemic. I am hopeful that it will all fall in place soon. Gramayana is a good subject and deserves to be told on the big screen. I am waiting for both Pepe and Andondittu Kaala to release before I take up something new.

Life since losing Puneeth Rajkumar

It is common knowledge that I was very close to Chikkappa, and accompanied him on most of his non-work trips. In fact, I was with him during the entire process of the Gandhada Gudi making also.

The last one year has been tough and continues to be so; this loss is not something that you can come out of easily. I know I have to live with and make peace with too. But it is not easy. I was in Mysuru when tragedy struck and I did not know for sure that we’d lost Chikkappa until I got back to Bengaluru around afternoon on October 29, last year. It was terrible when I heard the news eventually.

Not chasing stardom

To do a massy commercial entertainer, you need to have a certain personality. I am not sure if I have that or even want that. I am the kind of person who does not like a lot of attention; I am quite an introvert. I have never seen myself wanting to be a star, but if one of my movies does well, I’d be happy. My approach is not to be a star; it is to be an actor. What one has to become, will become on its own; that’s my philosophy.

Having said that, I know that there are expectations attached to my surname. Right now, I am just doing what I love and I think audiences today differentiate and don’t judge us by our lineage. They know what Rajkumar was about and what to expect of Vinay or Yuva. It won’t be the same. Yes, at first they will see me as Dr Rajkumar’s grandson, but along the way, they will grow to understand all about Vinay and what to expect from his movies. And that will happen only if I continue doing the kind of films that I love and give audiences the opportunity to see me in a different light.

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