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Cannes 2023: Rahul Bhat is a ‘killing machine’ in Anurag Kashyap’s Kennedy

Also starring Sunny Leone, the ‘police noir’ film is being showcased as part of the ‘Midnight Screenings’ at Festival De Cannes

Cannes 2023: Rahul Bhat is a ‘killing machine’ in Anurag Kashyap’s Kennedy

Rahul Bhat as Kennedy

Last Updated: 08.30 AM, May 17, 2023


Actor Rahul Bhat - who has previously worked with Anurag Kashyap in Ugly and Dobaaraa - is playing the title character in the celebrated filmmaker’s much-awaited ‘police noir’ action thriller film, Kennedy. Premiering at Cannes 2023, the movie - which also stars Sunny Leone as Charlie - is being showcased as part of the ‘Midnight Screenings’ at Festival De Cannes this year. Speaking about the film, Rahul said that his cop-turned-assassin character is the director’s version of an “angry middle-aged man”.

Indicating the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer movies like Deewar, Trishul, Sholay and Shakti, Rahul told PTI, “There was once a time when Salim-Javed gave us the ‘angry young man’. And this is Anurag Kashyap’s angry middle-aged man.” This isn’t the first time Anurag is showcasing his work at the coveted festival. Earlier, his films like Raman Raghav 2.0, Ugly, Bombay Talkies and Gangs of Wasseypur were also screened at Cannes. 

Speaking more about Kennedy, Rahul said, “Ugly is a kid in front of Kennedy, when it comes to darkness and violence. This movie is something else. It’s more of a psychological and internal journey. Of course, it makes a social commentary and has so many things to say. But the story moves fast and I hope it’ll keep people engaged.”

The model-turned-actor said that when the script was sent to him, he felt overwhelmed that the filmmaker considered him for the main part. “I was so emotionally charged that I could not stop myself from crying. I find myself very lucky that a director of the calibre of Anurag Kashyap thinks that I can pull off characters like these, which are so complex. Kennedy is angry, but he’s calm. He is violent, but quiet. He looks as if he’s very intelligent and understands things, but he’s dumb at the same time. However, one thing that he knows well is how to kill. He’s a killing machine,” Rahul elaborated. 

Known for movies like Yeh Mohabbat Hai and Nayee Padosan, the 45-year-old actor described Kashyap as a simple man with a mind of a ‘genius’. “The amount of knowledge this man has is unbelievable. He knows cinema so well and has an innate talent. I feel that everybody understands that he’s a genius. But he is also a simple-minded guy, which helps his talent somewhere,” he added.

Creating Kennedy required the actor to transform physically and prepare mentally, a process that took eight months. “I was told to bulk up. I weighed 90 kg. But apart from that, I had to be prepared mentally as well. There are a lot of psychological elements to the character. The way he walks, sits, talks, his whole voice modulation, it’s all different. You will not find Rahul Bhat in there, but you will find someone else and I hope it is Kennedy,” he summed up. 

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