Actor Vineet Kumar Singh, who has gone through extensive training in boxing for his upcoming film "Mukkabaaz", says he now understands the sport like a champion and thinks like a boxer.
The actor, who fought real-life boxing champions in the film, told IANS: "After a training of two years, according to my coaches, I am capable of playing a national game. Now I think like a boxer and understand the game like a professional.
"Therefore, even though there is no action choreography in the film, every fight looks very real. My training helped me to make those scenes look real. Those are the real fight that I fought with some of the national boxing champions."
Recalling his phases of struggle before and after getting his initial break in Anurag Kashyap's directorial ventures like "Gangs of Wasseypur" and "Ugly", he said: "Unfortunately, nothing much has changed.
"Even after acting in three films and one of them was selected at the Cannes Film Festival, the problem was people were stereotyping me, and so I was getting the same kind of roles that I have already acted in. Though I knew what I am capable of, perhaps producers and directors did not find the same in me. And the struggle went on for years."
So, after a struggle of 10 years and three films, Vineet took a pause and looked out for a story that he was genuinely interested in. In college, he studied medicine, but he was a state-level basketball player and has observed the reality of a sportsman's life.
"Well, choosing an individual game over a team sport like basketball was for a purely selfish reason. I wanted to narrate the story of a sportsman where I wanted to act in it. However, any budding sportsman would relate to the character very easily, especially the struggle," said Vineet, who also wrote the story of "Mukkabaaz" and looked out for support door-to-door for two years.
Since the actor wanted to play the protagonist of the film, even before getting a producer and director for the film, he started his training to become a boxer.
Sharing the most special moment of the whole journey, Vineet said: "That happened when I got a call from Anurag sir.
"To my surprise, sir called me saying, 'Vineet I am directing the film, you are in, but there are two things -- I will make some changes in the script and you have to become a trained boxer.'
"I remember everything of that conversation. The fact is, I went to sir with the script for his valuable feedback because for me, he is one of the most important parts of my journey to become an actor. But when he called me with the news that he is directing it, I was on cloud nine."
"Mukkabaaz" is releasing on January 12.