Mumbai, May 30 -- From the time he found fame, Vijender Singh has expressed his keenness to get into Bollywood. And now, the Olympic medal-winning boxer is set to make his acting debut with an Akshay Kumar production.
Titled Fugly, the movie will be helmed by Kabir Sadanand. Produced by Grazing Goat Pictures (owned by Akshay and Ashvini Yardi), the film is set to go on the floors in August. In all likelihood, it will see Vijender play a tough boxer. He talks to us over the phone from a boxing camp in Haryana.
How did the film come about?
It's been in the pipeline for some time now. I was in touch with Akshay bhai and Kabir. We've now reached a stage where I've signed the film. I hope everything works out.
How do you plan to balance both your careers?
If I've taken a step, I have to manage everything. Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson managed both. Of late, Tyson has been working in films and TV serials. I've watched The Hangover (2009 film featuring Tyson) several times. Right now, I'm in boxing camp preparing for the World Boxing Championships (WBC).
Is the doping scandal behind you now?
I was never into such stuff, so why would I think about it? It (the scandal) doesn't exist for me. After the Olympics loss, some feel that you may not have a lot of boxing left in you. Things like these keep happening. After the Olympics, no major tournament has taken place. My focus is now on the WBC, for which I'm preparing hard.
So, you do have boxing left in you?
Absolutely! I'm eying the Rio Olympics (2016), where I will win a medal for my country
What do you think is tougher - films or boxing?
Both are tough. It's not like you stand in front of the camera and say your lines randomly. It requires a lot of hard work.
Why did it take you so long to sign your debut film? Have you started some sort of preparation?
I've been waiting for a good script to come my way. And finally, I got one now. As for preparations, abhi to sirf film sign kari hai (right now, I have only signed the film). I will slowly start such things once I come to Mumbai. I've watched some films with Kabir. And I think he is planning a workshop for me.
How much does the criticism about your boxing bother you?
Sometimes, I feel that people have been saying things about me since I was a kid (smiles). It doesn't affect me at all. I am too focused on my sport.
You have a large fan base among girls. Will that help as an actor?
Really, phir toh meri saari movies hit ho jayengi (in that case, all my films will be hits)