Sunit Morarjee, the assistant director-turned-actor and the bad cop in the Baaghi franchise, is basking in the recent success of the action extravaganza starring Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor.
Trained in filmmaking and acting from the Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute in New York & New York Film Academy, Sunit worked as assistant to directors Neeraj Pandey (Special 26) and Ashish R. Mohan (Khiladi 786) and then moved to acting.
His first film as an actor was Baaghi 2 in 2018, where he played the corrupt cop Sharad Kute. The performance he delivered meant he was retained in Baaghi 3 — which has made around Rs 92 crore since March 6 — with more screen time. He has also played Rana Daggubati’s brother in Housefull 4.
The Telegraph spoke to Sunit after the release of Baaghi 3, directed by Ahmed Khan. Excerpts:
Baaghi 2 and now Baaghi 3. In which one, do you think, were you better?
Both my characters were different in Baaghi 2 and Baaghi 3, so it will be unfair to compare. I enjoyed the action sequences in the second part with Tiger (Shroff) as it was a lot of fun. And in Baaghi 3, I enjoyed the comic scenes with Riteish Deshmukh as he has a fantastic comic timing.
From an assistant director to acting. How did this happen?
When I started off as an assistant director I was always very clear in my head that I want to be in front of the camera one day. I had already done my acting training from the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute in New York & New York Film Academy before becoming an assistant director. I first wanted to know the technical aspects of filmmaking — on how actors perform in front of the camera and how directors take performances out of them. Working under Neeraj Pandey in Special 26 was better than training in a film institute as he is a master filmmaker. Having seen what happens behind the camera, I’m now very excited to be in front of it. My dream is to work with him and other stalwarts of the industry in the near future in front of the camera this time.
People say it’s difficult to work with Tiger because he is too much of a disciplinarian. How was he on the sets of Baaghi?
I have known Tiger before he entered films — we used to work out together at the same gym. He was always very disciplined and dedicated. I remember he used to come to the gym, then go for martial arts and then go for his dance training. Because of this kind of commitment, he is one of India’s leading action stars. On set he is a lot of fun, very chilled out and relaxed.
How was Ahmed Khan to work with?
Ahmed sir is one of the best directors an actor can get to work with for his debut. He was so supportive and encouraging. He is the kind of director who always pushes you to get the best take. He is also a fantastic actor.