Intelligent and Outstanding: Tinnu Anand’s Praise for ‘Salaar’ Director

- December 22, 2023
| By : Santosh Mehta |

As 'Salaar' hits theatres today, actor Tinnu Anand, the only North Indian in 'Salaar', praises South Indian hospitality and his extensive work in South Indian films

Tinnu Anand

Tinnu Anand, a prominent figure in Bollywood, is also recognised as the son of Bollywood scriptwriter Inder Raj Anand, who was known for his work with renowned film actor-director Prithviraj Kapoor. Beyond his acting career, Anand, originally named Virender Raj Anand, found fame as ‘Tinnu’ among his dedicated fans and audience after venturing into films. 

Educated at Mayo College in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Anand tied the knot with Shehnaz, daughter of renowned Bollywood actor Agha Khan, a popular figure in the film fraternity. He is a proud father to two daughters, Isha Anand and Diksha Anand, both married and residing in Goa, uninvolved in the film industry. Despite his father’s reluctance for him to enter Hindi films, Anand persisted in pursuing a career in the industry. 

Initially disheartened by Anand’s decision, his father eventually sent him to Satyajit Ray’s Film and Television Institute in Kolkata. 

Recognised primarily as an actor, Anand’s versatility extends to roles as a writer, director, and producer. He notably collaborated with legendary director Satyajit Ray on five Bengali films, including Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Aranyer Din Ratri, Seemabaddha, Ashani Sanket and Pratidwandi, among others. 

Acknowledging Veeru Devgan’s mentorship in honing his acting skills and directing techniques, Anand recalls a moment of pride when he showed Amitabh Bachchan a scene of his with Amjad Khan. Anand’s repertoire includes impactful performances in numerous Bollywood hits, including ‘Ghajini’, ‘Duniya Meri Jeb Mein’, ‘Laaga Chunari Mein Daag’, ‘Dabangg’, ‘Rabbe Main Kya Karoon’, ‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’, and ‘Aisa Yeh Jahaan’, among others. Featuring in over 50 Bollywood films, Anand has left a mark with exceptional roles in movies like Khiladi, Chamatkar, Stuntman, Krantiveer, Bombay (Tamil), Agnipath Shahenshah, Police Officer, Chandra Mukhi, Diljale, Ghatak, Ek Phool Teen Kante, China Gate, Chhupa Rustom, Paisa Vasool, Bluffmaster, Saathiya, Gang, and Lajja, among others. 

Presently, Anand is a part of the forthcoming Telugu film ‘Salaar’. Directed by Prashanth Neel and produced by Vijay Kiragandur, ‘Salaar’ features a star-studded cast including Prabhas, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Shruti Hasan, Bobby Simha, Eashwari Rao, Sriya Reddy, Jagapathi Babu, Ramchandra Raju, and Tinnu Anand. The film, marked with intense scenes, has received an ‘A’ certification from the CBFC and is set to release in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi on December 22, generating eager anticipation among fans. 

Anand spoke to Patriot about his upcoming film and career. 

Excerpts from the interview:

What’s your role in ‘Salaar-Ceasefire Part-1’? 

As you know, I am playing a gangster’s role in ‘Salaar-Ceasefire Part-1’ film. As a gang leader, I make a promise to a dying friend to take on other criminal gangs. In Salaar, I deliver this dialogue: ‘Simple English, no confusion. Lion, cheetah, tiger, elephant – very dangerous, but not in the Jurassic Park’. 

Tinnu Anand (left) and wife Shahnaz Vahanvaty Photo: Getty

What’s the best dialogue you said in the Salaar teaser? 

Hum jaha khade hote hai, line vahi se shuru hoti hai”. This is the best dialogue. In fact, I am overwhelmed and excited to receive so much love from my audience after the release of Salaar’s teaser, which was shot in Bangalore. However, the film was shot in Hyderabad. 

How does it feel working with south Indian film actors? 

Having previously worked in south Indian films with Prabhas and other stars, I loved working and enjoying my time with them. They are very professional and talented. I am the only one north Indian actor who is working in Salaar but I must say that south Indian people are known for their hospitality and I am doing lot of work in South Indian films. 

How do you like working with the ‘Salaar’ film director? 

Prashanth Neel is a very talented film director who has directed over 155 films. He has a clear vision and knows how to utilise the talent of actors. Even if an actor is unable to perform a particular act, he demonstrates the sequence and the specific action he wants. Thus, I consider him the most intelligent and outstanding director. I asked the director how he chose me for this film! He said that he saw me in one film and became my fan. There is a lot of Mahabharata in Salaar. 

Nowadays, films are made more commercially. Do you think the trend of film-making or audience’s choice is changing? 

It’s true that Bollywood films are now made more commercially. The trends in Bollywood films and the audience’s preferences are undoubtedly changing. I believe, after 40 years, Bollywood films have become quite different. Once a film becomes popular at the box office, the audience tends to follow that particular trend. However, it’s a common perception. 

Do you think the rise of online platforms has provided a good option for the audience? 

Yes, it’s true that OTT platforms like Amazon Prime Videos and Ullu are easily accessible to the general audience. They no longer have to visit theatres to watch films. Now, one can easily watch Hollywood and Bollywood films on their smartphones. This accessibility is significant for the audience. 

These days, online platforms show a lot of bold content to their audience.  What’s your comment on censorship? 

You’re absolutely right. Some online platforms show bold content or take liberties in displaying scenes that theatres might not show. However, in such cases, there are disclaimers restricting such scenes to viewers above 18 or 21 years old. My father always said that censorship starts from home. How to show respect and talk politely begins at home.

Do you think film institutes produce the best actors? What’s your view on this? 

I believe that everyone is an actor. Whenever I am invited on stage, I stress that an actor is someone who performs in front of the camera, despite the surrounding noise. You can practice your acting skills in front of a mirror too. Even when a person goes with their girlfriend but claims [to their family] to be going for a film, they act, just as in films. Film institutes only provide basic knowledge and shape individuals. 

Your memories of Delhi! 

I grew up in Delhi and had a wonderful childhood. I lived in the Princess Park [in central Delhi] with Wing Commander DC Seth, who was quite strict but loved me dearly. I enjoyed my childhood in Delhi after my parents migrated from Pakistan. I had a lot of fun and made some great memories in Delhi. That was the time when I learned sports, cycling, and swimming. I can’t forget those days. 

Tinnu Anand in various roles

Any upcoming projects? 

Yes, besides ‘Salaar Ceasefire Part-1,’ I am playing a different role in the upcoming Bollywood film ‘Merry Christmas’, which will be released in the new year. I portray a very emotional character in this film.