Vijay Deverakonda: Mike Tyson Came to Have a Blast in ‘Liger’
MUMBAI, (IANS) – Vijay Deverakonda’s rise to stardom has been meteoric. He entered the Hindi market with his Telugu release ‘Arjun Reddy’ where he played a surgeon who spirals into self-destruction after a heartbreak.
Shahid Kapoor’s 2019 release ‘Kabir Singh’ which was a remake of ‘Arjun Reddy’, also piqued the interest of the audience for the original Sandeep Reddy Vanga film, they eventually discovered Deverakonda and are now waiting for his upcoming Hindi film debut with ‘Liger’, which also features an appearance from boxing legend Mike Tyson.
Tyson, who commands a significant fan following courtesy his conduct both on and off the ring, is further set to expand his stardom with the film.
Vijay says: “Mike Tyson came to just have a blast. He doesn’t consider himself an actor. He was like ‘Why are you casting me as an actor?’ We told him that it’s his persona that adds so much to the film. The weight of his stardom lends the gravitas to the film.”
Tyson, who has earlier appeared in numerous popular media in either cameo appearances or as a subject of parody or satire, was sure of his rhythm, approach, and the goal. Perhaps, it comes from his disciplined training.
Vijay reminisces: “He used to come, listen to the scene, toy around a little with it.”
The crew was concerned about any cultural shocks for the boxer, “Initially, we were a little worried if we would get what we wanted him to do. Ours is a different kind of cinema. I talk in Telugu in my comfort space. The same goes for him with regards to English. But the time acted as grease on the film’s journey, it went well with time, and we soon started functioning on the same wavelength.”
They also made accommodations for Tyson, who was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles.
“We had to modify a few action sequences to suit his technique and style because Mike Tyson doesn’t do MMA, he is a boxer. Our action director subtly adjusted the sequences as per his rhythm. But he was game to do anything”, Vijay adds.
The actor glides through to another point – that of the evolution of the Indian film industry. “I think the Indian film industry is moving in the right direction. If we want to be a powerful industry, we need to unite the country through content bridges. One of our biggest strengths is our population, and the market potential that it entails. The reason Amazon, Apple and Google are setting up such big facilities and investing in good infrastructure is that the Indian consumer market is a holy grail,” he says.
‘Liger’ directed by Puri Jagannadh is set to release in cinemas on August 25, 2022.