Upendra (actor)


Upendra Rao born 18 September 1968 known mononymously as Upendra, is an Indian filmmaker, actor and politician known for his work in Kannada cinema He started his career under actor and film director Kashinath, as a writer and an assistant director His first directorial venture was Tharle Nan Maga 1992

In the mid 1990s he directed Om, which portrayed actual Bangalore gangsters, followed by A, which was his debut film as an actor Upendra, his next film, starred Raveena Tandon, a Bollywood actress After a decade of acting in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil films, he returned to the role of director with the multilingual movie Super, which was well-received critically and commercially

Upendra is known for his work in films such as A 1998, Upendra 1999, Preethse 2000, Super Star 2002, Hollywood 2002, Raktha Kanneeru 2003, Budhivanta 2008, Super 2010, Kalpana 2012, S/O Satyamurthy 2015, Uppi 2 2015 Upendra has thus established himself as one of the most successful actors and directors of Kannada cinema He is currently one of the highest paid directors and actors in the Kannada cinema

Upendra is known for his thematic representation of Indian politics and society in films directed by him In 2017, he formed a political party and named it Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career as a director
  • 3 Career as an actor
    • 31 Cameo appearances
    • 32 1998–2005
    • 33 2006–2009
    • 34 2010–present
    • 35 Upcoming projects
  • 4 Craft, style
  • 5 Endorsements
  • 6 Personal life
  • 7 Awards and nominations
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Early life

Upendra Rao was born on 18 September 1968 in Kundapura, Udupi district in the erstwhile Mysore State now Karnataka, to Manjunatha Rao and Anusuya He was the second son to his parents, his older brother being Sudheendra Rao Rao's family was poor As a baby, he suffered from an eye problem, the result of which could be seen in his ability of rolling his eyeballs, which were seen in sequences of many of his films He obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree from APS College of Commerce, Bangalore During his time at the college, he participated in plays often forming troupes with his friends His association with actor and director, Kashinath, who happened to be a distant relative of his, began during his final year in college, who would play an important role in his film career

Career as a director

Main article: Upendra filmography

It was Upendra's ambition to become a director, for which he first sought to assist director Kashinath He started off as a director with a typical Kashinath style comedy called Tharle Nan Maga in 1992 The film introduced a famous comedian Jaggesh The movie went on to be a runaway hit and has since achieved a cult following

Upendra directed a horror suspense thriller next called Shhh! in 1993 The film featured his mentor Kashinath and a young producer and actor named Kumar Govind The film was a major box office success and Upendra came out as an independent director Shhh! is considered as one of the best horror/thriller movies in Kannada Cinema

His next film was a gangster film called Om which was released in 1995 The film starred Shivrajkumar and also had real gangsters in its cast, and had a message of peace Om became a blockbuster, and went on to be one of the highest grossing Kannada films of its time and made news at National Level Upendra became an overnight star director With Om, Upendra also introduced an actress from Coorg, Prema Om was also remade into several languages – the Hindi version was called Arjun Pandit and had Sunny Deol playing Shivrajkumar's role

Upendra then turned towards a project of directing an extended version of the 1981 film Antha and he called it Operation Antha The film had Ambareesh reprising his role from the earlier 1981 version Antha, as Kanwar Lal The film contained revolutionary ideology and a strong feeling against corruption, where the protagonist is obsessed by the corrupt world and finds a way to change the system through extremist way The film was much ahead of its time and hence was not very successful However, it was controversial for its taunts on some real life political figures

In 1998 Upendra directed A, through which he made a successful transition to acting A was again a revolutionary film about exploring deeper meanings of love The film had outrageous posters, even more outrageous dialogues, and a controversial storyline The plot was of a director falling in love with his lead actress while filming, and then becoming dejected as she leaves him when she becomes successful The film also dealt with dark truths of the film world, like the casting couch Rumors were thick that it was Upendra's own story, and the actress in the film portrayed his protege Prema This only added to the popularity of the film and it broke many box office records upon release and went on to become one of the highest grossing Kannada films of its time The film had a 175 days run in Karnataka was also dubbed to Telugu, and repeated its success in Andhra Pradesh too, where it had a 100 days run The film won accolades from Bollywood personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor Upendra was now a big name in Kannada cinema and was also popular in Andhra Pradesh

Upendra's next movie was Swasthik with lead Raghavendra Rajkumar which was released in 1998 The film was average at the box office, but was still a hit with the critics However, it is still remembered for its smart narration and innovative screenplay and is considered to be one of the best works of Upendra with respect to screenplay

In 1999, Upendra made a self-titled film, Upendra, a psychological thriller that explored the nuances of ego Upendra acted in this film as the unnamed protagonist or antagonist Naanu I or Myself The film starred three heroines, Damini, Prema, and Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon Naanu was an arrogant character, bordered on misogyny, and was very insulting to women, which led to a lot of criticism on the film However, the film broke many box office records and went on to be a much bigger hit than A, both in Karnataka as well as in Andhra Pradesh The film had a 200 days run in Karnataka and its Telugu version had a 100 days run in Andhra Pradesh Upendra was now not only a remarkably successful director, but also a big star with a large fan base in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh Since then, Upendra gave up direction and concentrated more on his acting career

Upendra came back as a director after a hiatus of 10 years in 2010 with the movie Super The movie was released in a record number of theatres all over Karnataka and was also dubbed into Telugu and released in Andhra Pradesh The Utopian film, set in a futuristic India, tells the story of a NRI who, through political manipulations, helps India become a superpower in 2020 Super was a blockbuster, breaking many box office records upon release and completing 175 days of run, becoming one of the highest grossing Kannada films of 2010 and was also critically acclaimed

In 2011, Tamil actor Rajinikanth attended a private screening of Super in Bangalore Rajinikanth watched the film along with Upendra and a couple of friends "Upendra is a great actor and director There is hardly anyone in Indian Cinema, who would think like him Only he can think like that I like watching Upendra's films and this was no exception If I get an opportunity and an impressive script, I'd like to act in an Upendra film in the future," said Rajini

In 2015, Upendra directed and starred in a sequel to his 1999 film Upendra, titled Uppi 2 As it was a sequel to Upendra and his comeback as a director after 5 years, it had huge hype and expectations before release The film was simultaneously released in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and USA in over 600 theaters Upon release the film set records for the highest first day collections ever for a Kannada movie Although the film got mixed response because of its confusing story-line and screenplay, it was a commercial success completing 50 days of run and was highly profitable at the box office It sold the second highest number of tickets in online ticket sales on Bookmyshow among Kannada movies in 2015 It was also successful in the Overseas, becoming the second highest grossing Kannada film of all time in USA

Career as an actor

Cameo appearances

Upendra first appeared on screen making an appearance in Kashinath's 1989 comedy film, Anantana Avantara He appeared as Lord Kamadeva in the song "Come On Come On Kaamanna" In Ajagajantara, also directed by Kashinath, he made a cameo appearance In his directorial debut, Shhh! 1993, Upendra made another cameo appearance, as a mad man in the attire of a police officer barging into a film set In his 1995 directorial Operation Antha, he appears as a man urinating on a roadside wall, and explains of India's ways to a complaining Mandakini played by Sangeetha

1998–2005

In 1998, Upendra directed and starred in A, which was his fifth film as a director but his first lead role as an Hero Upon release, the film had a 175 days run and became a trend setting blockbuster in Karnataka, with its Telugu dubbed version also becoming a Super Hit by running for 100 days in Andhra Pradesh Due to Upendra's newly found popularity in Telugu, ace Telugu director E V V Satyanarayana cast him in the 1998 Telugu film Kanyadanam alongside Srikanth and Rachana, which also became a commercial success In 1999 Upendra again directed and starred in his self-titled film Upendra which starred Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon The film went on to become a bigger hit than A, both in Karnataka as well as in Andhra Pradesh The film had a 200 days run in Karnataka and 100 days run in Andhra Pradesh In 2000, Upendra starred opposite Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre in the psychological thriller Preethse which was a remake of Bollywood film Darr Preethse became Upendra's third consecutive blockbuster by completing 175 days of run With three back to back silver jubilee hits, Upendra had attained Super Star status in the Kannada Film Industry with popularity in Telugu as well In 2001 Upendra wrote and starred in a Telugu film titled Raa which became a box office hit in Andhra Pradesh Raa was a typical Upendra style film in which he plays a womanising playboy Upendra starred opposite his future wife Priyanka Trivedi for the first time in this film

In 2002, Upendra hit a rough patch, with his most expected films such as H2O, Super Star and Hollywood not meeting expectations and having average run at the box office and films like Nagarahavu and Naanu Naane flopping at the box office

However, Upendra made a strong comeback in the next three years, ie from 2003 to 2005 which is considered his most successful period During these three years, he starred in 5 back to back 100 days films, such as Kutumba, Raktha Kanneeru, Gokarna, Gowramma and Auto Shankar, all of which were Super hits at the box office The only films of Upendra which didn't do well during this period were Omkara which had a 50 days run with huge opening and News

During the span of 1998 to 2005, Upendra was considered as the most successful actor, much ahead of his contemporaries like Puneeth Rajkumar, Darshan, Sudeep and Shivrajkumar, having starred in eight 100 days hits in eight years, such as A, Upendra, Preethse, Kutumba, Raktha Kanneeru, Gokarna, Gowramma and Auto Shankar

2006–2009

Upendra went through a bad phase during 2006 to 2009, with most of his films during this period going totally unnoticed at the box office such as Uppi Dada MBBS, Tandege Takka Maga, Parodi, Masti, Toss Telugu, Lava Kusha, Sathyam Tamil, Dubai Babu and Rajini

The only commercial hits he gave during this period were the candy floss romantic comedy Aishwarya, which ran for 75 days which was also the debut film of Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, and the moderately successful Anatharu which ran for 70 days Upendra also received praise and critical acclaim for his performance in Anatharu

Budhivanta which was Upendra's only release in 2008, was considered as his big comeback through which he rose back to Super Stardom The film was declared as a blockbuster and completed 100 days of run becoming the top box office grosser of the year Budhivanta was a typical old school Uppi style film in which Uppi played a womanizing con-man, somewhat similar to his 2001 Telugu hit Raa and his seven get-ups in the film were highly appreciated as were his witty dialogues Budhivanta's Telugu dubbed version was also a hit, completing 50 days of run in Andhra Pradesh

2010–present

2010 marked Upendra's comeback to direction after 10 years After several ups and downs in his acting career, Upendra finally came back as a director after 10 years in 2010 with the movie Super in which he starred opposite Tamil actress Nayantara and Tulip Joshi The movie was released in a record number of theatres all over Karnataka and was also dubbed into Telugu and released in Andhra Pradesh Super was a blockbuster, breaking many box office records upon release and completing 175 days of run, becoming one of the highest grossing Kannada films of 2010 and was also critically acclaimed

Upendra then starred in several films like Shrimathi 2011 opposite his wife Priyanka Trivedi and bollywood actress Celina Jaitly, and Aarakshaka 2012 In 2012, Upendra starred in several commercially successful films like 3D fantasy film Katari Veera Surasundarangi which was declared a Super hit and became the second highest-grossing film of the year, followed by Godfather which did above average business and the horror comedy film Kalpana which also did reasonably well at the box office

Upendra's films from 2013 to 2015 such as Topiwala 2013, Brahma 2014, Super Ranga 2014 and Shivam 2015 didn't do well at the box office

In 2015, Upendra starred in a parallel role alongside Allu Arjun in the Telugu film S/O Satyamurthy directed by Trivikram Srinivas Upendra played a powerful and important character and was a highlight of the film The film was declared a Blockbuster, grossing ₹92 crore and netting over ₹60 crore at the global box office becoming the seventh-highest-grossing Telugu film of all time at the global box office

The same year Upendra directed and starred in a sequel to his 1999 film Upendra, titled Uppi 2 Upon release the film set records for the highest first day collections ever for a Kannada movie Although the film got mixed response because of its confusing story-line and screenplay, it was a commercial success completing 50 days of run and was highly profitable at the box office It sold the second highest number of tickets in online ticket sales on Bookmyshow among Kannada movies in 2015 It was also successful in the Overseas, becoming the second highest grossing Kannada film of all time in USA

In 2016 Upendra starred in a sequel to his earlier hit horror film Kalpana titled as Kalpana 2 which became an average grosser at the box office He also starred along with Sudeep in the remake of bollywood film OMG titled as Mukunda Murari which became a box office success and completed 50 days of run

Upcoming projects

Upendra's upcoming films include Soggade Chinni Nayana remake which is titled as Upendra Matte Baa, Inti Ninna Prema opposite Prema and Shruti Hariharan, Kanneshwara along with Komal and opposite Vedhika, directed by Naganna who directed his earlier hit films like Kutumba, Gokarna, Gowramma, Uppi Rupee opposite Rachita Ram, directed by K Madesh of Power, Brindavana, Hudugaru fame, a crime drama biopic written by Agni Shridhar and directed by Mummy director Lohith in which Upendra will play Bangalore's first Underworld Don M P Jayaraj, his 50th film directed by Masterpiece director Manju Mandavya, a film directed and produced by Shashank and Dr Modi directed by Uday Prakash

Craft, style

Upendra's films has been appreciated and criticised for its weird plot and screenplay During an interview on a radio station, Upendra expressed his disappointment being labeled as a "different director" and explained that most of his directorial ventures deal with the things that he had undergone in his real life He said regarding the non-linear narrative that "When one wants to capture the upheavals in ones mind it becomes a jumble Our mind is like that, always confused"

The subject of the films coupled with Uppi’s novel approach too made headlines for both good and bad reasons, Upendra added that his self-titled film he explored human nature which "ended with “Aham Brahmaasmi”, where I wanted to say rise above I" A dealt with the love story between a film director and an actress which is narrated through multiple flashbacks within flashbacks and reverse screenplay The film deals with dark truths of the film world like the casting couch Super depicts a Utopian India in the year 2030 where Indians are pictured to be wealthy, hard-working, and are seen wearing traditional clothing and in contrast, westerners are the ones taking care of menial jobs like taxi driving, janitorial, etc It is a future where the rupee is valued 70 times the British pound and people who cannot speak Kannada are considered illiterates and Westerners are visibly apologetic about the same From this setting, the film regresses back to the current year 2010 where India is beset with problems of corruption, red-tapism, pollution and unemployment

Endorsements

Upendra has done the highest number of Brand Endorsements among Kannada Actors Upendra has been the brand ambassador of United Breweries, Lunars Footwear, SK Super TMT, Royal Challengers Bangalore replaced by Puneeth Rajkumar in IPL 3, Mavalli Tiffin Room MTR, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company, Emani Navaratna Brand, Karnataka Milk Federation Nandini, Udayavani News Daily

Upendra has been the Brand Ambassador of United Breweries Group since 1999 His tag line Yella OK Cool drink yaake has long been part of the ad campaign Commenting on his long standing association with the brand, Upendra added "UB Export was successful in bringing out the quirky side of me in one of my most popular punch lines ever, Yella ok Cool drink Yaake It's been almost 10 years since the ad broke out but the fad of Yaake still seems to linger Fans even now refer to it whenever I meet them on occasions"

Personal life

Upendra was born in Koteshwara near Kundapura, Udupi district of Karnataka On 14 December 2003, Uppi married actress and former Miss Kolkata Priyanka Trivedi who first starred opposite him in the Telugu movie Raa and then in H2O Upendra and his family reside in Banashankari III Stage in Bangalore

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
1999 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor A Won
1999 Udaya Film Awards Best Director A Nominated
1999 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada A Nominated
2000 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada Upendra Won
2000 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Film – Kannada Upendra Won
2003 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor Nagarahavu Won
2004 Hello Gandhinagara Awards 2004 Best Actor Raktha Kanneeru Won
2004 Hello Gandhinagara Awards 2004 Best Dialogue Raktha Kanneeru Won
2004 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada Raktha Kanneeru Nominated
2008 Suvarna Film Awards Special Award For Performance Anatharu Won
2008 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada Anatharu Nominated
2008 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor Anatharu Nominated
2009 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada Budhivanta Nominated
2011 Udaya Film Awards Best Screenplay Super Won
2011 Udaya Film Awards Best Director Super Nominated
2011 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor Super Nominated
2011 Suvarna Film Awards Favorite Director Award Super Won
2011 Suvarna Film Awards Favorite Film Super Won
2011 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada Super Nominated
2011 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada Super Nominated
2011 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer – Kannada Sikka Patte – Super Nominated
2012 Karnataka State Film Awards Karnataka State Film Award for Best Director Super Won
2012 Karnataka State Film Awards Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film Super Won
2012 South Indian International Movie Awards Special Appreciation Award Shrimathi Won
2013 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor Kalpana Won
2013 Suvarna Film Awards Best Male Actor Kalpana Nominated
2013 South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor Katariveera Surasundarangi Won
2013 Bangalore Times Film Awards Best Male Actor in a Negative Role Godfather Nominated
2014 South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor Topiwala Nominated
2016 South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role S/O Satyamurthy Nominated
Other honours
  • 2015 Honorary Doctorate from Angkor University

References

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  2. ^ "Excited Upendra on Tamil Film 'Sathyam'" IndiaGlitz 14 June 2008 Retrieved 3 April 2011 
  3. ^ Upendra Kannada Film Super Box Office Report, Collections Cinemagupshupcom Retrieved 3 April 2011
  4. ^ "Speculation of Kannada top director Upendra about India in 2030 A scene from movie Super by Kannada's top director Upendra" Chitthara Archived from the original on 2 May 2012 Retrieved 17 August 2012 
  5. ^ "Interview with Kannada Cinema's Top Star – Upendra" cinegoercom Retrieved 17 August 2012 
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  7. ^ "Top Director of Kannada Cinema Upendra wins State Award" 5 April 2012 Retrieved 17 August 2012 
  8. ^ "Highest Paid Actors of Kannada Film Industry" Retrieved 17 August 2012 
  9. ^ "Kannada film actor Upendra unveils name of his new political outfit" The Times of India 31 October 2017 Retrieved 1 November 2017 
  10. ^ "Karnataka Pragnavantha Janatha PakshaKPJP" The News Minute October 31, 2017 Retrieved 31 October 2017 
  11. ^ Rao, Upendra 20 September 2014 Weekend With Ramesh — Episode 15 - September 20, 2014 India: Zee Kannada Retrieved 22 September 2014 
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  53. ^ "Sandalwood 2016: Highest-grossing Kannada movies of 2016 at the box office" International Business Times 22 December 2016 
  54. ^ "Mukunda Murari And Santhu Straight Forward Completes 50 Days" Chitrolka 16 December 2016 
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  69. ^ a b c d "Udaya Film Awards" 
  70. ^ "56'th Filmfare Awards Nominations" Archived from the original on 19 October 2013 
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  72. ^ a b c "58'th filmfare awards south nominees" 
  73. ^ a b "Karnataka State Film Awards 2012" Sify 11 April 2012 
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  76. ^ a b "SIIMA Awards 2012" 

External links

  • Upendra at the Official Website of Upendra
  • Upendra on IMDb


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