Battle of the Bulge

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Ace lyricist and singer Swanand kirkire is turning full time actor. Devesh Sharma records the evolution

Swanand kirkire

Swanand Kirkire is trying to win the battle of  the bulge. He’s been avoiding beer and samosas and reacquainting himself to the joys of nariyal pani and salad. He blames filmmaker Prakash Jha for it. “If Prakashji hadn’t given me this opportunity to act, I wouldn’t have cleaned up my habits.” After years of watching the game from the periphery, Swanand is all set to enter the acting arena with Prakash Jha Productions’ Crazy Cukkad Family, directed by debutant Ritesh Menon. Over a glass of nimbu paani, shaken, not stirred, Swanand reveals that he shares a long association with Prakash Jha. “I used to write for serials when I first came to Mumbai. I had a concept for an episode that I was co-writing with a friend and had gone to give a briefing to Prakashji. He is a lover of arts and used to frequent the impromptu meetings of poets and writers. He liked what I shared in such soirees and always encouraged me. Later, I even started writing for him in films.” The filmmaker had been asking him to lose weight all this while but it’s only recently that he took him seriously. “It’s not for my role in Crazy Cukkad Family, where I’m required to be plump but for overall fitness and of course, future projects. My body told me to stop certain things, ek ishara kiya usne! I paid heed to it.”

Swanand kirkire (R) in Crazy Cukkad Family

Swanand kirkire (R) in Crazy Cukkad Family

Swanand is an NSD graduate and hence no stranger to acting. He’s touring the country performing the play Colour Blind, starring him and Kalki Koechlin and directed by Manav Kaul. What’s surprising is that it took him so long to make a transition from stage to cinema. “Yes, there have been offers before but  I’ve never gone beyond
a cameo here and there. But something told me to take the plunge this time.”