|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2013)|
Chunky Pandey at the success party of the film The Forest, 2012
26 September 1962 |
Suyash 'Chunky' Pandey (born 26 September 1962) is an Indian film actor who has appeared in Bollywood films. He has been in over 80 movies in a career that has spanned over two decades. He was nominated once for his supportive role in Tezaab. He was a lead hero in Hindi films from 1987 to 1994, but his movies were more successful in 1987–1992. He is best known for playing supporting "sidekick" roles for lead heroes like Rajesh Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol and Govinda. After numerous flops as the lead hero since 1993, his demand in Bollywood began to fade. Chunky then worked in Bangladeshi cinema from 1995 and most of his movies in Bangladesh were successful. Chunky Pandey returned to Bollywood in 2003 as a character actor, being cast mainly in supporting comedic roles. Chunky says his real life inspirations are Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan.
1989–93: Debut and breakthrough
Pandey started out his Bollywood career in 1987, with the film Aag Hi Aag opposite Neelam Kothari. Pandey shot to the spotlight with his memorable supporting role as Munna's (Anil Kapoor) friend in the movie Tezaab in 1988 which was the biggest blockbuster of the year. This was the first big break for Pandey as he received a Filmfare award nomination for the Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
Pandey appeared in many successful multi-hero films from 1987 to 1993: with his peak period being 1987–1991. His pairing opposite actress Neelam was appreciated and the pair had a string of five hits: Aag Hi Aag (1987), Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988), Ghar Ka Chiraag (1989), and Mitti Aur Sona (1989). But after 1990 their next three films as a pair were failures.
Most of his films where he had the leading role did not fare well at the box office. Subsequently, Pandey starred alongside male lead actors such as Rajesh Khanna, Govinda, Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt and Jeetendra as the second lead hero. Some of the hit films of his are Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988), Ghar Ka Chiraag(1989), Zahreelay (1990), Rupaye Dus Karod, Vishwatma (1992), Lootere (1993) and Aankhen (1993).
In 1993, he starred as the second lead to Govinda in the David Dhawan directed blockbuster Aankhen. It was the biggest box-office movie of 1993. Unfortunately, the credit of the movie's success went to Govinda and Kader Khan. Pandey could not capitalise on the mega-success. It was his last successful film with him as the hero.
1994–2003: Career slump and hiatus
The advent of the 90s saw a new wave of actors such as Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Rahul Roy and Shahrukh Khan taking on roles as "romantic heroes" while Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Ajay Devgan grabbed the "action hero" roles. Pandey found it difficult to slot himself in either category.
Chunky grew increasingly tired of playing second fiddle to more prominent actors but had difficulty being seen as marketable outside of supporting household names. "I was offered hero ke bhai ka (brother of the hero) role and some shit," Chunky said. "I (told them), 'Boss, not happening.'"
Frustrated with the lack of meaningful roles and lack of faith from producers Pandey's career in Bollywood as lead hero began to fade. Pandey took an hiatus from Bollywood in the late 90s and then he moved to Bangladeshi cinema. Because he didn't speak Bengali, his voice were dubbed in most of his movies there. Notable films he acted in were Swami Keno Asami and Besh Korechi Prem Korechi.
2003 to present: Return to Bollywood
In 2005, Pandey was critically acclaimed for his dark role as a underworld gangster in the Ram Gopal Varma film D – Underworld Badshah. Director Ram Gopal Varma was so impressed with Chunky that he roped him in for Darwaza Bandh Rakho a dark comedy thriller where he played one of four robbers who hold a family hostage.
Currently, Pandey has carved a niche in playing comic relief roles, usually as outlandish characters. This is most notable in his memorable role as the Indo-Italian "Aakhiri Pasta" in the 2010 comedy hit Housefull which was lauded by critics and fans. He reprised his role as Aakhri Pasta in the sequel Housefull 2 in 2012 which also was a blockbuster.
Though he has recently been starring a character actor, Chunky doesn't want to be pigeonholed into just doing comic roles. "I don't think I am restricting myself to doing only comedy. I am hoping that someone offers me something else," Pandey said. "It requires a lot of guts for someone to cast me in something else. I am just hoping that someone sees something else in me other than comedy."
Pandey has gained notoriety as either a celebrity judge or host on reality TV game shows like the dance competition Zara Nachke Dikha and comedy contest shows like Laugh India Laugh and the The Great India Laughter Challenge.
Chunky married Bhavna Pandey in 1998 and has two daughters. He decided to make a comeback to Bollywood during 2002 and ended up appearing in over a dozen movies. Apart from appearing in movies, Chunky is involved in a business 'Bollywood Electric' which hosts stage shows. He and his wife Bhavna also run a health food restaurant in Mumbai, India.
|1981||Rocky||Bell-ringer student (extra) in song 'Rocky Mera Naam'|
|1987||Aag Hi Aag||Vijay Singh|
|Gunahon Ka Faisla||Sheru|
|Paap Ki Duniya||Inspector Vijay|
|Khatron Ke Khiladi||Mahesh Avtar|
|Mitti Aur Sona||Vijay Bhushan|
|Kasam Vardi Ki|
|Ghar Ka Chiraag||Ravi|
|Nakabandi||Raja 'Munna' D. Singh|
|Khilaaf||Vikram 'Vicky' Veerpratap Singh|
|Aaj Ke Shahenshah|
|Rupaye Dus Karod||Suraj|
|1992||Parda Hai Parda|
|Vishwatma remake||Akash Bhardwaj|
|Police Wala||Jimmy/CBI Officer Jagmohan Nath|
|1994||Gopalaa||Major Anand/Gopal 'Gopala' Anand|
|Teesra Kaun?||Vijay Verma|
|1997||Kaun Rokega Mujhe|
|1999||Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan||Chali D'Souza|
|2003||Qayamat: City Under Threat||Gopal, a scientist|
|Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost||Sanjay|
|2006||Apna Sapna Money Money||Rana Jang Bahadur|
|Darwaza Bandh Rakho||Raghu|
|Don: The Chase Begins Again||T.J (Special Appearance)|
|I See You||Akshay 'AK' Kapoor|
|2007||Fool N Final||Rocky|
|Om Shanti Om||As himself – Special Appearance|
|2009||Ek: The Power of One||Balli|
|Sankat City||Sikandar Khan (Dual role)|
|De Dana Dan||Nonny Chadda|
|2010||Tees Maar Khan||Himself|
|2011||Rascals||Bhagat Bhulabhai Chouhan(BBC)|
|2012||Housefull 2||Akhri Pasta|
|Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum||Baba 3G|
|Hum Hai Raahi Car Ke|
|2013||Bullett Raja||Lallan Tiwari|
|2014||Gang of Ghosts||Gulab Chand|
Awards and nominations
- 1989: Nominated – Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Tezaab
- 2007: Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role – Apna Sapna Money Money
- 2012: Nominated – Zee Cine Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role – Housefull 2
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