Upendra

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Upendra
Upendra Kannada Actor Director.jpg
Born 18 September 1968 (age 45)
Kundapura, Karnataka, India
Residence Banashankari, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Other names Uppi[1]
Occupation Actor, film director, film producer, writer, screenwriter, lyricist, singer
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Priyanka Upendra
Children 2

Upendra (born 18 September 1968; popularly also called Uppi[2]) is an Indian actor, director, producer, screenwriter, lyricist and singer. He stars primarily in Kannada films and is well known in Sandalwood and Tollywood. He started his career under the director Kashinath as a writer and an assistant director. His first directorial venture was Tharle Nan Maga.

In the late 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,[3] he returned to the role of director with the multilingual movie Super, which was well-received critically and commercially.[4]

Upendra is known for his work in films like A (1998), Upendra (1999), Preethse (2000), Raa (2001), Kutumba (2003), Raktha Kanneeru (2003), Gokarna (2003), Gowramma (2005), Auto Shankar (2005), Aishwarya (2006), Anatharu (2007), Budhivanta (2008), Super (2010), Katari Veera Surasundarangi (2012), and Kalpana (2012). Upendra has thus established himself as one of the most successful actors and directors of Kannada cinema.[5][6][7][8] He is currently one of the highest paid directors and actors in the Kannada Film Industry.[9]

Career as a director

  • It was Upendra's life'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 comedian called Jaggesh.
  • 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. Upendra came out as an independent director.
  • 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. The movie was the highest grossing Kannada film of its time. 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 essaying Shivrajkumar's role.
  • Upendra then turned towards a project of directing an extended version of a 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 controversial for its taunts on some real life political figures.[citation needed]
  • In 1998 Upendra directed A, which was again a revolutionary film about exploring deeper meanings of love. The film had 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. The film went on to become one of the highest grossing Kannada films of its time.[citation needed] The film was also dubbed to Telugu, and repeated its success in Andhra Pradesh too. The film won accolades from Bollywood personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor.[citation needed]
  • Upendra's next movie was Swasthik with lead Raghavendra Rajkumar which was released in 1998. Taking a plot with terrorism as its core, it narrates the story of an Indian raised by Pakistani parents living in India, who are later revealed to be terrorists.
  • 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. The film starred three heroines, Damini, Prema, and Bollywood girl Raveena Tandon. Naanu was an arrogant character, bordered on misogyny, and was very insulting to women. The film shattered all box office records of Kannada cinema.[citation needed] Since then, Upendra gave up direction and concentrated more on his on screen career.
  • Upendra came back as a director after 10 years in 2010 with the movie Super. The movie was released in a record number of theatres all over Karnataka[citation needed] 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 2030. The film broke many box office records upon release and went on to become one of the highest grossing Kannada films of recent times and was also critically acclaimed.[citation needed]
  • 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. Once outside the auditorium, the actor spoke to a huge crowd of media-men who were gathered outside. "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.[10][11]
  • In January 2012, Upendra announced that he is working on the script for his next directorial titled Upendra 2 (stylized as Uppi2), a sequel to his 1999 film Upendra. Upendra 2 will be directed and produced by Upendra under his home banner, Upendra Productions. The posters of Upendra 2 were released on the Internet on 16 September 2012.[12] The posters featured a huge rectangle, with no clear name inside it, but with a heap of mathematical formulae – be it arithmetic, algebra, geometry, analytical geometry, calculus and so on – and had a byline – "directed by Upendra".[13] Uppi2 was launched by Upendra on 18'th September 2013 at Kanteerava Studios in Bangalore, amongst thousands of fans gathered to witness the launch. Lathi Charge from the police to control the crowd of fans gathered at the venue was reported.[14] The Songs Recording for Uppi2 started on 30'th March 2014 at Gurukiran Studio in Bangalore.[15] Upendra is rumored to have approached bollywood actress Vidya Balan to play the female lead in Uppi2.[16] However, Upendra is yet to officially announce the star cast of the film and will start shooting by May 2014.[17]

Career as an actor

  • After acting in small roles in his mentor Kashinath's films such as Anathana Avanthara and Ajagajanthara, Upendra started his acting career with a bunch of walk on roles notably in his directorial films such as Tharle Nan Maga, Shhh! and Operation Antha.
  • In 2001, although Upendra did not have any releases in Kannada, his Telugu films such as Kanyadaanam and Raa were released in Andhra Pradesh. Raa was a typical Upendra style film in which he plays a womanising playboy. Upendra starred opposite Priyanka Trivedi for the first time in this film.
  • In 2006, Upendra starred in a Candyfloss Romantic Comedy film Aishwarya directed by Indrajit Lankesh. It was the debut film of bollywood actress Deepika Padukone. The film was made on a high style quotient. Upendra's other films of the year such as Uppi Dada M.B.B.S., Tandege Takka Maga.
  • In 2008, his only release of the year Budhivanta was the top box office grosser of the year.[citation needed] Uppi played a womanising con-man in the film, and his seven get-ups. His films in 2009 such as Dubai Babu and Rajani.
  • After many 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 Upendra starred opposite Tamil actress Nayantara and Tulip Joshi. The movie was released in a record number of theatres all over Karnataka[citation needed] and was also dubbed into Telugu and released in Andhra Pradesh. The film broke many box office records upon release and went on to become one of the highest grossing Kannada films of recent times and was also critically acclaimed.[citation needed]
  • In 2013 Upendra's much anticipated film Topiwala did not do well at the box office.[23] His next film in 2014 Brahma also failed at the box office despite having huge hype before release.[24]
  • Upendra is also set to work with Dandupalya director Sreenivasa Raju in an action film titled Basavanna, which evoked controversies regarding its title and first look poster.[25] After facing oppositions from religious communities, the makers of the film have reportedly decided to shoot the film without a title.[26] Upendra is also starring in the remake of Telugu film Kick, titled Supero Ranga, which also stars actress Kriti Kharbanda opposite Upendra.[27] After the completion of these films, Upendra will direct and star in his most ambitious project, Uppi2 which was launched on 18'th September 2013.[28] The Songs Recording for Uppi2 started on 30'th March 2014 at Gurukiran Studio in Bangalore.[29] Upendra is rumored to have approached bollywood actress Vidya Balan to play the female lead in Uppi2.[30] However, Upendra is yet to officially announce the star cast of the film and will start shooting by May 2014.[31]

Endorsements

Upendra has done the highest number of Brand Endorsements among Kannada Actors.[32] Upendra has been the brand ambassador of United Breweries, Lunars Footwear, Emani Navaratna Brand, Karnataka Milk Federation (Nandini), Udayavani News Daily, Royal Challengers Bangalore (replaced by Puneeth Rajkumar in IPL 3), Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR), Bangalore Electricity Supply Company.[33] Upendra is also joining hands with Rajinikanth to endorse BBMP campaign.[34]

Upendra has been the Brand Ambassador of United Breweries Group since 1999 and has been instrumental in driving the mass appeal of the brand with his iconic punch line Yella OK. Cool drink yaake? as part of the ad campaign. In March 2012, UB Export celebrated more than a decade long association with Upendra in a ceremony at the Taj Vivanta in Bangalore. Commenting on the occasion Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice-President Marketing, United Breweries Ltd, said "The iconic Yaake? by Upendra in his trademark style has echoed for years and has been successful in capturing the imagination of the people and more importantly it has also enabled us to win several awards and laurels! It's indeed a happy occasion for us."[35] 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."[36]

Personal life

Upendra was born in Koteshwara near Kundapura. On 14 December 2003, Uppi married former Miss Kolkata Priyanka Trivedi who met him first on the sets of the Telugu movie Raa and then on the sets of H2O. Upendra and his family reside in Banashankari III Stage in Bangalore.[37][38]

Filmography

As director

Year Film Lead Actor(s) Awards Notes
1992 Tharle Nan Maga Jaggesh Appears as narrator, writer, lyricist, Debut film as director
1993 Shhh! Kumar Govind Cameo appearance, writer, lyricist
1995 Om Shivaraj Kumar Filmfare Award for Best Director, Karnataka State Film Award for Best Director Voice-over, writer
1995 Operation Antha Ambareesh Cameo appearance, writer, lyricist
1998 A Himself Udaya Film Award for Best Male Actor Writer, lyricist
1999 Swasthik Raghavendra Rajkumar Writer, lyricist
1999 Upendra Himself Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada (1999), Filmfare Award for Best Film (Kannada) Writer, lyricist
2010 Super Himself Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film, Karnataka State Film Award for Best Director, Udaya Film Award for Best Screenplay, Suvarna Film Awards 2011 – Favorite Film Award, Suvarna Film Awards 2011 – Favorite Director Award.[39] Writer, lyricist
2014 Uppi2 Himself Pre-production

As actor

Year Film Role Language Notes
1989 Anathana Avanthara Kannada Cameo appearance (Lord Kamadeva in a song)
1991 Ajagajanthara Kannada Cameo appearance
1993 Shhh! Kannada Cameo appearance
1995 Operation Antha Kannada Cameo Appearance
1998 A Surya Kannada
1998 Kanyadanam Telugu Debut movie in Telugu, a box office success.[40]
1999 Upendra Naanu Kannada Highest Grossing film of 1999[41]
The film starred Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon.
2000 Preethse Chandru Kannada Highest Grossing film of 2000[42]
The film starred the Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre.
2000 Oke Maata Sooryam Telugu
2001 Raa Sridhar Telugu
2002 H2O Udayashankar Kannada, Tamil
2002 Neethone Vuntanu Ravi Telugu
2002 Super Star Praveen,
Deependra
Kannada
2002 Nagarahavu Ajay Kannada
2002 Naanu Naane Raja Kannada Remake of Hindi film Raja Hindustani
2002 Hollywood Upendra,
Surendra,
Robot US47
Kannada
2003 Kutumba Vijay Kannada Remake of Telugu film Gang Leader
2003 Rakta Kanneeru Mohan Kannada Remake of Tamil film Ratha Kanneer
2003 Gokarna Sidda Kannada Remake of Annamalai
2004 Omkara Sathya Kannada
2005 Gowramma Venkat Swamy Kannada Remake of Nuvvu Naaku Nachav
2005 News Guru Kannada
2005 Auto Shankar Shankar Kannada
2006 Uppi Dada M.B.B.S. Rao Bahaddur Upendra Kannada Remake of Munna Bhai M.B.B.S
2006 Tandege Takka Maga Kannada Remake of Thevar Magan
2006 Aishwarya Abhishek Hegde Kannada Debut film of the Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone
2007 Parodi Vijay Kannada Special Appearance
2007 Masti Siddappaji Kannada Special Appearance
2007 Toss Neelakanta Telugu
2007 Anatharu Rudra Kannada Remake of Pithamagan
2007 Lava Kusha Chakri Kannada
2008 Sathyam Manickvel Tamil
2008 Budhivanta Joseph Fernandez,
Panchamrutha,
Zakir Hussain,
Vijay Mithal,
Samarasimha Reddy,
Sri Sri Sri Bhagavan Ranjaneesh Swamy,
Shyam Prasad
Kannada Highest Grossing film of 2008,[43] released as Buddhimanthudu in Telugu.
2008 Mast Maja Maadi Himself Kannada Special Appearance
2009 Dubai Babu Babu Kannada Remake of Dubai Seenu
2009 Rajani Rajani Kannada Remake of Krishna
2010 Super Subhash Chandra Gandhi Kannada
2011 Shrimathi Raj Kumar Kannada
2012 Aarakshaka Arun,
Vishnu
Kannada
2012 Katari Veera Surasundarangi Upendra,
Mohan
Kannada One of the Highest grossing Kannada films of 2012,[44]
First full length 3D film in Kannada cinema.
SIIMA Award for Best Actor (Critics)
2012 Godfather Shiva,
Ajay,
Vijay
Kannada [45]
Music for the film was composed by A. R. Rahman[46]
2012 Kalpana Raghava Kannada Remake of Kanchana
Udaya Award for Best Actor
2013 Topiwala Basak Kannada
2013 Brahma Kannada / Telugu
2013 Basavanna Kannada Post Production
2013 Super-O-Ranga Kannada Post Production
2013 Uppi2 Kannada Pre Production[47]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
1999 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor[48] A Won
1999 Udaya Film Awards Best Director[49] A Nominated
1999 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada[50] A Nominated
2000 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada[51] Upendra Won
2000 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Film – Kannada[52] Upendra Won
2003 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor[53] Nagarahavu Won
2004 Hello Gandhinagara Awards 2004 Best Actor[54] Raktha Kanneeru Won
2004 Hello Gandhinagara Awards 2004 Best Dilogues[55] Raktha Kanneeru Won
2004 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada[56] Raktha Kanneeru Nominated
2008 Suvarna Film Awards Special Award For Performance[57] Anatharu Won
2008 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada[58] Anatharu Nominated
2008 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor[59] Anatharu Nominated
2009 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada[60] Budhivanta Nominated
2011 Udaya Film Awards Best Screenplay[61] Super Won
2011 Udaya Film Awards Best Director[62] Super Nominated
2011 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor[63] Super Nominated
2011 Suvarna Film Awards Favorite Director Award[64] Super Won
2011 Suvarna Film Awards Favorite Film[65] Super Won
2011 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada[66] Super Nominated
2011 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada[67] Super Nominated
2011 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer – Kannada[68] Sikka Patte - Super Nominated
2012 Karnataka State Film Awards Karnataka State Film Award for Best Director[69] Super Won
2012 Karnataka State Film Awards Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film[70] Super Won
2012 South Indian International Movie Awards Special Appriciation Award[71] Shrimathi Won
2013 Udaya Film Awards Best Male Actor[72] Kalpana Won
2013 Suvarna Film Awards Best Male Actor Kalpana Nominated
2013 South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor[73] Katariveera Surasundarangi Won

References

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  4. ^ Upendra Kannada Film Super Box Office Report, Collections. Cinemagupshup.com.
  5. ^ "Speculation of Kannada top director Upendra about India in 2030. A scene from movie Super by Kannada's top director Upendra". chitthara.com. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Kannada Cinema's Top Star – Upendra". cinegoer.com. 
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  10. ^ Madhu Daithota, TNN (30 January 2011). "I like watching Upendra's films: Rajinikanth". Times of India. 
  11. ^ Written by: By: Shekhar H Hooli (29 January 2011). "Rajinikanth describes Upendra's Super as different film". Oneindia Entertainment. 
  12. ^ "Upendra 2 poster hits internet". Oneindia Entertainment. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Upendra 2 Poster hits internet". 
  14. ^ "Commotion at the launch of Uppi2". 
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  23. ^ "2013 Sandalwood Box Office Report". 
  24. ^ "Kannada Films Discussion". 
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  27. ^ "Supero Ranga Launched". 
  28. ^ "Commotion at the launch of Uppi2". 
  29. ^ "Uppi2 Songs Recording". 
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  31. ^ "Uppi2 Songs Recording". 
  32. ^ "Brand Ambassadors of Kannada Film Industry". 
  33. ^ "Brand Ambassadors of Kannada Film Industry". 
  34. ^ "Upendra-Rajinikanth to join hands for BBMP campaign". 
  35. ^ "Upendra-UB Export celebrate a decade long association". 
  36. ^ "Upendra-UB Export celebrate a decade long association". 
  37. ^ "The 'Super' man in your neighborhood – Upendra". The Hindu. 
  38. ^ "Upendra & Priyanka – When two cultures merge". Deccan Herald. 
  39. ^ "Upendra's 'Super' tops State Awards". Deccan Herald. 
  40. ^ "Kanyadaanam 1999 Cast and Crew". oneindia. 
  41. ^ "He's 'different'". 
  42. ^ "Kannada Blockbuster Preethse – Mindless Entertainment!". rediff.com. 
  43. ^ "Upendra's 'Buddhivantha' – The Top Grosser of 2008". sify.com. 
  44. ^ "Anna Bond and Katari Veera – Biggest Hits of 2012 so far". oneindia. 
  45. ^ "Kannada film 'God Father' earns Rs 7 Cr in two weeks". 
  46. ^ "Godfather audio release: AR Rahman honoured". ibnlive. 
  47. ^ "Uppi2 Songs Recording". 
  48. ^ "Udaya film Awards won by Upendra". 
  49. ^ "Udaya film Awards won by Upendra". 
  50. ^ [www.cscsarchive.org:8081/MediaArchive/art.nsf/(docid)/324A4A470734BB1E6525694000620184 "Filmfare Awards 1999"]. 
  51. ^ "Filmfare Awards 2000". 
  52. ^ "Filmfare Awards 2000". 
  53. ^ "Udaya film Awards won by Upendra". 
  54. ^ "Hello Gandhinagara Awards 2004". 
  55. ^ "Hello Gandhinagara Awards 2004". 
  56. ^ "51'st Filmfare Awards Nominations". 
  57. ^ "Gandhadagudi Forum - Upendra Suvarna Award for Anatharu". 
  58. ^ "55'th Filmfare Awards Nominations". 
  59. ^ "Udaya Film Awards". 
  60. ^ "56'th Filmfare Awards Nominations". 
  61. ^ "Udaya Film Awards". 
  62. ^ "Udaya Film Awards". 
  63. ^ "Udaya Film Awards". 
  64. ^ "Suvarna Film Awards 2011". 
  65. ^ "Suvarna Film Awards 2011". 
  66. ^ "58'th filmfare awards south nominees". 
  67. ^ "58'th filmfare awards south nominees". 
  68. ^ "58'th filmfare awards south nominees". 
  69. ^ "Karnataka State Film Awards 2012". 
  70. ^ "Karnataka State Film Awards 2012". 
  71. ^ "SIIMA Awards 2012 Results". 
  72. ^ "Udaya film Awards 2013 Results". 
  73. ^ "SIIMA Awards 2012". 

External links