|Born||Kundapura, Karnataka, India|
|Residence||Banashankari, Bangalore, Karnataka, India|
|Other names||Uppi|
|Occupation||Actor, film director, film producer, writer, screenwriter, lyricist, singer|
Upendra 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, 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 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 directors of Kannada cinema. He is currently one of the highest paid directors and actors in the Kannada Film Industry.
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.
- 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. 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.
- 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. 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 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.
- 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.
- Upendra has announced that he is currently[when?] working on the script for his next directorial titled Upendra 2, a sequel to his 1999 film Upendra. Upendra 2 will be directed and produced by Upendra under his home banner, Upendra Productions. The movie will be a comeback film of a trio of musician Gurukiran, cinematographer HC Venu and Upendra. The posters of Upendra 2 were released on the Internet on 16 September 2012. The print media of his forthcoming directorial 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".
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 1998, Upendra made the transition to a full fledged hero with his directorial film A. The film went on to become one of the highest grossing Kannada films of its time. 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.
- In 1999, Upendra starred in a self-titled Psychological thriller, Upendra. The film was again written and directed by Upendra himself. The film shattered all box office records of Kannada cinema.
- In 2000, Upendra starred opposite Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre in the film Preethse which was a remake of the Bollywood film Darr. The film was a Psychological thriller, in which Upendra plays a mad lover who stops at nothing to achieve his love and goes on committing series of murders. Upendra was the highest paid Kannada actor of that time.
- 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 2002, Upendra went on to write and star in a highly controversial film, H2O. Upendra again starred opposite Priyanka Trivedi in this film for the second time. The film also starred Tamil dancer Prabhu Deva. H2O was about the sensitive Kaveri River water dispute, which Upendra chose to show symbolically through a love triangle between a Kannadiga (Upendra), a Tamilian (Prabhu Deva) and their object of affection, Kaveri (Priyanka Trivedi). Upendra's next film titled Super Star, was based on the true incidents of the Nepalese royal massacre. His next film was Naanu Naane. Nagarahavu. Upendra then wrote and starred in a big budget science fiction film titled Hollywood, in which he starred opposite Australian actress Felicity Mason.
- In 2003, Upendra made back to back films Kutumba, Raktha Kanneeru and Gokarna. The same year, Upendra married his H2O co-star Priyanka Trivedi.
- In 2004, Upendra's gangster film Omkara. His next film in 2005, Gowramma. The same year, Upendra starred opposite Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in the film Auto Shankar.
- 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. 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 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.
- In 2011 Upendra starred opposite his wife Priyanka Trivedi and bollywood actress Celina Jaitly in the film Shrimathi, which was a remake of the 2004 Bollywood film Aitraaz.
- In 2012, Upendra made Katari Veera Surasundarangi (Kannada's first 3D film) and Kalpana, Godfather, and Arakshaka. His next film Topiwala is in post production and is scheduled for January 2013 release.
Upendra endorsed United Breweries, Lunars Footwear and the Emani Navaratna Brand. He 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."[this quote needs a citation] 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."[this quote needs a citation]
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.
|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.||Writer, lyricist|
|1989||Anathana Avanthara||Kannada||Cameo appearance (Lord Kamadeva in a song)|
|1995||Operation Antha||Kannada||Cameo Appearance|
|1998||Kanyadanam||Telugu||Debut movie in Telugu, a box office success.|
|1999||Upendra||Naanu||Kannada||Highest Grossing film of 1999
The film starred Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon.
|2000||Preethse||Chandru||Kannada||Highest Grossing film of 2000
The film starred the Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre.
|2002||Naanu Naane||Raja||Kannada||Remake of Hindi film Raja Hindustani|
|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|
|2005||Gowramma||Venkat Swamy||Kannada||Remake of Nuvvu Naaku Nachav|
|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||Anatharu||Rudra||Kannada||Remake of Pithamagan|
Sri Sri Sri Bhagavan Ranjaneesh Swamy,
|Kannada||Highest Grossing film of 2008, 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|
|2012||Katari Veera Surasundarangi||Upendra,
|Kannada||One of the Highest grossing Kannada films of 2012,
First full length 3D film in Kannada cinema.
SIIMA Award for Best Actor (Critics)
Music for the film was composed by A. R. Rahman
|2012||Kalpana||Raghava||Kannada||Remake of Kanchana
Udaya Award for Best Actor
|2013||Sri Jagadguru Aadi Sankara||Telugu|
|2013||Brahma||Kannada / Telugu||Filming|
- Suvarna Film Awards 2008 – Special Award for Performance – Anatharu
- South Indian International Movie Awards – Special Appreciation Award
- Excited Upendra on Tamil Film 'Sathyam'. Indiaglitz.com (14 June 2008).
- Upendra Kannada Film Super Box Office Report, Collections. Cinemagupshup.com.
- "Speculation of Kannada top director Upendra about India in 2030. A scene from movie Super by Kannada's top director Upendra". chitthara.com.
- "Interview with Kannada Cinema's Top Star – Upendra". cinegoer.com.
- "Upendra – The 'Super' man in your neighbourhood". The Hindu.
- "Top Director of Kannada Cinema Upendra wins State Award".
- "Highest Paid Actors of Kannada Film Industry".
- Madhu Daithota, TNN (30 January 2011). "I like watching Upendra's films: Rajinikanth". Times of India.
- Written by: By: Shekhar H Hooli (29 January 2011). "Rajinikanth describes Upendra's Super as different film". Oneindia Entertainment.
- "Upendra 2 poster hits internet". Oneindia Entertainment. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "The 'Super' man in your neighborhood – Upendra". The Hindu.
- "Upendra & Priyanka – When two cultures merge". Deccan Herald.
- "Upendra's 'Super' tops State Awards". Deccan Herald.
- "Kanyadaanam 1999 Cast and Crew". oneindia.
- "He's 'different'".
- "Kannada Blockbuster Preethse – Mindless Entertainment!". rediff.com.
- "Upendra's 'Buddhivantha' – The Top Grosser of 2008". sify.com.
- "Anna Bond and Katari Veera – Biggest Hits of 2012 so far". oneindia.
- "Kannada film 'God Father' earns Rs 7 Cr in two weeks".
- "Godfather audio release: AR Rahman honoured". ibnlive.