- Mana Shetty (1991 - present)
He assisted his father in his hotel business as a youngster. However, wanting to do more in life, he put his creative mind to work and in 1987, opened a clothing boutique known as Mischief. The business witnessed immense success and Shetty branched out to open another boutique in 1989, known as More Mischief.
Sunil Shetty’s first film was with Pahlaj Nihalani, which was later cancelled. Then he debuted with Balwaan (1992) opposite Divya Bharti. His next release, Waqt Hamara Hai (1993) paired him with Akshay Kumar for the first time, and the audiences loved the duo together. It is little wonder then why the pair was signed for many films going ahead.
Labelled as an ‘action hero’, Shetty tried his hand at comedy for the first time in Gopi Kishan (1994) - a remake of Tamil hit Avasara Police 100 (1990). The movie was declared a huge commercial and a critical success. All of his releases of 1995, Raghuveer, Gaddaar and Takkar boosted his acting career. He had played the anti-hero for the first time in Gaddaar (1995) and gained a lot of praise for his performance.
One of his most memorable films was Hera Pheri (2000). The film has a cult following and has been remembered due to the brilliant performances by the lead actors, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, and Suniel Shetty. The ‘action hero’ started playing a lot of comic roles and was accepted by the audience, as he excelled at making them laugh. He has worked with director Priyadarshan in various films later, most turning out to be major successes.
Another big release in the same year was Dhadkan (2000), starring Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty. His performance in the film won him multiple awards, including the Filmfare Award for the Best Villain.
Later, the 2000s saw him in a number of blockbuster films which included Awara Paagal Deewana (2002), LOC Kargil (2003), Main Hoon Na (2004), Tango Charlie (2005), Chup Chup Ke (2006), Phir Hera Pheri (2006), Welcome (2007), Mission Istanbul (2008), and De Dana Dan (2009). His most recent appearance on screen was in the film Shooter (2016).
Sunil Shetty’s home production (PopKorn Entertainment) movie Bhagam Bhag (2006), was also directed by Priyadarshan and managed to gross huge commercial and critical success.
He recently won many accolades for his movie Red Alert: The War Within (2010) at the South Asia International Film Festival (SAIFF). Apart from Hindi films, Shetty has also starred in an English film Don’t Stop Dreaming (2007) and the Tamil film 12B (2001).