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Interview By: AAKANSHA SHAKHEWAR

Badshah is someone who rules the heart of a million people with his songs, and is surely going to be loved by the audience for his role as Gabru in ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’. He is making his debut with the movie and is as excited and nervous as each of his fans. He tells us about his experience of facing the camera as an actor for first time, about his co-star, why should one watch this movie and much more. It was so nice to get in chat with this humble gentleman and he is one of the reasons why people will look forward to watch the film.

From being a rapper on-screen, now you are going to be seen as an actor too. How does that make you feel and did you ever plan for it?
I did not plan for it all I can say for now is that it just happened. Sir read the script to me and then Shilpi ma’am came and I gave her the feedback that I like it a lot. When did the shooting start and when did the trailer come out I did not even understand all of that until now.

How was it facing the camera for the first time as an actor?
My first shot was good and I started doubting whether they are taking me seriously because nobody complained and that made me sceptical. We got done with the second shot in which even Sonakshi was there. After the shot Sonakshi and I, were having a normal conversation and we see Shilpi ma’am coming our way and I thought she is definitely going to tell me about what I did wrong but then as she came close she started telling Sonakshi about what she was not doing right. I asked her did I do the shot properly and to my surprise she said, ‘You are doing good’. This was all good at the initial stage but everything started falling apart from my end on 4th day. I was stuck on one shot for almost 4 hours.

Badshah, with that being said who approached you for the movie?
I think it was Sonakshi because when she was told about the whole script of the movie she asked the makers who they have in mind for Gabru and suggested my name for the same to that they responded that they had me only in their mind for Gabru.

Were you sceptical about doing this movie because of the subject?
I was offered a role in ‘Lust Stories’ which was played by Vicky Kaushal later. But I said no to do that because I was sceptical about doing the role as I thought it was against my image. I was offered another role of Diljit Dosanjh in ‘Good News’ which was similar and then I was offered with Gabru to which I said yes as slowly my scepticism went away.

Was there any special reason on why you chose ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’ for your debut?
It is a very beautiful film and anybody that gets a chance to work in the film should do it without hesitation. On the face of it the movie looks like it is breaking a taboo but it is a movie about relationships, bonding, discovering and unlimited entertainment. Sonakshi has out-shown herself throughout the movie.

How comfortable were you when you faced the camera for first time?
I was not afraid of the camera at all and there were times where people had to tell me that camera is here please look here. Acting is very difficult because we think it’s all just about revising your dialogues and going on sets and saying it. But when we actually are the one who is acting you understand it’s not just about the dialogue there is a mark, an angle, a light and few more things. So it is really tough to actually be the one who is acting but yes I was not camera shy I was very comfortable around it. There was a day when I had to deliver the dialogues to Sonakshi but since she was not there I said it to the pole so yes in every since acting is difficult but it is also a form of art that not everybody can do.

In future are you willing to play a different role? In this movie you are playing rapper and it’s something that you already are; so are we going to see you do something completely out of the box?
The role that I’m playing in this movie is different because he is a rapper but he has a problem too and that you will see when the movie releases. I would like to play a very dark character like ‘Khilji’ specifically.

Is there anything similar between Gabru and Badshah?
The only thing we have in common is him and I both are rappers from Punjab. But Gabru is like a village guy who just got this fame, money and has a very flashy look but I’m subtle and not loud like him. I had to find a character I could relate to and I personally know few people in Punjab who are exactly like this. The research these writers did for the character was on point and I could see that. Being from the industry and being surrounded by such people. I did the research but not much. I completely trusted the makers for the character I’m playing. It was comparatively easy to find the character-graph. Shilpi ma’am told me about Gabru and also about his parents which made it easier for me to play the character.

Which was your favourite scene from the movie?
My very first scene was my favourite scene to play because it got done in one take. The most difficult scene was the last scene you see in the trailer.

When Diljit did ‘Udta Punjab’ he was aware about upsetting the audience in Punjab because of the subject of the movie and ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’ is about a subject which is quite taboo so did you ever feel you might upset the north Indian crowd?
I won’t deny I did think about all this factors but I realized in the end the only person I might end up upsetting is my mother. When it comes to the audience I think they are very accepting today and Diljit paaji thought about it but he was appreciated for the same. If your work is good you will surely be accepted for it.

People really love you as a singer but is there a fear inside you about what if they don’t accept me as an actor?
The fear of rejection is obviously there but we will see what happens when the movie is released.

While talking to Sonakshi she told us she was very conservative about sex before she did this movie so we want to know from you about how conservative are you when it comes to sex?
My family never spoke to me about sex. We are fortunate that our school taught us about it but the actual credit goes to the teacher who taught us about it. She did not make it look like a subject that is not normal and while she was teaching everyone was so contained in the class.

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