Darshan Kumar started with Omang Kumar’s ‘Mary Kom’ followed by villainous character in ‘NH 10’ and garnered huge appreciation for both his performances. Now, he is again here with a significant role of Pakistani lawyer in ‘Sarbjit’. We had a quick chat with him recently. Read on…

“I think script is the hero”

Tell us about your role in ‘Sarbjit’ and how did you come on board?

I got call from Omang Sir. He asked me that there is a particular role of Pakistani lawyer and would you like to do this? When I read it, I was like Oh my god! He is like a fighter. And whatever he has done for Sarbjit or for many other Indians is incredible. He faced so many problems because of that. But because of him 5-6 Indians are staying at their homes now. He helped them in getting a bail and release. He was also there for Sarbjit, but some spelling mistake happened, so, in place of Sarbjit, Surjit came to India. He fought for Sarbjit like a brother not like a lawyer. Sir Awaiz was a man who doesn’t believe in borders and boundaries.  After reading that I felt like this is the character which I would love to do. I was the last person in the casting list. I got selected and hardly got 4-5 days to prepare this role.
How challenging it is to be a part of real life based film in comparison to fictional film?

Doing biopics are always very tough, they depict a real person’s life. The real person is in front of media and everyone. They can Google it or they can see it on YouTube as to how he behaves, how he is as a human being. We have to be as close as possible to real him. So, I think it was toughest to do this. Doing this role was very tough for me because his body language is really tough. The lawyers have very different kind of body language, they are fast all the time, they talk in particular manner. For this role, I lost weight 8-10 kilos within a week because I didn’t have much time to do that and I learnt the language, as they speak Urdu with Punjabi accent in Lahore. They have a different style of talking. It was fun to prepare for the character.

How has theatre helped you?

Theatre helped me in a big way. I think for every actor it is a must to do because there we start from the scratch, everything whatever we do. It’s not like that you just enter any theatre group and you start performing first day because you have to rehearse, you have to prepare everyday there. You have to take care of your clothes before the show also, you have to do all the things on your own and while performing also, when you perform you discover so many things about your role, you become master on that and when you perform two hours in front of audience, without any retake, you have to be spontaneous all the time. It’s really tough. When you do this many times, you become so confident that acting in front of the camera becomes piece of the cake. The confidence, how we learn in theatre, that’s all is the amazing thing.
‘Sarbjit’ is your second film with Omang Kumar. How has been the collaboration with him?

It’s been amazing. Omang sir is a very mature director. He knows what he wants from his actors. He himself is an actor. He is from theatre background. He knows what’s going on in actors mind while performing and he know what he can say to improve the performance we are doing. His little inputs became magical. In the first film, I still remember he use to come between the takes whenever he wanted me to do something and use to whisper something in my ears. Those things became magical. In this film, he didn’t have to say anything (laughs). He was just sitting on monitor and I just looked in his eyes and got what he wants. He is like family. He is a mentor. I enjoy his company and working with him.

All the three films that you did are women centric. Didn’t you have any apprehensions?

I think the script is the hero. The second comes the director and production house and fourth is my role. These four things are very important for me. Otherwise I don’t think that I am doing a male or female oriented film. The story is about someone particular, sometimes it’s on boy’s journey or sometimes on lady’s journey. It depends and I don’t believe that this is male oriented or this is female oriented. The film is a film. We act something, we portray something and we present it to the audience because we are telling a story in a way which audience like. They don’t think like that we are going for some male oriented film or female oriented film, they see the subject, they think about it and if they feel oh it’s a good film, they go and watch it. So, that’s what I believe.

 As you are three films old, what do you think about your growth so far?

I am learning with each film, I have learned a lot with each and every day because that’s how you become good actor, that’s how you learn. I have learned many things in the industry. I am getting loads of love and good work. For my last two films, I was nominated in all the award shows. That kind of love and appreciation gives you confidence. I also feel I have lots of responsibilities on my shoulders because I have to perform better. People are expecting better from me day by day. For that I have to work hard.

How do you want the audience to receive ‘Sarbjit’? What are your expectations from it?

I think audience will love this film because this film is about fighters, Dalbir Kaur fighting for her brother Sarbjit, Sarbjit fighting for his life, Awaiz Sheikh fighting for humanity. If you support humanity, love your family and country, it gives you different kind of pleasure. That’s the message in the film. People will enjoy the film, I know they will cry because it’s a hard subject but apart from that they will get to know different kind of journeys and positivity also that we have to fight in each and every situation.

Any future projects you would like to share with us?

I have just finished a film called ‘Mirza Juliet’, it’s a love story with political background. It’s a different genre, it’s a commercial film. I think it will release in August or September.

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