Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY

Yet another historic film for Sonu Sood! He made his debut with ‘Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh’. And since then, we have seen him playing versatile roles where all his performances were always acclaimed. In a recent chat, he spoke to us about his recent release, J.P.Dutta’s ‘Paltan’ and how he is glad and fortunate enough to  be a part of historical films in his career, the journey of ‘Paltan’ and much more. Read on…

J.P Dutta is back to what he does best, making war movies, how was ‘Paltan’ for you?

‘Paltan’ has been a great experience especially when you’re shooting with real soldiers, real guns, real bullets, and having J.PDutta behind the camera; so, everything looks like a war.  Things are easy because you have real soldiers running behind you, their faces, their looks, their face sun burnt and the intensity of the whole film makes it look larger than life.

How important is it for you to seek that bit of reliability or belief in the films you are a part of? When we see you being choosy about the films you do…

I always maintain that- it’s a film that chooses an actor not the actor that chooses the films.  Right films, right roles, when it comes to an actor, you can’t say a no. And then when roles are not meant for you, you can’t get into serious. So, I am glad and lucky enough to be a part of one of the most important historical movies in my career when it comes to ‘Bhagat Singh’ my debut or when it comes to ‘Jodha Akbar’ and now I am doing a film called ‘Kurushetra’ and ‘Arjun’ in south. And of course ‘Paltan’ and ‘Manikarnika’ is been happening so there is some connection with history that takes me back to these historical films.  

As an actor you crave to play different roles and you get the liberty to emote out so many different emotions in different ways, do you think that’s the best part about being an actor?

I think acting is the best professions to be in, you get to live so many lives, and you get to explore so many characters. And I think as a person you grow when you play these roles. You play positives, negatives, comedies.  There are characters written by someone and then you get to play them so I think you indentify people faster in life and also you get to play so many roles.

‘A solider dies not when he is shot but when he is forgotten’ – do you agree with this bitter truth and that’s why we have people like J. P. Dutta making films to talk about our real heroes?  

 I would say yes because we have to justify the kind of scarifies the soldiers make, you have to justify the struggle a family goes through staying away from him. It’s not easy to be an army person, it may be easier for us to sit and talk about them but when you stay there for two and half or three months with the bad conditions, where there is no oxygen, minus 30 degree temperature then you realize what they actually go through and the kind of respect grows for them is more.

If I may say every actor may have J. P. Dutta on his wish list of directors, was it in your case and how is it to be directed by him?

J.P Dutta is a legend, especially with war films the kind of research he goes through, the kind of experience he has, makes life easier for us. We just have to go through his share of homework, listen to him on sets, do what he makes us do and we look real soldiers, I think that’s the USP of working with a director like J.P Dutta.

So with this was the script enough for your guidelines or you had some research done from your end?

I went through my mother’s library which is full of books, you name a subject and you’ll get a book out of it.  She was a professor and she always use to guide me to play those roles and get me books whether it’s Jodha Akbar or moguls, whatever period it may be. And now she is no more and I miss her guidance but still when I wanted to know about army, there were books on army and I went through them. And I thoroughly felt she is again guiding me to play my role and when you have an angel guiding you, you can’t go wrong.

What was your reaction when you saw the trailer or the first look of ‘Paltan’ after all the hard work that’s gone in? 

Yes the whole thing changes when you see yourself on-screen and then your friends and family call you and appreciate you and I think that reaction keeps you on your toes and makes you give your best.  And I’m sure when people will watch the film they will be proud of it.

You seem to be fit in general with your workout session.  But to play an army man, was there something needed that you had to prepare physically?

 No. I am into fitness and that helped me survive fast. And we were shifting between Hyderabad to Leh and we needed to acclimatize to the climate because there was no oxygen. But I somehow landed straight from the airport and was running on the sets and all the actors and the crew was a little worried and asking if I was okay or was I feeling dizzy or something.  But I survived and nothing happened to me because of my fitness levels I would say. It helped me survive and also I keep on experimenting myself, challenging at every bit and I know how low or fit you are but there’s always a next level; so I am trying to achieve those next level.

 Which genre you enjoy the most as an actor and audience?  

I thoroughly enjoy doing historical films because you get into the period and you create something and is going to stay there for life. I love comedies also. And action is my genre which I’ve done in so many movies. So something which is historical and has a pinch of comedy and action is my favorite.

Which part do you find more challenging in terms of your profession, as an actor or a producer?

As a producer its creatively more challenging, is more tiring, is more responsible job, so you have to do once in a while to challenge your capabilities. But as an actor you enjoy, you go finish your work and come back, that’s easier.

Your next venture as a producer?

Yes I’m already working on PV. Sindhu and we have completed the script so we should roll sometime next year.

How do you choose a film as a producer?

It’s an instinct that happens to me you just come across a story that you know you wish to make it as creative person and then you come onboard. You can’t plan things it just happens in your life.

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