Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR
Basking in all the appreciation he has got for ‘Gold’, we catch up with Sunny Kaushal and chat about the success of the film, and the cinema that lures him. Excerpts:
How have things been for you post ‘Gold’?
It’s a great space to be. The whole response to ‘Gold’ and Himmat Singh has really been heart-warming. So, I’m not going to shy away from the fact that it’s a great feeling and I’m loving the attention I’m getting.
What were the things you specifically took care of, for your character? And did you expect this sort of a response?
We made this film so that more people see the film, and more people are aware of this story. I was not aware of this myself, so we felt like this is a story everyone should know about. Also, you make films to be successful, but we were not under a pressure that we’ll just do it to make it successful. We are just trying to be honest to the story, and that’s what has worked for the film. As far as preparing for the character was concerned, it was very necessary because we were playing athletes and they have a different way of carrying themselves. I had to study that a bit. The fact that he comes from a village played an important part in that – walking a certain way, holding the stick a certain way when he is not playing, so those are the things which I had to work on. We were lucky that we were training with some real life hockey players as well, for the film. There were a lot of hockey players with us, who were acting in the film, so we used to learn from them, ask them a lot of questions. Even on a psychological level, I had to work a bit.
As a young actor in the industry, what’s one of the best things you feel here? And is there something which is a constant challenge?
It’s a great time to be in the industry because things are changing at a rate, and people are doing such different kinds of things. People are learning so much from different people, putting it on paper and making films. There’s an influx of biographies. We need to know about the people in our history who have done great stuff . Experimental cinema is also there now, to talk about different issues in the society and there is merger of issue based commercial films. Not just as an actor, but even as a technician or producer, it’s a great time to be in this industry. As a young person, I couldn’t have asked for a better time to explore myself. We are learning things at a fast rate and putting it into execution at a fast rate.
At the end of these two films, what has been your learning, and has ‘Gold’ given you a further push in terms of confidence?
It’s a great validation when you get appreciated. It’s not like one lacks confidence, but now you are sure that this is working. I did not start out with an apprehension, I was grateful that people had faith in me. I’m here to work and there is no room to be under-confident. What works and doesn’t work is not in my hand, but as an actor I have to be confident about what I’m doing. If it doesn’t work, then that’s a learning.
What’s the best feedback and most gratifying part of ‘Gold’?
The best thing was when people told me, they thought, I was an actual sardaar. So a lot of sardars have messaged me that after watching the film, they searched for me on Google, Instagram and they were surprised to see I am not a sardar. I’m gratified by the fact that people didn’t expect much out of me but they came out appreciating me. The fact that people didn’t know who you were, but now after the film, they love you so much. It’s gratifying right? I’ve realised how cinema touches other people’s lives, so it’s a great responsibility on you. It makes people feel and it’s upon you, as to how you can make use of that.
What’s your personal choice in cinema?
My personal choice in cinema is not in the real space. I love the larger-than-life, super-hero, sci-fi or whatever you call it genre. That’s what I have grown up watching and reading, so that’s what attracts me. I used to love looking outside the window and dreaming of saving people, jumping from rooftops. That’s my personal taste as an actor. Even as an audience, I want to watch something which takes me away in a different world all together, which transports you to a world which you know is not real. At the same time, I have enjoyed it thoroughly and never doubted that it is not real in the universe of that film. If I watch an ‘Avergers’ or an ‘Avatar’ or any of those films, I want to be transported to a world where there are superheroes and aliens. I love that kind of cinema!
What do you like doing apart from movies?
I look at cinema as a part and parcel of my life, so there’s no detachment from it ever. Apart from that I love to read. It’s not like I would always watch a movie when free, but I’d read, or just go somewhere, sit and observe people because that’s a part of my craft. But I love reading, that’s one thing I do, as much as I watch movies.