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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008

    Talking Aishwarya still calls me Bhai-sa: Sonu Sood

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    Aishwarya still calls me Bhai-sa: Sonu Sood
    Sujamal, the affectionate and very caring Bhaisa of Jodha in Jodha-Akbar, has almost become synonymous with Sonu Sood, the actor who played him. Contrary to what some may think, this was certainly not his debut film.

    Remember the actor who played Abhishek Bachchan's older brother in Mani Ratnam's Yuva? That's Sonu Sood for you.

    He is tall, handsome and rugged enough to carry the weight of a Bollywood hero on his able shoulders. Add to this his golden-honey voice.

    Sonu has done Tamil and Telugu films, shuttling between Mumbai and the South since he migrated in 1997. Shoma A. Chatterji has a t?te-?-t?te with the actor.

    Where do Sonu Sood's roots lie?
    I am from Moga in Punjab. My father is a businessman and my mother is a professor of English and History. Among the three children, I am the only son. After school, I did electronic engineering in Nagpur.

    Friends suggested I try modelling in Delhi. I did it for some time. But there was this desire to reach out, to do something more relevant and lasting, which, by then, I had realised, could only happen in Mumbai.

    Though no one from my family has ever had any contact with films, my parents have been extremely supportive of my choice.

    Why did you move to southern films when you did not know the language?
    Working in Tamil and Telugu films, two of which turned out to be very big hits, was like manna from heaven. They are technically so competent that this was the best learning experience I could have had.

    Language does not matter when we have sophisticated dubbing techniques. Besides, they kept me away from signing films indiscreetly in Bollywood and ending up nowhere.

    Many of my Bollywood films flopped and the southern films opened the floodgates towards honing my skills as an actor. Sheesha, Siskiyan, Aasihque Banaya Apne, Boom are some of the Hindi films in my portfolio. They had to happen to make me wiser and cautious.

    And then came Bhagat Singh?
    I played the title role under the directorial wand of Iqbal Singh. Among those who watched Bhagat Singh and Yuva was Asuthosh Gowariker. I have been lucky to work with some of the best directors in the industry.

    Mani Ratnam, who directed Yuva, had seen my Tamil films. I had initially given myself a year to find out whether I could fit into the Mumbai cinema scenario or not. It's been 11 years and I am still here.

    Tell us something about your preparation for your turning-point role in Jodha-Akbar.
    Ashutosh made my day when he said, "I can see only you doing Sujamal and no one else." While shooting for Jodha-Akbar, I committed myself exclusively to this film for one year.

    My mother, who teaches history, got me books on Moghul history from her college library. She read them herself, asked me to go through some parts of a few, and gave me her inputs.

    She has played the most pivotal role from outside the film team to contribute to my final performance. Ashutosh also gave me a couple of books and asked me to read them.

    By the time we were ready for the first shooting schedule, I knew Sujamal very closely and then, everything just fell in place.

    But what about the swordfights, the action scenes, the riding shots?
    What about them? I already had done some sword fighting in college and we all trained in these skills much before shooting began. I am ever willing to learn.

    You ask me to dance and I will shake a leg for you. You ask me to do a fight scene, and I am game. We practised a lot. That made things easy when it finally came to the crunch. I am an extremely disciplined person in real life.

    My punctuality takes my directors by surprise. I am a confident actor because I never allow complacence to bog me down.

    Aren't you over-awed by the top stars you perform with?
    When we are performing, we are characters, not actors. So the stardom hierarchy is forgotten in front of the camera and on the sets.

    If one takes this perspective, one can try to do one's best and let the rest happen naturally. For Jodha-Akbar, the co-actors helped. Aishwarya was exceptionally warm and cooperative. She is one of the greatest co-stars one can have.

    We shared a common ground because I had acted with Abhishek in Yuva and I was acting with her in this film. She still calls me Bhaisa.

    What projects are you working on right now?
    I am playing the male lead, called Prem, in Rajshri Films Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi opposite Isha Koppikar. It is about this young man who has dreams of making it big as a singer.

    This brings him from Bhopal to Mumbai. The other big project is Sing is Kinng directed by Anees Bazmi. It is a fun film where Akshay Kumar is Singh and I play Kinng.

    Kinng is a multimillionaire don who lives in Australia. Singh is a simple Punjabi boy. What happens when the two are in Australia makes for a lot of fun. This is a light role with lots of comic twists.

    I am listening to a lot of scripts. I am still working in Tamil and Telugu films because they have made my face familiar in the south and I love their efficiency.

    So, what's in store for us from Sonu Sood? Have you been able to come out of the Sujamal persona?
    No one in this industry can keep resting on past laurels and must look forward to better films, better scripts, and better roles.

    I am a learning actor. I like to make every film I work in a learning experience. Every director has his own take on things, his personal way of handling a given film, character, script. I go for a role that gives me a kick.

    I look forward to working for different directors. Everyday, after your work on a set is over and it is pack-up time, you would want to take something new back home with you.

    Every assignment I accept must be exciting enough to make me want to get up early in the morning and go straight to the shoot. That is what I look for when I am negotiating for a role in a given film.

    I have made a conscious decision to do only good films. I have decided not to do any film that I may later regret. I have had my share of the uphill climb, the sweat and the tears.

    But there is that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You must reach there yourself. It will not come to you.

  2. #2
    Coolest Person You Will Ever Know!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    lol haha thx 4 sharin

    aww thanks payal, luv ya too.

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