He's a man of few words and says things as they are! We are talking about Sonu Sood who has a release up on his sleeve with JP Dutta's 'Paltan' this week. Juggling between Bollywood and films down the south, Sonu ventured into production with the 2016 film 'Tutak Tutak Tutiya'. Next, he is all set to make a biopic on badminton star PV Sindhu under his banner.
Over to the man himself with whom Filmibeat caught up for an exclusive chat while he was busy promoting his upcoming film-
You had earlier mentioned that JP Dutta was the first filmmaker whom you met when you first came to Mumbai. And now, life comes to a full circle with you doing his film Paltan. How does that feel?
I always believed that an actor's career is incomplete till he plays a soldier. And if he wants to play a soldier then it has to be with JP Dutta Saab. I am glad that the dream of playing a soldier happened and that too with him.
JP Dutta has helmed some of the most iconic war films like Border and LOC Kargil. What are your memories about those films?
I have grown up watching his films whether it be Ghulami, Hathyar. Border is one of my most favourite films and I always believed that I had to work with him someday and I am glad that he chose me for Paltan. When I shot with him on the first day, I remember telling him that, 'Sir, only you have the right to make your films.'
Playing a soldier is quite an emotional experience. Was it difficult for you to let go of the character once you finished shooting for the film?
You have an immense respect for soldiers while playing one. But after you finish the shoot, you feel for them because while you wrap up a shoot in few months, these guys stay in those tough conditions for years and years. Your respect for them immensely grows after the shoot.
If you had to pinpoint the biggest takeaway from Paltan, what would that be?
It has to be the respect for nation. There are times when you think about the nation only on 15th August and 26th January. But after working in a film like Paltan, you think about it 365 days for your nation.
Social media is a boon today. At the same time, it also brings trolls with it. Recently, a poster of Paltan went viral and that had largely to do with your appearance on it...
I just laughed it off. When they showed me the poster, even I pointed that out to them. Actually, everyone had shot for stills where they were looking into the camera and away from it. I think they couldn't find my creatives where I was looking away from the camera and ended up using the other one. People saw the poster and loved it. I am glad at least, some kind of talk that happens wherever something like this occurs. Nothing is bad as long as people are loving you in it.
Do you have a process as an actor? For example, there are a couple of actors who internalize their own emotions when they play a character, while there are the others who make use of external factors. Where do you fit in?
I come on the sets like an open book. The director has to write in it whatever he wants to and I do whatever he tells me to do so. I am totally a director's actor. Then, I also share my inputs as an actor. If everything falls in place, then those characters become memorable. I think it's the team effort and obviously when you are on the same page, then the real magic happens.
How much did films influence you during your growing years?
I was a complete movie-buff. My mom too used to love watching films. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. I am glad that today I am in a profession which I grew up watching, admiring and worshiping. It's one of the most toughest profession to stay and survive in and that's what makes you stronger every day.
You recently announced your second production with PV Sindhu biopic. How is that shaping up?
It's pretty good. We have almost completed the film's fourth draft. We are still looking on the final script. Maybe next year, we will plan to put it together.
How do you see this trend of biopics being made in Bollywood especially when it comes to sportsperson?
I think sports biopics are more inspiring, They inspire people to work hard and achieve new goals. These films are stories of common man becoming a hero. I think they should be well-told.
Finally, is there anything which you would like to change about Bollywood?
I think everything is fair. We have the most disciplined actors and directors. There's lot of fun happening here.