Exclusive: Sonu Sood on Paltan: India breathes because of its soldiers
Sonu Sood gets in an exclusive interaction with mid-day online for his war-film Paltan's release
In a career span of 19 years, Sonu Sood has completed 100 films, including Bollywood and South. The actor has been in news for bidding adieu to Manikarnika. Sonu's film, Paltan has released and the actor is being lauded for his role of Major Bhishan Singh. Affirming that he enjoys working a bit more in Bollywood because of the language comfort. The handsome hunk is yet to learn the master of striking a balance between both the film industries. After Paltan, which hit the screens on September 7, he will be seen in Rohit Shetty's Christmas bonanza, Simmba.
You play Major Bishan Singh's character in this film. What kind of research have you done for this character?
My mother was a Hindi and History professor. When I started my carrier with Tamil films she bought me a book on how to learn Tamil. After that I did Jodha Akbar, she then sent me a book on the Mughals. I always have a connection with history because there is a library in my house, which has so many English and History books. So, whenever I do any film, I just want to go through lots of homework. I read books. When my mother was alive she always gave me notes as a part of my film's prep. After her demise, now I have to read everything on my own and take care of every note. When I read the war book, I learned many things about the army that I don't know. After that when u go with JP Dutta sir on set where everything is real (bullets etc), people called Bishan Singh as Tiger Nathula because people are scared of him. During the war, he had a lot of contribution, and I am glad because of Tiger Nathulal and his Paltan that today Sikkim is a part of India.
Paltan is an intense film, there is a lot of action in it. According to you, what was the toughest scene to enact?
In the climax scene when the soldiers die, and the Major goes to meet their soldiers, I cried there. When I saw my soldier friends lying dead, I cried for real. JP Dutta sir asked me to control my emotions and be a tough Major. Two to three soldiers asked me how do you start and stop crying for real on director's command? I told them that there are times when you do not need glycerine. You just go with the flow in those emotions, and you can't realise that. Today we listen and see so many things about our soldiers being attacked. We talk about it for three to four days on social media and regret. However, it's not the same for their family. The day won't ever be the same for them. So, I feel that is the toughest emotion where we could relate.
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When it comes to doing action films, what kind of exercises does one need to do to remain fit and master the stunts?
I feel apart from fitness, apart from going to the gym, diet is very important, which we need to follow. You can't just workout in the gym and eat anything you want. I remember when we were going to Ladakh, everyone said that we'll take 3 to 4 days to acclimatize. We were asked not to move out of our rooms, just stay in the hotel. I was out on a shoot in Hyderabad, from there; I directly landed on Paltan's sets and started shooting. Everyone was shocked to see me do that. It was a running shot, and they said that I might fall sick. I think its' the fitness of so many years that helped me survive there. Since my college days, I start my day with exercise. I continuously read about new variations and forms and experiment. I feel there are no limits to being fit because no matter how fit you become, you will always hunt and move ahead in search of something new. I am also in search of that newness.
Recently, you tweeted about Kerala floods, and the army went out to help them there. Anything you would want to comment about it?
It's a huge example! We always say that our soldiers only fight on the border but apart from the border, there are several places where the Army has reached to help the nation. India breathes because of its soldiers.
You said that you read books as a part of your preparation for any film. So, how are you preparing for Simmba, especially on the language?
I have got a lot of Marathi staff with me, and my makeup man is a Maharashtrian. I try and talk to him in Marathi. I ask him to correct me if I go wrong. I'll make sure that he sits with during my dubbing session. (laughs)
Your film Kung Fu Yoga was made on a large scale but failed to create a mark on the box office.
Jackie Chan films have a certain market, interest, and buzz. Many Jackie Chan films have released but Kung Fu Yoga was noticed very well in India because it has a combination of both, Indian action and Jackie Chan action. Talking about box office, it's the biggest Jackie Chan grosser ever. If we talk about China market or overseas, it's a widely watched film in India. Even on the television, it is shown every second day and people watch it. I still get phone calls for the film. But, more than a film, it was an experience of working with the legend whom we have grown watching. When you shoot, stay and live with him for almost one and a half year, you feel like a changed person. It has been a wonderful experience.
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