Rajshri production has found its new Prem, a character immortalized by Salman Khan over the years thanks to films like MAINE PAAR KIYA, HUM AAPKE HAI KAUN and HUM SAATH SAATH HAI. As Sonu Sood steps into the shoes of Salman Khan, a lot is being expected from the new Prem who is all excited to play this role. The actor spoke to our correspondent on films, career and his dream run in Bollywood of late.
So you are the new Prem after Salman Khan! O yes, after Salman Khan and also after Shahid Kapur. Even Shahid did a great job as Prem. This is one character I have always loved to watch since MAINE PYAR KIYA but never thought I would be playing Prem one day. So it's a great feeling.
So finally you are getting your dues as an actor... You know something... (pauses). I somehow feel that patience pays and may be it's my mother's blessings who passed away last year. I have put in so much in this industry and have learnt it the hard way and suddenly things have started paying off. So I can only be happy.
You mean your last two films, JODHAA AKHBAR and SINGH IS KINNG, which have gone on to become the biggest hits of the year? Of course what else can I ask for and I am sure EK VIVAAH AISA BHI is again going to be a hit... probably a bigger hit. Everyone, every actor waits for things to happen. Even I waited and now I think it's my turn to enjoy things and I am doing it.
So you accept that this is the best phase of your career so far? Why deny it? This is by far the best phase. I am playing Prem, a romantic lead. I have done action films, comedy but not a romantic hero. So this will be a big thing for me.
Okay, but doesn't that also make you nervous? Oh no...not at all. As an actor I am ready to play all kinds of roles. The audiences might not have seen me in a romantic role but that doesn't mean I am not fit for playing a romantic hero. Rajshri is known for making romantic, family dramas. Prem has always been a loveable character and this Prem too would be liked by everyone.
But don't you think comparisons will be drawn with the earlier Prem too? This is something that is unavoidable. And I don't have any problems with that. I am ready to accept whatever one has to say. Right now I am happy that I am playing this character that has been accepted and loved by the Indian audience. You won't believe, when the trials were going for Prem, Sooraj-ji and his father Raj babu said, "The industry is going to get its next romantic hero in the form of Sonu". That was the most encouraging compliment for me.
That sounds really interesting! (Laughs). You won't believe since then I have been getting offers, quite a few and all are from the biggest banners and they are only coming up with romantic leads. I am going through a few of them.. (Sighs) I really don't know what's going to happen next.
So how different is this Prem from the earlier ones? Like the earlier ones this Prem too is a very lovable character, someone with whom every common Indian can connect.. but this Prem is not just a lovey-dovey character only. I have tried to incorporate the humorous side of Prem too but at the same time Prem is a very practical man.
Tell me something, what is playing in your mind right now? Are you going to give it a go? Why not? I am ready for romantic leads. And it's not just romantic films I am doing a lot of comedy. In fact my next film DHOONDTE REH JAAOGE is a comedy with Soha Ali Khan and Paresh Rawal.
In fact EK VIVAAH AISA BHI will also see you as a solo lead for the first time? Yes, and that is what has given a boost to my confidence. Even DHOONDTE REH JAAOGE too will have me as the solo lead. Then next year I start for J P Dutta's film. And as I said now the offers are only for romantic leads. I hope everything goes fine for me from now on. I have done good films earlier too but now I am getting offers for playing a variety of roles.