I play modern day Amitabh Bachchan ''
After playing the sidekick in significant films like JODHAA AKBAR, SINGH IS KINNG, BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP and winning several accolades & awards for best actor in negative role for DABANGG, Bollywood actor Sonu Sood returns as lead with MAXIMUM. Catch Sonu Sood in conversation as he talks about his film MAXIMUM, the trend of cop-drama, pairing up with Neha Dhupia once again, backing out from DABANGG sequel and much more...Here are the excerpts:
Return as male lead with MAXIMUM
Yes I started off as lead hero...I never really think whether I am among other actors around me. I only choose a film according to my role, what excites me as an actor whether it was JODHAA AKBAR or SINGH IS KINNG or DABANGG or any other film. Having said that, I was offered many solo lead roles but I never got the right combination of good director and script. And MAXIMUM had all these ingredients. It has one of the finest scripts I have ever come across.
The trend of Cop drama in Bollywood
No, such kind of films started couple of years back. MAXIMUM is based in the period of Mumbai between 2003 to 2008, the time when encounter cops suddenly came in the limelight. What happened with them, their lives and their ups and downs have been captured in the film.
The film was written three years back. It's just a coincidence that all the cop films came at the same time.
Moreover, it's about a chance that a film does well and not because it is a cop-drama. It also has other entertainment values which are taken into consideration. Lots of cop films have not done well at box-office. I don't think it's a said formula to gain success...Suddenly one kind of film works and everyone wants follow it, everyone wants to make film on those lines but I think that's not the right move. A good film whether it's a cop drama or not will anyhow work.
Took cue from Salman's character in DABANGG
MAXIMUM came to me after DABANGG happened, but the writer & director of the film, Kabeer Kaushik had the story much before with him.
DABANGG was more of fun film. Salman's character Chulbul Pandey was a carefree guy with lots of masti. Whereas in MAXIMUM, my character is very serious with few words and lots of action. He is modern day Amitabh Bachchan from ZANJEER. He speaks less and emotes & expresses through his eyes. You can feel the tension throughout.
Just because I sport a moustache and I play a cop people want to compare me with Salman of DABANGG. It's a mere coincidence that I was part of DABANGG and I am part of MAXIMUM too. It has nothing to do with DABANGG.
Two back-to-back films, SHOOTOUT AT WADALA and MAXIMUM of same genre
Though the genre is same, they are two different sides of the same coin. While in MAXIMUM I play a cop, in SHOOTOUT AT WADALA my role is of a gangster. BUT MAXIMUM is a film which doesn't have single punch or kick. You don't see any blast happening, cars flying. It is not gory. The action is in the narrative. It has an undercurrent action. While SHOOTOUT AT WADALA has actual action sequences. So, they are two contrasting roles. I am glad that I could do MAXIMUM after DABANGG and SHOOTOUT after MAXIMUM.
Pairing up with Neha Dhupia once again
Yes we started around same time. We started with different kind of films. It's nice to catch-up with old friends. We have grown as actors over the years. Neha has done good films lately like PHAS GAYE RE OBAMA, etc. I am glad that she is doing varied kind of roles. I am confident that her role in MAXIMUM, something which she has not done before, would fetch her acclaim. It will be refreshing for her.
Neha has become more focused, choosy and the approach towards her characters has become more well-defined.
Regrets of past
Sometimes, we (I and Neha) used to have discussions about what bad films we did in the past. But like I said you want to grow, you want to move ahead in life. It's just part of your life. It's just the phase you go through. When I stepped in the industry I was just another guy who comes to Mumbai with dreams to make it big. And I am happy that I was able to convince and prove my mettle as an actor.
Good rapport with Salman and his family
I haven't met them from a long time. I haven't shown the film to Salman since he was busy with EK THA TIGER and his other projects. Once he is free I might call him up... But Sohail bhai has seen the promos and loved it.
In Hindi I am doing only SHOOTOUT AT WADALA. There are couple of films in south. I have two releases coming up and I am working on two other films in south.
Backing out from DABNAGG sequel
No I am not doing it. I was offered the film but somehow things didn't work out the way I expected. The way I wanted my role was not happening. So, we mutually parted ways.
Juggling Hindi and South film industry
Finally, there has been acceptance in south and in Hindi also I have good work. The sailing has been quite smooth so far. I have done Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, English...so I have dabbled in most of the industries. Now, I will love to do International projects as it gives me kick as an actor.
I would love to do a superhero film someday. It has good action. It would be fun playing a superhero.
-- By Rachana Sheth, Bollywood Trade Editorial
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